A Little Break in the Action

150 150 Frances
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Dear Kristin,

I took this photo fifteen years ago. I recognize those tee shirts as though I’d hung them out on the line yesterday. Much to my shame, I haven’t hung out any laundry this year. Why not? Because it hasn’t even occurred to me!

Fifteen years ago, I was in love with homemade living–hanging out the laundry, canning tomatoes, baking my own bread. I thought maybe I could save the world that way. Nowadays, while I still like to grow tomatoes (our tomatoes are finally coming in!), and I’ve gotten very into making pizza from scratch, I no longer think I can save the world. Which makes me sad. My hope is that there’s some young-ish mom out there, a mom who’s kids are finally old enough to give her some space to dream, who right this minute is doing the things I used to do, in hopes it might make her children’s future a little bit brighter. I embrace her. I applaud her. Sadly, these days I’m too tired to be her.

And you’re too tired, too–because you have Covid! I can’t believe it finally happened to you! I’m glad you’re feeling better after nearly a week of feeling awful, but I’ll continue to fuss at you to stay in bed. Nap! Hydrate and watch “Granchester.” It took me three weeks to recover fully from Covid last fall, and believe you me, I took to the bed for at least half the day every day. I had my books and my journal and my knitting and my iPad. I was like a little monk up there. Once I was past the worst part of Covid, I actually kind of enjoyed myself.

Now, I know that as a writer, I’ve got a little more wriggle room in my schedule for convalescence than you do, so if you need to work for fifteen minutes a day, have at it. But that’s it!

Do you remember what it was like to be sick–really sick–when the kids were little? And they were sick, too, and so was Gary? Did you ever have that kind of fun? It only happened a couple of times for us, but I’ll never forget it. Nowadays when I get sick, I think about how much easier it is to be sick in an empty nest. And then I go back to sleep …

Get well soon, my dear!


  • Laurie

    I’m so sorry to hear Kristin is sick! My husband and I are still a couple of the lucky ones that haven’t gotten covid and I keep thinking it’s finally done, but not so. Rest, rest, rest, Kristin.

    And Frances, my oldest daughter will carry your “save the world” banner. She’s my hippie mama and helps me be a better consumer of locally grown / recyclable produce & products. I get in the mood every year or so to do better and then I get lazy so watching her gets me back into it
    I just received my first bin of Prudent Produce this week with fruits and vegetables from a high school friend of my daughters. I use the Anylist app to save recipes and my to-do list which is helping.

  • Marsha

    Sorry to hear that you are sick, Kristin. Please take the time to regain your strength and get well soon.
    Frances, I remember trying to be that “save the world” young mom, but alas, I have also gotten very lazy in my efforts. I still try to avoid using paper/plastic dinnerware by using the excuse “I have a dishwasher why do I need to disposable dinnerware”. I have also made pretty cloth napkins to use throughout the year, although they really throw my grandkids off. They do not know what to do with them when they’re done …. trash, Grammie? NOOOO!!

  • Theona

    Oh, shoot! I’m so sorry you got COVID too, Kristin. Like Frances said, take it easy so that you heal well.
    I remember having the flu when my kids were little. Dragging myself out of bed to care for them. Seems like I haven’t gotten that sick again since I became an empty nester–fewer shared school germs!

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