Walled In

February 09, 2021

Disclosure
White garden gate between brick walls

Yesterday, I was casually perusing Google News, when I came across an article about whether or not television shows should be addressing the pandemic.

It discussed finding a balance between pure escapism and reality based fiction. 

It's a great question. 
 
And it got me thinking. As someone with a platform, whose goal is to share light hearted entertainment, should I be addressing it?

Sure there'e been the casual reference here and there over the past year, but other than a few fleeting mentions, it's been business as usual.

DIYs, crafts, holiday decor and a few stories. That's the way it should be, I thought.

We retreat to this land of blogs, to bright colorful spaces and happy comments to escape the news and the realities of daily life.

We come here to see what our creative internet neighbors are up to, to share comments with virtual friends.  

To learn, to be inspired and, hopefully, to share a laugh.

Heart with the Exquisitely Unremarkable tale of how I lost my underwear at Kmart

But then I really started thinking about it.

Sometimes, reality becomes too hard to ignore, especially when that reality is a collective one.

While the topic has been largely glossed over here, in real life conversations, covid comes up every day. On the phone, in emails and on zoom.

Zoom. It's amazing to me that something I was only marginally acquainted with a year ago, and used exclusively for business, has now become the champion of my sanity.

And the method of choice for most social events in my neck of the woods. 

In recent months, I've been to Zoom baby and bridal showers, a Zoom Christmas and Thanksgiving party, a lively game night gathering on New Year's Eve and most recently, a knitting circle and book discussion.

Experiences I'm sure we can all relate to.

However. I haven't really shared any of this. I talked about coping with crafts during the first days of the lockdowns. I also showed you my attempt to make bread when food was in short supply.

But even then the allusions were cursory. My most public acknowledgement of the current situation has been in comments or emails. I'll often close with a smiley stay safe, or a jaunty be well!

In reality, smiley and jaunty aren't how I'm feeling most days.

I live in New York.

That sentence alone should speak volumes. If not, I will tell you that we have had some of the highest case numbers and the most stringent rules and lockdowns in the country.

Nothing has been even the tiniest bit normal for almost a solid year. And honestly, it's really starting to get to me.

In March, it was all new and while very, very scary, there was the hope that this thing might burn out and go away in a few weeks. We shut ourselves in, got creative ordering food, took a lot of car rides and held our breath with the knowledge that it couldn't last long.

Seagull On A Rocky Beach

When summer rolled around and that was clearly not the case, we made the best of it. Outside.

We went for hikes, ate on the patio, hung out at the beach and talked to neighbors on walks and over the fence. We swam in the pool, wore our masks as we strolled through the village and curled up on the porch, as the cicadas ushered in the night.

Tree Lined Garden Path

It was still odd, no stores, no restaurants or gatherings, but doable. The sun had a way of wrapping everything in optimism.

Even the fall wasn't that bad. Classes were remote and music was still on hold, but everyone made the best of it.

Fall trees changing color lining a road as car pass

The holidays were coming. Moving inside wasn't so bad. Firelight replaced sunlight and spirits were still, well, hopeful.

We shopped online and picked it all up at the curb. We baked and wrapped, painted and snuggled. We played games, bundled and masked up for brisk walks and at night we took carefully mapped out rides to tour Christmas lights.

Ocean pier in the winter

There were bumps in the road and the holidays were certainly different, yet all in all, it was almost joyful.

But now, it's February and it's a completely different story. 

To be fair, winter has never been my favorite season, but this year it's really getting to me.

The groundhog declared there'd be 6 more weeks of winter, and as if on cue, 18 inches of snow fell from the sky.

We barely cleared it away before the weather app announced the arrival of another 8-10 inches in the coming days.

Snow cover ground and bush

And now, now I feel walled in. Claustrophobic in my skin.

Yes, it's getting a little bit lighter out each day, but it's gray. The sun hides for days at a time. Plus, it's cold. Really cold. Too cold to walk outside comfortably. Or for very long.

And no one wants to go for a drive when it requires deicing the car, scraping down the windshield or worse, navigating slippery roads. It's treacherous out there.

Isn't that why we're all staying home in the first place?

So. With months of baking behind us and too many game nights to count. And the curbside pick ups disrupted by Mother Nature and even Zoom losing its luster, I find myself no longer able to ignore it.

It's too much to keep inside my head and I so I guess my answer to the question of whether or not I should address it, is I have to address it.

The dam is broken, the words have spilled out onto the screen and I find myself compelled to ask.

How are you?

Is everyone else out enjoying the world? Is this seemingly never-ending global pandemic- there, I said it - coupled with the winter woes getting you down?  

Are there a lot of restrictions in your neck of the woods? How are you keeping yourself sane?

What has your year looked like?

Does the idea of getting a vaccine that's brand spanking new make anyone else a little uneasy...and yet at the same time see it as the only way out?

I guess what I really want to know is...

Is anyone else feeling walled in?
  1. Oh my. Yes, I enjoy reading blogs as a way to escape, plus to learn something new. I appreciate all the work it must take to create content for a blog. Thank you all! The thing about Covid that is so hard for me is all the confusing information. I really hate to think it is political, but some of it is. Masks, no masks. Hydroxychlorocrine, no HCQ. The death rate, the actual death rate. Now the vaccine. Do you take a vaccine for something that has a 98% survival rate? My husband and I received the first Moderna dose last week. I was a nervous wreck. I've heard the horror stories of people dying or having terrible reactions. We both had flu-like symptoms for about 3 days. I'm not looking forward to the second dose. The reason we decided to take the vaccine was that our sister-in-law had Covid and was extremely ill, but I still don't know if we made the right decision. It's just so hard to trust anything anymore. By the way, did anyone see the Super bowl half-time show? Was that Lucifer falling from Heaven? God help us!




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    1. It is tricky, Ellen, I totally agree. All the information and the news is completely contradictory at times. It makes it hard to know what to do. I think a lot of people feel exactly the same way. And I actually missed the the halftime show. I was watching an old Jack Lemmon movie (The Fortune Cookie) on TCM. No show there! Thanks for weighing in today and I hope that second shot is manageable.

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  2. Well prior to this pandemic I was at the point that I didn’t want to go anywhere. I felt good staying home and enjoying my home. I did this for just about a year and then the pandemic hit so I have actually been closed in almost 2 years now and yes it is just now hitting me. It’s hitting me pretty hard and I need to seriously get out of here!! I don’t go for drives or to do pickups or anything like that so when I say I’ve been home for 2 years, I literally mean home for 2 years. My BIL and SIL are someone we used to spend all our time with. We do see each other very occasionally, like once every 2 months or so to play marbles. It’s just the 4 of us and we miss our game night so we have to! We have been to their house twice and they have been to ours twice. She works from home and he works in hospitals which control your every move having to do with Covid so I feel safe. My husband still works but is the only one in the office unless there is a delivery and he has his mask that hopefully will help. My own health issues and age won’t let me do a lot even around the house but I try to do what I can, even some crafting which I truly love.
    Well I hope you can get through this just a bit longer. It will be beneficial to all of us! Take care and stay safe!

