Staying Safe

This Covid quarantine period of isolation somehow reminds me of my childhood during the great depression , which began the year I was born, 1929.  We had little to entertain us, and no communication with the outside world on a daily basis.  I learned then and I have re-learned now to live in solitude.  I recall the joy of reading, playing the piano, and many hours alone with my imagination.   I have come to value that solitude.   

How do I fill the hours?  I drive to a few places, and I buy gas for my car, wearing gloves.  I wash my hands and use sanitizer.  Sometimes, I don a mask to buy something at the drug store.  Yesterday, I bought a cream for the rash that has gathered on my neck.  I think my body is expressing my need to “break out.”  My hair has not been cut in many weeks so I have a strange new covid coif.  I have a quaf also, usually one glass of cheap white wine.  Sometimes a friend comes for happy hour, socially distanced.

My groceries are delivered, my doctor visits are zoomed, Women’s Wisdom Group meets online.  Family birthdays have been celebrated via Zoom, as has church.  I have the pleasure of watching my daughter perform (Zoom again) with Unscrewed Theatre in Tucson.  They have a performance every Saturday night at 7:30.

My children are very kind to me, giving me various times for visits during the week.  My other extended family still stays in contact with regular visits.

What else?

I drive to the Band Hall and Margie Studio (6 miles away) and play music with the No Promises House Band.  We meet every week for about an hour.

The Margie Studio is my little get away next to the Band Hall.  Both were built on one of my son’s property and I have two daughters who live there also.  Makes for a nice little family compound.  The Band Hall houses my grand piano, a lovely 7 foot Kaiwai with the nicest tone ever.  I am mediocre at best as a pianist but I do so love to play.  Our band has the best bass player and the best drummer ever!  They follow my lead and that is pure heaven right here on this planet earth. Our repertoire opens with old songs like Basin Street Blues and always ends with St. Louis Blues.  Over the years, we have gotten tight and thoroughly enjoy that one hour a week of playing the same songs over and over.  They sing and sometimes I add a weak alto voice on songs like Hallelujah or Sentimental Journey.  We are not a performing band; we are simply a band that plays and makes no promises.  Even to practice!  

So that fills one hour (sometimes more if we happen to have a family meal in addition to the band playing on) of my Covid week.

Thanks to some very valued clients, I get to do my mentoring-therapy thing a few hours per week.  I am so grateful that they still call and I remain in awe of the stories we humans create.

I sew a little bit and am glad to have that as a creative diversion and time filler.  Routine house care, yard work, and meal prep-serve-eat, bathing, sleeping take up a large amount of the time.  That leaves me with only about 50-100 hours per week to fill.   

My hair continues to grow.   And, I think I sort of like it.

Paul’s transition to the world of spirit was 2 years ago and I have taken over his office space for my sewing and ironing.  He tells me he does not mind that intrusion.  I have more than 150 pages of his messages, which is a fascinating process for me.  More about that to anyone who holds an interest in life after death.   

But that still leaves many hours to fill.  Soooooo, the point of this blog is to confess my addiction to Outlander–  The TV series, the books, the author’s various blogs and communications.  I admire Diana Gabaldon so much.  Her wealth of creative imagination set in historial times that connect with my own McNeely family lineage back to Ireland and Scotland have utterly kept me engaged.  And being engaged in something during a quarantine is like having Christmas or birthdays to look forward to.  Daily, I have my “fix” from Outlander on TV, or reading the books, or listening to the books when I want to fill a sleepless night.  I thanked Diana Gabaldon for her gift and she replied, “Stay Safe!”

So, that is how I am structuring my time during this strange era in our life on this planet. I trust you have found a way to be in this new world.  Things will never be the same again.  More about that later. 

I am very interested in how you have coped with covid????

Meanwhile, my dear friends, I say to you what this prolific author of these great Outlander stories said to me, “Stay Safe!” 

16 thoughts on “COVID CONFESSIONS

  1. I love this, Marjie…and you.

    So good to “read” you even though seeing you in person would be way more gratifying.

    Keep blogging away. It’s a wonderful way to connect.

    Love and hugs,

  2. Susan Parker Leigh says:

    It’s so good to hear how others are dealing with this strange time that we are going through.

  3. Claudia Martins says:

    This is so good and I am very happy I just learned about you which always inspires me. Thanks for sharing! Definetely I will watch Outlander
    My best wishes from Brazil
    With love

  4. Mindy says:

    Marj -I so enjoyed this! My place of wonder during this time Is taking a long walk in nature. Sometimes I listen to the surroundings, but lately I have been listening to audiobooks as I walk. I’ve journeyed through three Michael Crichton thrillers, James Taylor‘s autobiography, and now I am halfway into an amazing story about a young girl growing up around the southern marsh. It really transports me! I need to check out outlander for the very same reason.

    Thank you, Marj, for continuing to show us how to lead a life well lived no matter the time or place. I have a feeling you will do this throughout eternity. Love you!