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    1. I think it's really starting to hit a lot of people now. A year is a long time and there are still no really clear cut answers on how we get back to normal. Vaccines, new variants, etc. It makes your head spin. Two years, even if one is by choice, is a longtime...even for a homebody. I think the idea that you *can't* go out without a lot of thought and care is frustrating as well. Hang in there and stay safe...and trust me, we're in.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Please keep praying for God to see us through this. May He continue to Bless you!

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    1. Thank you for the kind comment and sending thoughts of safety and care back to you!

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  4. Oh my yes, walled in, leery, wondering . . .
    Following the rules, masked, wash hands, social distance.
    Experiencing “life” . . . not like before . . . for sure.

    Vaccine . . . I have said yes, have experienced the first, dose,
    second dose on 2/15.

    Questions . . . many, I have been ill with some kind of stomach something for over a week. Been to urgent care, seeing my doc tomorrow. Back to wondering . . . Is it a covid “something,” a vaccine reaction . . . Granted my life of late has been filled with stress. This, what is going on with me right now, is certainly not calming any of the stress, only adding to it.

    And no car rides right now, plus I have to be the driver, and we are under a blanket of snow, ice, cold. No blanket feeling at all.

    Thanks for letting me vent . . .

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    1. Lynne, I know you’ve had a tough time lately. I’m so sorry about that and I think about you often. “Life” certainly isn’t like it was before. I think the hardest part is not knowing if and when it ever will be again. Sending you big hugs and hope you are feeling better super soon. Be well, my friend...

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  5. Thanks for this awesome post...

    You have mirrored my thoughts EXACTLY . I live in SW Florida and it is nearly impossible to get an appointment. Everything is online. Our population explodes in the winter. We are 73 and 77. It doesn't matter. Sites crash or fill up after a few minutes. Our doctor's offices will not be carrying them. It was opened up at age 65 and above.

    I am figuring that when the idiotic frenzy dies down, we will be able to get them...maybe even the 1-dose J&J one. Meanwhile, we are doing what we have done for the last year...except instead of Instacart delivery for everything, I do venture into the grocery masked up---in and out.

    Family vacations cancelled, Christmas plans cancelled...our 3 kids and grandkids are all up north. Zoom helps.

    Thanks for sharing---validates my feelings. Take care--Jane

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    1. Thanks Jane, I wasn't really sure if people wanted to read a "reality" kind of post, but it was just too hard to keep it all inside anymore. We are immune compromised in my home, so we have to be extra careful and it's beginning to feel like too much. I've seen the vaccine craziness here, too. No one can get an appointment...or they get canceled. Hopefully the J&J one will ease that issue. I'm sure it's been hard to be so far away from your family...we're separated, too. No easy. Please take care...and enjoy that Florida weather! Silver lining!!

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  6. I'm not feeling terribly walled in - yet - as until 10 days ago I was still teaching every day in the classroom. However, now that I've retired, I'm home a lot. I miss being able to get together with my children and grandchildren and that makes me feel closed off. We do go for walks outdoors and that helps.
    I appreciate bloggers who address the pandemic. It's irritated me how some bloggers seem to pretend that nothing has changed and merrily offer shopping and decorating advice that is, to me, very out-of-tune with reality just now. I don't think we need to dwell on the pandemic, but it's there all the time, like an elephant in the living room. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Lorrie. I really appreciate the comment. As I said, it’s hard to know what people want to read. I think, for me, my blog has always been my joyful place and my escape from real life. The pandemic has permeated every other area, so I was hesitant to let it in here. However, as you said, it’s the elephant in the room. I haven’t been to a thrift store (a lot have actually shut their doors for good in my area, sad side note) or a Dollar Tree or heck, even a grocery store, in a year. My content has changed because of that. It’s obvious and it’s always been important to me to share the real deal. And lately, I’m really kind of sad. Hopefully, as my mom used to say, this too shall pass. Thanks again for weighing in today and I do hope that you will be able to enjoy your retirement!

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  7. You've absolutely 'nailed it', Kim. I'm trying to remain optimistic, but even with the vaccine, I believe we still have a long road ahead of us. As you know, I feel the same way about winter - it can't end soon enough! Yes, I'm definitely feeling walled-in.

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    1. It's all just going on too long, Ann. Last year, as we were chatting, I really thought by this time you and I would be having lunch or tea or thrifting somewhere around the halfway mark! Soon I really, really hope!! xxoo

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  8. Good Morning sweet friend. What a great post today. You summed up how a lot of us feel about Covid in the last year. I am a nurse and I believe in the science but I too worry about the vaccine. I know it will save so many lives but what are the long term effects going to be. We are all lab rats of a huge experiment. With that said I also know that so many have died from this wicked virus with no rhyme or reason to why you live and you die. So to follow the science I want the vaccine. I would rather take the chance on the vaccine over God Forbid getting the virus and dying from it. Some people that got the virus are having long term health issues since they have had Covid. So I think I will take the chance on the vaccine. They formulated it like they do most vaccines and so far with flu and other immunizations most people have no issues. It is scary though with how quickly they pushed this through without having long term studies. With Covid killing so many and now leaving so many with long term health issues that had it I will take the vaccine. Just seems like the lesser of two evils. I think we live in a time when life can be so scary with so many things. We got so much snow too and our temps have been way below normal. I cannot wait for February to be over and hopefully as March approaches we will see the temps normalize again. Hang in there and have a great new week. xoxo

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    1. It’s just been harder and harder to post about curtains and crafts without mentioning Covid. I know you get it and you share many of the same thoughts I think a lot of us are having. And with so much snow and cold temps here US, at least, we’re stuck inside with them all rattling around in our heads. I can’t wait until March either…although sometimes the snow hangs around here until mid-April. I really hope this isn’t one of those years!! Take care my friend! xoxo

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  9. Hi, Lynne. While blogland has been entertaining and mostly about Unicorn Farts and Rainbows, I certainly feel that reality--or facing reality is a necessary part of surviving. Anxiety is the the fear of the unknown, --or of hunkering down and ignoring it all. Life isn't Unicorn Farts and Rainbows...and since the pandemic was so tied into our political issues---no one in blogland dared say a thing either way. Meanwhile isolation, grief, and fear reigned. I have a regular blog, but I also have a doll blog, with doll stories set in reality. I try to make the doll world as real as possible except the sometimes over-whelming PINK everything. My dolls have had businesses shut down, had to come up with alternative ways of doing business, wear masks, suffer dating-difficulties,or the lack of, dealt with financial and mutliple-person living. I've tried to show ---how you deal with problems, issues,---I skipped many things I would have liked to cover, but emphasized safety, sanitizing, masks, and learning to make do. Perhaps now is the time to blog about it...! Our home shut down the second week of February a year ago---based in science---I knew it was going to be bad. Kudos, for grappling the biggest issue we have right now...and giving it a kick out into the sun! Hugs, Sandi

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    1. Hi Sandi! Thanks for the comment. I'm glad I shared, it seems a lot of people are grappling with the same feelings. How could they not? I suppose it's one foot in front of the other for the foreseeable future. I just hope that the sun comes out soon and things get better overall. In the meantime, I just visited your doll blog and am amazed by all your creations. The shops are the best...wow. I'm so impressed!! Hugs right back...

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  10. Beautifully said my friend. Yes, we are all walled in. While families have gotten closer, the silver lining in all of this, it's hard to ignore the fact that it has almost been a year. What would we have done if we knew that back in March last year? Hoping on hope that things can go back to normal in the next 12 months xo

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    1. Thank you, Susan. I miss our little meetings around my kitchen table or yours and hope that very soon, we'll be able to get back to them. It's been way, way too long. xo

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  11. I'm ok with bloggers posting about Covid and the awful year we've suffered so far. I can choose to read the blog or pass it by if I'm not in the mood. I debated as to whether or not to even comment further, because my views will anger some, but here goes. Our government has politicized this virus to the extent that there is almost no 'science' being followed. "Don't wear a mask; wear a mask; wear 2-3 masks" "We lied about masks, but *now* we're telling the truth". The final straw for me was when the CDC director said that masks were better than vaccines. There is literally NO science behind a statement like that (not to mention no science or even statistics supporting masks stopping the spread of the virus, unless you properly wear the medical grade N95 masks). There are many more instances, and don't get me started on how we're counting deaths 'with' Covid versus 'from' Covid. I live in the Texas hill country, about halfway between Austin and San Antonio. We are more open than some states (I wish we were more like Florida and South Dakota) , but still have restrictions. I do NOT wear a mask, and never did. I do NOT stay home, and never did. I DO see my friends and family on a regular basis - we hang out, we hug, and we are living as normally as possible within our state's restrictions. I have been in groups of hundreds of unmasked people at a time. Those who are particularly vulnerable take the precautions that *they* deem necessary, not what the government dictates. I play cards weekly with a dear friend - she is 67 and her husband is 80. She caught Covid and recovered in about 10 days (about 3 days of feeling really bad, the remaining week she felt tired). Her husband did not catch it. I am part of the Moderna vaccine trial and received my shots last Aug/Sep. They unblinded us a few weeks ago, so I have my card that shows I received the real vaccine. I did have some side effects - arm pain and about 12 hours of fatigue after the first shot; a 101 fever and body aches for about 12-24 hours after the second shot. I am pro-choice when it comes to the vaccines - I don't believe anyone should be forced to get it if they don't want it. I understand that many people (primarily in the older age group or with specific co-morbidities) have passed away because of this virus - we knew who was the most vulnerable from very early on after seeing what happened in Italy and Spain. However, many government officials did not protect those vulnerable, and there were many potentially preventable deaths (yep, I'm looking at you New York, among others). I fear that the governments (local, state, and federal) will *never* give up this power now that they have it, and there will be no 'getting back to normal'. I am horrified at how easily people were cowed into giving up so many of their constitutional rights all for the sake of 'safety' that the government can't actually provide. That's my rant on the subject - I accept that many disagree with me and I fully support your right to your opinion.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today. I am big believer in free speech. My father fought in WWII, he was a tail gunner and was actually shot down several times. He risked his life for the freedom to speak...and by the way...I ASKED for your opinions!! Some people may disagree, but that’s their right. However, your comment is respectful and well thought out, no one can argue with that. Basically everything you said…the messages of “this” not “that”…no wait, now it’s “that” not “this” has been maddening. I blame the media for a lot of what’s been going on. It’s impossible to get a consensus when it comes to information. No matter the “side” the true agenda of today’s news stations is to make money, so they spin the facts to suit their purposes and feed the hype. The scientific articles are buried under the gossip headlines and then we’re told not to listen to them anyway. And yes, NY has had the strictest lockdowns and we’re still in terrible shape with thousands of new cases daily in my tiny county alone. Unfortunately, we are immune compromised in my home, so we do need to take extra precautions, and it’s been scary with so many that we know affected…and sadly, lost. I’m hoping spring comes with a respite. But I’m not holding my breath.

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    2. I felt I needed to add something to my rant that was less confrontational :-) I pray every day for those who are ill with Covid (and everything else, we have several cancer patients in my family), and those who are struggling through this whether with their physical or mental health, financially, or otherwise. My husband and I are beyond blessed that we easily work from home (I'm an IT professional and have worked from home for years) and we have not been financially hit at all by the pandemic. I appreciate how many businesses changed as best they could to accommodate the various mandates. I remember honking and waving at every trucker I passed last spring and summer as they worked tirelessly to keep the stores stocked up for the rest of us (what happened to all that TP??). While I don't isolate myself or wear a mask, I absolutely respect anyone who feels the need to either for their health, or for the health of their family members - and I will respect their desire for me to keep my distance. For those of you in more locked down states - I pray that things ease up soon for you, and that the vaccines get to you quickly. Israel has vaccinated almost 1/3 of their population and is showing very good results from it. I hope that's the light at the end of our tunnel for us too. Prayers of comfort and strength through this for all of us.

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    3. I don’t think your comment was confrontational. Everyone is passionate about this topic. And you know, I actually forgot to add a thank you to my response. Signing up to take an experimental vaccine is an extremely compassionate act. Your willingness to put your own health on the line for the benefit of others is admirable.

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  12. Hi Kim,

    My sweet friend I'm with you. Some don't realize how truly tough tge lockdowns are in NJ and NY. It's been a year.

    I received my first COVID vaccine by help of great friends. I needed it to receive my MS infusion in I would have to wait.

    Our friends and hubby said no way and made it happen.

    That being said my husband shut his NY office down for good. He made a deal with the landlord. Yes, I'm thrilled he won't have to travel to work and be working here. It's another reminder we're in prison.

    I can't stand it anymore. The people that work for him can't believe they will not see each other everyday.

    They will eventually get a space someplace when things calm down for meetings but that's it, again prison.

    Nothing is remotely close to normal in our states. Many don't know that.

    I see other's in blogging seeing people abd it kills me. We haven't seen family or friends in almost a year. ENOUGH.

    The vaccines aren't moving fast enough in our states either. At this rate we won't see anyone until winter.