  5. Jon Clayton says:

    Love this Marj! ! I to love Outlander. My Scott’s Irish ancestors came to The Carolinas in 1767. There are some fascinating parallels . One was an honored warrior at the Battle of Hastings with William the Conqueror. No family lore mention of time travelers tho… love You Bunches !

  6. Carole Moody says:

    Marj, What an Inspiration you continue to be. My confession is I put things to do on my calendar and try to do them. Started too many projects but don’t complete them…
    Maintaining connects with friends helps with the calming my need to go!
    Diving into my mind and spirit is the place I go to keep calm. Planning my trips for the future and the joy of exploring new surroundings.
    Funny how when I have had someone on my mind they pop up in some way…and that has been you…miss seeing you. Much love from a “Don’t like this time” person.

  7. Pam McNeely says:

    Thank you Margie for taking time to write about your experience. It’s so interesting that it brings back memories of your childhood. Even though I never had a depression-like experience, I find myself reflecting on my childhood a lot. A simpler time with lots of time spent outdoors and at the family dining table. I think the slower pace has allowed me to once again absorb life in a more child like way. And I really appreciate it. Love you so much!! Also, I started Season 4 of Outlander!

  8. Cher Ryan says:

    YOU are a wonderful writer, an intriguing story-teller, and above all, my dear, dear friend and mentor. Thank you for sharing this, I feel more connected (and think I’m coming out of my totally-self-imposed-funk a little). Now on to Outlander! (LOVE that Jamie!)
    Stay safe, Margie!

  9. My dear Margie,
    What a delight to read this piece! You certainly keep busy, are a talented writer, a good mathematician that keeps track of every hour in your day, aand a Rennaissaince woman with multiple talents.
    I so miss our Wimbereley chorus. I do a few things as well, that include meditating, waking, and writing. I’m editing and translating my next book, Morning Musings: Creating My Life One Page at a Time.
    I love singing with my sons and significant others, but we don’t get together as a big group any more. I do sing with them as they take turns to come.
    I would love to learn more about your Wisdom Women’s Group.
    Love you

  10. jan mcgowan says:

    What a delightful story of YOU, Marj! Yes, I too, spent my childhood in the ’40’s in deep East Texas bird watching, hammock lounging, biking on The Bumpy Street, running behind the DDT sprayer truck and napping! Eating fried chicken, black eyed peas, Kentucky Wonder green beans in bacon grease, homegrown tomato ‘steaks’ and pound cake were treasured memories. Low key! Sky watching! Fresh air breathing! Yep, I, like you, Marj, are having the time to revisit these times! As Ram Das says, “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” So, please keep telling us about your days! Love/Light, jan

  11. Charles Kiker says:

    Just read your CoVid Confessions. Patricia and I are also “sheltering at home” with exceptions for Dr. visits. We have been grateful for how seriously the Drs. and nurses are taking this pandemic.

    I’m so glad we got acquainted through, and now I have your website to read your life story(ies).

    Interesting that you knew Alan Shivers. He was the featured speaker at my HS graduation in May, 1950. I got to shake hands with him as I walked off stage after receiving my diploma.

    I’m sure we’ll visit more via Ancestry.
    Cousin Charles

  12. Susan Fezer says:

    Thank you so much for your encouragement. I was thinking I was playing it too safe – seeing others get together and traveling.

    Forever grateful,
    Susan Fezer

  13. Judith Driscoll-Ruth says:

    Margie, such a lovely “blog”. It is so nice to “hear” you voice again . I have missed you my sweet friend and I miss my Clams. We were an amazing group of intelligent and caring women.Our gatherings were like therapy to us all. Ralph and have decided that we have had enough of Colorado’s freezing weather and have sold
    our house as of a couple of weeks and traveled to Naples Florida in search of anew home. Stay tuned, put an offer on one yesterday and hope to hear back later today. We also are addicted to Outlander. Martin’s family lived in Ireland before moving to Astoria Queens in New York and his Mother actually saw and conversed with the fairies in her back yard and I believe it. I love you and hopefully we will visit when we can someday soon.

  14. Dear Marj,
    It’s so great to feel your presence through these words. So tell me why were you isolated during the depression? Was it because no job and no money means you have to get by with what you can create on your own? I always imagined people working really hard but for less money and time being taken up with survival. I love that you are playing the piano! I miss singing SO much and reminded myself that I can sing right here at home (but karaoke is NOT the same). I love those songs you mentioned! I grew up learning those as my father loved them and I was in band and choir. Do you know St Louis woman? That Old Black Magic? If you feel safe about I’d come and sing anytime!

    I’m off to go find Outlander (we already watched a bunch of other series so thanks for the tip!)

  15. Holly Holton DeBrodt says:

    Marj! So so lovely to hear from you again! I so enjoy your updates. Rocco & I hunkered down and watched all of Outlander when quarantine first started and we love it too! I am reading the books now!
    So much love to you- please keep us updated!

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