    Can you tell I'm done

    Hugs,

    Cindy

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    1. NJ and NY may as well be one state at this point, for all intents and purposes. One of my closest friends lives there and we are living parallel lives. She leaves the house to go to work, teaching each day, but she has only a handful of students. The rest are remote. It’s far from a normal situation. And it does feel like prison…or living in a spacecraft far from others…with your pod. The snow makes it so much worse, getting outside for a breath of clean air is another layer of difficulty. I miss walking in the grass or on the sand. I’m glad you were able to get the vaccine and while I know your husband will miss his employees, I know you’re happy to have him home. And being done?? Oh yeah…right there with you.

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  13. Hi everyone, thank you Kim for being upfront about the true situation. I too am irritated by bloggers who avoid reality but go on about fashions etc. It has been interesting reading about different reactions in the US, your struggles, your approaches to the changes. While I respect each persons' right to choose how they live, I can't help remembering the responses of the English at the beginning of each of the world wars. They expected the war to end in less than 6 months, then reality struck, but they soldiered on till the bitter end. Not everyone was brave, how could they be? We are all different, but each one is valuable, worthwhile, notwithstanding.
    I am sorry if people look for science in news broadcasts. It isn't there. Search websites but be wary, you already know there's lots of rubbish.
    I live in New Zealand. Our leaders early recognised the threat so we went hard and early. The result is that there are no cases in the community, only in quarantine. Our leaders were open and upfront right from the start. We were all part of the team. We know about teamwork - are our sportsmen and women not world beaters? Currently we have yacht racing in Auckland competing for the Americas Cup.
    I am sorry you are not experiencing the same freedoms as we.
    Oh and in case you think we got off lightly, there are many businesses that have closed, tourists are not here, but our economy on the whole is doing better than some.
    I wish you all the best. Nga mihi aroha

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    1. Hello!! And thank you so much for the comment and kind wishes. I am not a traveler. I am a homebody by nature and have traveled just about every place I've longed to go. However, the one place I've always wanted to visit, and have never been, is New Zealand. It just seems magical. Lucky you! My daughters are always on Instagram and follow a lot of girls from your country and they are always saying, "Mom, they are living life well down there." I follow the news and yes, you did do it right. I envy your freedoms...and your weather...and only hope that one day soon, we too can enjoy the same. Our country is vast and quite divided at the moment, so I'm skeptical, but there's always hope. I wish you all the best and again, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

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  14. Well, you know that we both had covid. It was touch and go with hubby at the hospital for a couple of days, but I am a tough old bat, and elected to stay out of the hospital and fight it out at home. We both have had problems with lack of stamina, but other than that, we have mustered through about the same.
    Yes, we are somewhat bored, but we wear our masks and do all of the responsible things. Texas rules have been pretty stringent, but the weather has given us more mobility than you have had. We also have a sizeable chunk of land that I can roam; feeding birds, stray cats, and other wildlife that visits.
    I am praying that you will find strength for the coming days, also peace and humor in each day! Blessings for all that you do, and say!!!! J

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    1. I'm so glad that you are both on the mend, I know it's been a long haul. The weather has been a huge factor in our change of attitude over here, the snow, the cold, the gray, gray days. It takes a toll. I think that if we had sunshine and a yard full of stray kitties, we might be feeling differently right now!! Thank you for your warm wishes. They really do help. Blessings to you, J!!! xoxo

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    2. What a great post! I am not feeling walled in... I am a bit of an introvert so this has been nice being able to work from home and my "coworker" barks when it is time to take a break. He has loved me being home everyday with him. I am not sure how I will feel going back into the office and being around a lot of people. I have some respiratory issues so for the time being, I am ok with being at home, I think it is too risky for me to be around others. I live in Ohio and I have known people who have passed from covid so I do believe it is some scary stuff. I also know some who are struggling with the aftermath of it after they have recovered and it has not been an easy road for them. I just pray that there is an end in sight and we can recover from it all. And yep, I enjoy living in blogland because the sun is always shining there....

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    3. Well, your co-worker sounds just darling and I'm sure he does love having you home. My lungs aren't great either, so we've been home, not venturing out either. It's not ideal, but the lockdowns don't leave a lot of room for much else anyway, so not missing out on much. I hope there is an end in sight, too...until then, sunny blogland it is!

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  15. I guess I am just so saddened to read of the terrible distresses that you write about... I can't imagine not being able to go out and see friends, go to the grocery store or any of those things. I am beyond blessed to live in a place where we have had little effect from the virus, although it has visited our community. We have had it, and most of our friends here have had it, and all of us have recovered! Ivermectin and HCQ work. There is no need to shut down the world, when there are simple treatments available to treat the virus, but again, it has become a political thing that is costing thousands of lives. It saddens me immensely to see small children wearing masks, when the virus isn't even dangerous for them. On my blog, I have been very careful to keep a positive attitude about all that we hear about on the news. Our little area of the world is blessed, and for that I am so very thankful. Life has been pretty much normal here, but my heart goes out to all of you who live in areas where things have been so different. I pray every day for the Lord to bring healing, and an end to the virus and its misery. May the Lord bless and keep you Kim, and I pray that into the darkness comes light and happiness for you. Winter is a hard season in any given year, but I can imagine how the walls are closing in for sure. Maybe you need to come see me :) Many hugs to you dear friend!

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    1. Marilyn, a trip to see you might be just the thing! Your glorious part of the country sounds even better now than it did before. It’s amazing how different life can be from state to state in this vast land of ours. Your way sure sounds much lovelier than ours and much more manageable even in the snow. I’ve always been a big homebody, but this is just a little too much! Thank you for the kind words and prayers! Greatly appreciated. Hugs!!

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  16. I do feel walled-in in some ways...but if I step back & look at my year, covid has brought good things to my family. I'm not saying that lightly because I know the devastation it has brought to so many.

    We have a freer schedule - no pressure to do/be/go somewhere constantly. Both my husband & my son got promotions & raises. My husband wasn't looking for one but he was recognized for going above & beyond. My son has been steadily trying to climb higher. Covid slowed his climb but he is still going. My duaghter-in-law & I have become closer. I've spent every workday with my grandson. So we have so so so much to be grateful for.

    But in this year we've lost friendships. My husband has juvenile diabetes so we've seriously isolated. He hasn't minded at all but I stopped all volunteer work, clubs, church....everything. As time has passed some of my friends have pretty much dropped me because I've stayed isolated (partly for my husband & partly because of my grandson). I sometimes feel a little desperate for some daily girlfriend interaction....my friends keep themselves too busy for for that & I haven't seen any of them more than once or twice in over a year.

    To try to replace that I've joined a stitching group, a writing group & added about 7 new pen friends. I write letters daily & check my mailbox like an impatient child counting down to Christmas. When covid hit I went from watching my grandson around 20 to 25 hours a week to 40 & 50 hrs. So...I had no energy for anything else. Now, with my son's new work schedule I only have him about 27 hrs a week...all in three days giving me 4 days in a row off...heaven. But then I have time to feel lonely.

    I guess my problem is that I don't really want to go back to being so busy but I want to be able to get together with friends....

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    1. I'm so sorry you've been feeling lonely, Jenny. That's a terrible feeling, even when you have a strong and rewarding, family life. I'm a homebody and both my husband and I have worked from home for years. No big change there. However, due to the restrictions and some health issues in our home, our social lives have completely come to a halt. Blogging and zoom have helped a lot, but it's not the same as laughing with friends in person. I think the difference here is that since we are in a state where there are so many restrictions, and where the virus is so pervasive, most people are home. I mean, even church is virtual for us, so we've all had to find other ways to connect. I'm sorry that you haven't had the same experience. Sending you hugs!!

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  17. I'm in Michigan and I think we have the second most restrictions next to you. We haven't had near the deaths as you have though. I'm also feeling claustrophic and so tired of it all. They did just open restaurants here - but at 25% capacity, so that's not a lot!

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    1. I can’t imagine that your year has been easy at all, Mari, working in a nursing facility. I know how hard that job is on a normal basis. My mom was in and out of a facility over the last few years of her life and I have enormous respect for the people who devote their lives to that work. I cannot fathom the additional pressures you have to deal with now. Always thinking of you.

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  18. Wonderful post Kim. I think most of us are starting to feel walled in. Some restaurants did open in our town. We have ventured out. Most of the time, we get takeout to eat at home or the local park. My husband and ai get our vaccine next Monday. I am still skeptical of the vaccine, because I am not sure it they have it all figured out. Lots of contradicting going on.
    We all have lots of questions regarding the vaccine. How safe is it, what are the future side effects, etc. fortunately living in California, we don’t have snow and the extreme temperature. Just last week, it was 70 outside. I miss gathering and dinner parties. I hope to start reading more, especially audio books while I garden. I recently connected with another blogger who lives rather close to me. She is a voracious reader and gardener. Take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to express yourself.

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    1. I think that one of the things that has helped me through this past year has been the connections I have with other bloggers, like yourself! I'm so glad that you have found someone who shares your passions, close to you. Looking forward to those days when we all can get back together and connect in person...and to all your dinner party posts! Enjoy that weather and good luck with that shot appointment. I hope it goes smoothly!

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  19. Hi Kim,
    It is extremely confusing when Dr.F says one thing and then another and then another. When this double mask thing came out of his mouth, I went "really" we have been doing this for almost a year! Something seems "fishy" about it all.
    I deliver Meals on Wheels and we are very careful. We have strict guidelines. Many of our participants WANT company. A year with out friends and family has taken the toll on many of them. They want companionship over anything now. Praying for a light at the end of the tunnel.

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    1. Carla, I think you are one of the true angels of this awful situation. Taking the time out of your day, in a scary situation, to visit with our most vulnerable population is amazing. Even that quick moment when you drop off the food must make a huge difference in their daily routine. I know it's not the same as it used to be, but I am sure your bright smile makes them smile as well. xxoo

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  20. If anything, I feel the opposite. My day to day life has not changed much since the pandemic started. Working at a hospital 11 am til 7:30 pm, M-F. Hubby works from home and is stir crazy and wants to get out of the house each weekend. I, o the other hand, want to stay in my cozy cocoon nest of a home and craft, sew, or paint. The hospitals are not busy here. A lot of us get sent home early or have nothing to do. Meanwhile, its trickier and trickier each day to navigate this thing at work because everyone is so freaked out and every day the rules change. Know this: the virus is here to stay and it will be years before we feel anything like the normal it used to be.

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    1. I have a lot of friends who work in hospitals and while things are much busier here, unfortunately, every one of them says exactly the same thing as you just did. We are stuck with this thing for the long haul...ugh.

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  21. The "pandemic" has a purpose. Look up Event 201, the practice run for what began to transpire last year. I am a math person. Look at the death numbers. I am not denying the virus because I had it. However, our government has lied to us so many times that they have ruined our trust in the system (especially the CDC). If the pandemic were a true one, we would see more deaths overall because people would still be dying from other diseases. Look at the data. Know your history about mask wearing. Look it up. It really makes me sad when I see an African American wearing one. Look it up and see what the purpose of mask wearing truly is. Also, research the CCP and their role in it, and ask yourself why so many of our so-called leaders take money from this evil regime. BTW it's pervasive on both sides of the aisle. It's sad that our country has been sold out. Do your research! We are losing our country because there is no more rule of law, we have given-up our first amendment rights all for a virus with a survival rate between 99.5 percent and 99.997 percent for people 69 and under, while for those 70 or older, it is an estimated 94.6 percent. Small businesses have been destroyed, and we are permanently harming our children. Wake up!

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    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you were sick, Ricki, but glad you are feeling well now. There seems to be a common thread in all the comments - mistrust regarding the information we’ve been given over the last year, the flip flopping facts and disappointment in our government. I really hope that in 2021 we are all on better footing on all accounts. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  22. Kim you have such a gift of the written word and I so enjoyed and appreciated this post! You wrote so eloquently what many of us are thinking and feeling. We've been in a lockdown here since mid November. No visitors to our homes without facing a $1000 fine, no outside visits, restaurants closed, along with numerous businesses. Then add to the isolation our current temperatures in the -40s, so heading outdoors for a preprive isn't an option either. I'm supposed to be laying on a beach in Mexico right now for our annual winter getaway. So even without covid, the winter is feeling very long and depressing. I've been feeling walled in since about October and I've never experienced anxiety like this before in my life, and I've gone through some things! I'm so tired of living in fear and watching the news certainly isn't helping. The new variants are concerning and making me want to hide behind these walls even more. The vaccine will not be available to average citizens here in Canada until the Fall and to be honest, I'm not chomping at the bit to get in line. More fear...

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    1. Marie, I had no idea it was that bad in your neck of the woods. I'm so sorry my friend. I completely understand where you are coming from, the fear factor is real, and the fact that the cold keeps you in is really a terrible blow. I do hope it warms up quickly so you can at least get some sunshine and a feeling of freedom. Thinking of you...

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  23. dearest Kim!
    I think (how could I really know?) that you see yourself first as a Crafter and a DIY person. and you do beautiful projects! but I see you First as a writer.
    you are best when you go deep. even the funny stories that you share with us have the gift.
    I will tell you what helps me (since remember... you did ask! lol)
    we have only had a little over a year with this horrid Covid virus and all the restrictions and changes to our lives that it requires.
    and people are coming apart at the seams it seems. (wow. how's that for wordplay?)
    for some of us who are born introverts... in which the constant noise and chaos of the other world becomes enough to make us sometimes want to Scream!... the covid restrictions have not been that hard.

    I spent my young formative years ... and my late teens especially... reading books about the 2nd World War. my dad like yours was a veteran who served under Patton.
    he was dead and gone from me when I turned 17. so I wanted to know more about that part of his life. I adored him. he was the Rock of our family.

    I read Corrie Tenboom's book The Hiding Place. at least I think that was the title. and many others. and I watched Mrs Miniver. and I read all about the Blitz. where London was bombed every single night for days on end.
    wise men say that to compare is to rob us of Joy.
    but I have learned one thing.
    to compare what we are enduring with this horrendous epidemic is to also learn how GRATEFUL we must be.
    those of us who are 'against a wall.' we still have food to eat. (we're not on rationing. not yet anyway) and we have families that are Alive!
    they're not in concentration camps being starved and gassed and tortured. (people are complaining that they haven't been able to hug their family)
    but at least they have contact and they Know that their family is Still There!
    that is no small thing!

    this world wide web is a wondrous thing. at our very fingertips.
    we can become so spoiled wondering when any of it will return to Normal!
    I too have had the 1st shot of the vaccine. and having read of the experiences...
    I find myself dreading the effects from the 2nd shot.
    then I remind myself I am one of the Lucky Ones! at least I am able to Get the Shots!!!
    so... in case you have taken this OVERLY LONG response as preaching...
    Please Don't!
    I am preaching the MOST to MYSELF darling Kim! LOLOL!!!! my own 16yr old self...
    REMINDER! I'm 75 years old and have to be reminded of the important things from my 16 year old self! how sad is that?
    loving you. as always. XOXOXOXO
    and p.s.
    Keep Writing!

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    1. Tammy, we certainly think alike. From the beginning, I've been telling my kids about the hardships people endured during WWII and what people had to endure...all over the world. And I also had a thirst for knowledge about my father's experience. After my mom passed we unearthed a treasure trove of papers that recorded all of his flight missions during the war and since then my brother and I have been learning about the battles. Very interesting. And thank you for all your sweet words, my friend. You know me so well, a writer first, always first and so glad that comes across and you enjoy the words as much as I adore yours. xxoo Be well!!

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    2. OH MY! a treasure trove for sure! what a Fabulous gift for you and your brother to share now. and the whole family too.
      and I had to smile. your Mom reminding that "this too shall pass."
      my beloved Gram always used to say that as well!
      but then she also used to say to me when I was complaining about my hair or something... "oh Tammy! that would never be noticed from a passing horse!"
      ??? my retort... "WELL WHO'S RIDING A HORSE!!!???"
      (I've read every comment here. and you have a wonderful community.
      and probably many who always read (but don't always comment... ahem. me).
      you are a Treasured part of this internet. THANK YOU. xo

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    3. Thank you my friend. And I agree, a wonderful community indeed. Big smiles over here reading your words!! THANK YOU! xxoo

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  24. Hi Kim. I am not feeling walled in as such, but I am missing my kids, Home Goods and a trip to Trader Joe's for fresh tulips. I am a typical home body and would really rather be home in my sweats or p.j's than being out and about, fighting crowds and traffic. We were never one's for going out to fancy restaurants, much preferring In-N-Out Burger, eating in our car with the two dogs. We can still do that from the safety of our car and we do. I am trying to cook some fresh and healthy dinners, better than we could get in most restaurants. I am really tired, however, of the way I am handling some things. Since I don't go any place or no one comes to visit, I find it too easy to just vegitate in front of the TV and don't do all the things that I usually do to make me feel like I am accomplishing something. I get mad at myself to find how easy it is too let things slide. I read your post last night on my Ipad in bed and I even read through most of your comments. The most frustrating thing about this whole episode is the way that some don't take it seriously. When some say they don't wear masks and never will or congregate with lots of people, and, God forbid, that I can't go to a thrift shop and risk my life to get something that I really don't need ,it make me sick to my stomach. I am sick that we all were fed so many lies and given such misinformation about everything for so long and I am sick that there are those who believed all the garbage and don't know the meaning of common sense or what it means to do the right thing. I hold those types directly responsible for the reason that I can't hug my kids or see a sister-in-law who is very sick. This may seem terrible to those who believe differently from me and I know everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and if this was just a case of the flu then it wouldn't be so hard to understand, but this is a whole lot worse than just a case of the flu and since I am fighting tooth and nail to get us vaccinated, and not having even a little bit of luck, this will not get any better for me. As you surely know, I have not held back my feelings, on my blog, the way I feel about it all and I don't intend to start holding back now. We are walled in just simply by the fact of this disease and until everyone can start realizing just how powerful it is and realizing that we all have a responsibility to help bring an end to it, it will be a longer time before it gets better. I hope for all our sakes we can come out of this sometime soon. Your projects and expertise always send me to a happy place and don't lose sight of that fact. I figure if one can hold onto a camera and a writing pen there is always a happy place to go to. Stay well, my friend..xxoJudy

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    1. The separation from family has been hardest for me, too, Judy. My kids are like, all your people are here, mom. And that's true, they are, but my siblings and their kids aren't and we've always been super close. Some of them live in other states, others live around the block, but no hugs, no holiday gatherings not even a quick visit to see the brand new babies that have arrived in the middle of this mess. It's very sad. I'm sorry about your vaccine hunt woes. It's apparently no different here. I know a few people who were able to get the first shot, but not the second or the first shot is scheduled for May. I hope that gets better soon...but we'll see. Please take care my friend!! xxoo

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  25. Kim,
    You and I have spoken about the pandemic a few times through out this past year and PA. like NY has had strict lockdowns especially over this past Christmas. And I do know that this year has taken a toll on many people , both physically and emotionally , including members of my own immediate and extended family. BUT for me personally, this pandemic hit at exactly the right time in my life.When I was working, I actually used to dream about what it would be like to be under house arrest and have to stay in my own home for months, even a year...I would think of everything I could do and all the things I could get done that I hadn't been able to get to while I was working full time night shift. I would then try to think of what minor crime I could commit so I would get to stay home and not have to leave my house so this dream could come true. Well, my dream did come true with the pandemic. Even though I had stopped working a year before the Pandemic hit, I was waiting for my knee surgery and then had my surgery and had to recover from it so mobility was an issue but I did my best to try to start on what I call my 2-3 Year To Do List. Finally in September-October of 2020, I was able to move around well and started to attack that list with reckless abandon. Luckily, my sons live 5 minutes from us and are included in our family Bubble as it is now called so our Holiday celebrations did not change at all as they never really included extended family. I CHOSE to stay home....I can go out shopping with Joe but I have no desire to leave my house. I am perfectly happy staying home. Except for going 5 mornings a week, up the road to leave our new grand pup out while my son and DIL work, I only leave this house once a month to get my hair cut and that is my own decision.Joe leaves our house at least 3-4 times a day, running out here and there because while he can not find one single thing to do in this house to keep him busy, I can think of at least a million things every day to do so there are not enough hours in a day for me. There , honestly, is little that would have changed for me in the past year if there was not a Pandemic. I would have liked to get to see my niece and Great Nieces more , I would have liked to have had more friends over for Tea and lunch and I do truly miss the concerts and shows that we did already have tickets for and the ones that we would have went to if not for the Pandemic. But other than those things, I lead a simple life, Not long ago, I wrote a blog post about how 20 years of medical issues prepared me for this Pandemic and it is true. I was pretty much in a self imposed Pandemic lockdown because of my health issues and my need for knee surgery. And Winter with all of it's snow is my favorite time of the year.This Winter reminds me of the Winters of my childhood and even though we are getting snow every other day here in PA, I am loving it especially since I now do not have to drive to work in it everyday. I never minded nor was afraid of driving in snow because I had enough experience doing so as hospitals do not give snow days but I do love now being able to stay home in it...I have embraced the snow and even with my knee replacement, have been enjoying the cold fresh air and great exercise that shoveling snow brings..It has made me feel like a kid again who loved the Winters.So to be honest, I am not feeling walled in...I am feeling embraced by my home..I feel it's loving arms around me and my family and this is what I always dreamed retirement would be...I know that I am the exception to the rule right now and I am thankful that I am.
    Great post, my friend!!
    Stay safe, healthy and most of all, HAPPY!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. Debbie, your comment is a breath a fresh air. Yesterday, we took a drive to the beach, on the way, we passed three boys digging in the snow at the end of their driveway. They had THE BIGGEST smiles on their faces. They had red cheeks and cherry noses, but were clearly having the best time making their igloo. Then we passed a road where they hadn’t plowed. Intentionally. The road, one with a smallish hill, was blocked on both sides by huge snowbanks, put there on purpose, to block traffic, so kids could sled down it. And they were. Finally, we counted no less than 30 snowmen and women in the neighborhood. Every one of them was smiling some kind of crooked grin. It really put things into perspective and made me think about my own childhood snowmen, sledding and igloo snowball fights. Those were the best!! It really is all about perspective…even with 4 more inches of fresh snow this morning!! Be well!

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  26. You have hit a nerve! I had to scroll way down to find the comment box!
    I haven't read all your friend's comments but will go back.
    It's a BIG, FAT YES for me! I'm tired of being held captive!
    But I have it so much easier then most of the country. I live in Idaho and in a town that is very conservative. We don't have to wear masks and we can go out to eat. But still, knowing there are others who are in captivity, is bothersome!!

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    1. I think I have hit a nerve, Christine! I’m actually happy I posted about it now, clearly people wanted to talk. And yes, in captivity is a perfect way to put it. I read you posts and see your outings with the grands as they claim their holiday gifts and I am pea green with envy! Take me with you!

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  27. Yes.. walled in is one way to describe it. We have a laptop at our desk in the kitchen that rotates through all the pictures on it. So I never know what picture will pop up next. At first it was great reminiscing through all the little and big things that have happened in our daily lives. But now I will be walking through the kitchen and I am like oh look there we are with the grandkids at the fair, and the beach. Oh look there we are with all of the girls at the quilt show or our favorite Christmas outlet store that we go to annually ....that didn't open this year. Oh look it's all the grandkids sitting on Santa's lap...and there they are when we took them to the trampoline park because they needed to burn off some energy. Oh and that was a fun day at the amusement park eating ice cream cones and riding rides....and look us all being silly at the buffet. And the best are our Christmas pictures in Disneyland....and suddenly it will hit me that we haven't done those things in almost a year now....and I'm consumed with sadness....I had no idea how much fun and how much I enjoyed my life. This pandemic situation has made me realize how extradinary my ordinary life was...and how much I need it back! But I keep telling myself this to shall pass!.....This to shall pass....and because of it I have found gratitude for the magic in
    the ordinary!

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    1. Dena, your comment has touched me...so much in fact that today on a car ride to the beach, I shared it with my family. I think it is an amazing way to look at this entire situation...finding the silver lining in adversity has never been described more wonderfully. Thank you for sharing your amazing attitude and perspective with us. It's exactly what I needed!!

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  28. Kim, this is such a timely and pertinent post. It certainly hit home from all the comments. I think we can all identify with it (accept for the person who wrote something I saw recently...that 2020 had been the absolute best year...WHAT? What planet does she live on?) Anyway, this past almost year has been so tough. We've lost so many friends and family, many to COVID. Thankfully, my grandkids have been able to attend school at least a lot of the time, though not all. My church is now closed for the second time and has been for weeks. We have gone out to eat only twice in almost a year. I hate wearing masks when I do go out. Hubby and I had our 2nd vaccine this week and I had a terrible reaction, but I'm thankful for the vaccine (and praying I won't be sorry). It's been a hard year and even if the pandemic gets under control, I worry about other things. The new govt. seems to be taking away so many rights and throwing money around like it grows on trees. There will be repercussions. BUT! We just have to do our best to hang in there and pray that God will watch over us and make our country the wonderful country it once was. Love & hugs!

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    1. Oh gosh, Cheri, I'm so sorry for all the losses you have had over the past year. It really has been a very tough one. A light at the end of the tunnel would be lovely. I just don't see it yet. Our church hasn't opened at all. It's all Facebook services, and we've made the best of it, but obviously it's not the same. And gosh, I'm sorry about your vaccine reaction. That scares me, too. Of course, that's not an option for us yet. Be well, my friend!! Hugs to you, too and thanks for taking the time to weigh in.

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  29. Hey Kim, I think you did an excellent job of verbalizing how many of us are feeling. As an introvert, when the pandemic began, sheltering at home wasn't a huge lifestyle change for me. I was blessed to take a visit to see my daughters out of state before the post-holiday surges hit and that fed my soul for months (Although I do really miss thrift store shopping!) However, despite living in Texas with one of the highest rates of positive cases, many people in the rural town where I live don't believe "it's real" and don't wear masks. So now I don't feel safe, and "walled in" is an accurate description. Without getting political, I have addressed the pandemic occasionally on my blog. I confess I enjoy escaping through bingewatching, but it does bother me when current day network shows completely ignore the pandemic in the storyline. Thanks for sharing from your heart and inviting others to so the same. ❤

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    1. Cecilia, I was just like you, ok with staying at home, until the holidays. Then it all became too much. We've also bingewatched, but mostly they've been older shows or period dramas, so none of this would come up naturally, but that article really got me thinking about the daytime shows and weekly sitcoms. Escapism is important, but I guess little bit of reality is important too, when it gives people an opportunity to commiserate. Thanks for sharing with us!

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  30. Yes to all you said! I also read through all the comments and respect what everyone has to say. I guess because we really don't have any solid answers about COVID or the vaccine, I can see both sides of the stories. I don't really trust the CDC or any of these famous doctors, because they're always changing their minds about what's right and what's wrong...don't wear a mask, wear a mask, now wear two or more masks! I think a lot of it is politically, financially and fear driven.

    Our area of IL is opening up. Restaurants are open once again for dine-in. We've eaten inside three restaurants in the past month. Masks are still required in public places here, so we do wear our masks while walking through the restaurant and at the table when the server approaches. We wear them in every store (required by law). We pretty much lead our regular lives right now, though we're careful. My husband still goes to work outside the home. He wears a mask at work. We constantly hand wash and disinfect door knobs, handles and light switches. We don't gather in groups of people (not that there's any group gatherings going on!) but we do see my mom on a regular basis and I also see a couple of friends for one-on-one gatherings. With my friends, we don't hug and we sit a few feet apart, but we don't wear masks. Our son was just in for a few days from California. We were all COVID tested before he flew in, but who knows if he or one of us picked it up while he was here. I think it's the unknown that's the scariest part.

    As for the vaccine, I know it's controversial and I respect everyone's opinion and right to do what they think is best for themselves, but me, my husband, our son and my mom are all choosing not to get it. We just don't know enough about the vaccine or the long-term effects. We do not want to be lab rats. We are keeping healthy by eating a healthy, clean diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, taking supplements, hand washing and wearing our masks in public. I am NOT saying any of this means we won't get COVID. I'm not naive - I know there are no guarantees.

    As for hitting a winter wall - I have crashed into that full speed! It has been bitter cold here for the entire month of February so far. We're in the single digits during the day and below zero at night. We have over two feet of snow sitting on the ground and fresh snow every couple of days. It seems like spring will never arrive. It's too cold to go on walks outside, so we're really missing that.

    Thank you for the healthy discussion on these topics. I like that (so far!) no one has argued with anyone else and that everyone has remained respectful of varying opinions.

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    1. Melanie, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I was so hesitant to write this post, but I’m so glad I did. I think everyone has contributed to the conversation with such grace. It’s something I know we all feel passionate about, so I’m happy that I was able to provide a forum. The back and forth is unnerving, there’s no doubt about it and that’s terrible since it leaves us all with less trust in the information we receive. It’s hard to operate like that. I do hope it changes, but who knows. I’m more confident in my hope that spring will show up…even if it is later than sooner, but like you, I’m ready for it now!!

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  31. Hi Kim. I'll throw in my 2 cents, for what it's worth. Walled in? No. Quite the opposite. I work full-time in an "essential" business. For the past 10 months I have worn a mask for 8-9 hours a day, every work day -- 40+ hours a week. I have to. I have no choice, if I want to keep my job. When I get in my car at the end of my shift I pull off that stupid mask and breathe again. I've seen the absolute worst of humanity this past year. In the early months of the pandemic people were shaming other people because they walked the wrong way down the aisle (that's when we had arrows to corral people into going the "right" direction). People grumbling to me and anyone else within earshot about how terrible our store is for not having fully stocked shelves. As if there was something we could do about the fact that people where buying and hoarding product, or we couldn't even get product initially because the demand outweighed the supply. No one thinks twice about getting right up into the face of a store employee, touching them on the arm to get their attention. Social distancing from a store associate? What a joke! We don't matter. They don't care about us. But the good news is that with all this I've remained healthy. Not even a cold. I haven't taken the vaccine, even though I'm in the age risk category and it is available to me. I'm not sure I'll ever get vaccinated. Seems if I was going to get COVID I'd already have had it with all the contact I get being in the front line and people not using any common sense when it comes to workers like me. I have to submit myself for a temperature check whenever I walk into my job, but the customers don't have to have a temperature check. Heck, they can come in coughing and sneezing if they want to. Do I sound disgruntled? I am. Truly. I'm not worried about the pandemic. I'm worried about the loss of freedom in this country I've called home for over 70 years. I cry sometimes when I watch the news. When I see freedom of speech being eroded daily. When I see politicians taking aim at members of the opposing party and meaning to destroy their lives because they disagree with a culturally correct opinion.

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  32. (Well, apparently I'm long-winded on this subject because my initial comment was too long for posting. So, I'll finish with a second comment.) I grew up in the Eisenhower/Kennedy years. I remember the patriotism our community shared, no matter with what political party the citizens were affiliated. Everyone agreed that the USA was the best place in the world to live. Now, sadly, if you feel love for our country you're a racist, or worse. There's a line from the movie The American President where the character Sydney Ellen Wade says to the President, "“How do you have patience for people who claim they love America, but clearly can't stand Americans?” That line keeps repeating over and over in my head. That's how I feel right now. But I regress. I said I don't feel "walled in", and I don't. My home is my refuge, where I don't have to wear a mask or listen to the griping and grumbling of people who only have to wear a mask for however long it takes to get their errands done. I'm faced with the "realities" of the pandemic way more than I want to be. So for me, reading blogs that seem to ignore COVID are a refuge for me. Because, honestly, I want to escape it for the short amount of time I'm awake. I want to read about home decor, and DIY, and I want to watch Youtube channels that teach me something new. I want to believe that there's more to life than COVID. Sorry if that offends others. Sorry if that's self-centered and ignoring the elephant in the room. I do listen to the news and I know what's going on. I probably know more about both sides of the story than 90% of the people I meet in the store. I'll draw my own conclusions. But I won't be writing about the pandemic on my blog because I think there are worse things in the world than that. We can wear a mask and/or get vaccinated, or just stay home to guard against COVID. But what can we do to guard ourselves against the shredding of the Constitution? The very document that for 233 we've cherished as the greatest achievement in our country's history? I'm not against anyone blogging about what's been placed on their heart and mind to share. And if that's writing about the pandemic, great! However, I don't agree with a previous comment made that somehow if one doesn't address it on their blog they're not facing reality. Cuz sometimes reality stinks and we need a dose of frivolity to get through it. There. I've said it. Thanks for letting me give my honest opinion. Love you, friend. Hugs.

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    1. After sleeping on this, I felt I left on a very negative note, and that does not reflect well on my relationship with Jesus Christ. So, I apologize for that. I say I am a woman of faith, and if that's so then I must trust Christ with all of my life, including the pandemic and the future of our country. So, although I am concerned about these things, I don't live as a woman who has no hope. My hope is in the Lord. He is fully aware of everything that's going on now and everything that is to come. I can trust Him with my job, my home, my finances, my family. . .everything. My rants yesterday were really uncalled for A day is coming when Christ will set all things right. I look forward to that day. <3

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    2. Hi Nancy,

      I read all of your comments and I really didn’t think any of them were negative. I thought you came across as passionate, and who can blame you? I think most of us are passionate about this topic. It’s been a rough year and everyone is experiencing it so differently across this vast land of ours. You always express yourself so well and I’m grateful you shared your thoughts with us.

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