Does it seem like this isolation is never going to end? As much as I know that someday it will, and we will be able to get back to our fun times, meetings and social events, for now we just have to find a way to bridge the gap. But boy, is it a big gap! I know now what it is that bothers me about the term “social distance”. I looked up ‘distance’ in a thesaurus, and what I found was enlightening. Some of the synonyms include all these that just emphasize the gulf between, not only physically (which is what we need to focus on, and not that far) but emotionally. Emotional synonyms for distance included remoteness, farness, aloofness, detachment, stand-offishness, unfriendliness, haughtiness, hauteur, coolness, coldness, reserve, reticence, restraint, stiffness, formality, unresponsiveness. Physical synonyms included range, reach, far away, far off, afar, gap, separation. None of these have the feeling of connection across that gap. So, I am going to stop using that term, even turning it around to “distantly social”, emphasis on the social, still has that undercurrent of separation. But is a six foot space between friends really such a distance? How about taking that word out altogether and change to safely social? I think I can live with that a bit better. And I put it into practice last week, meeting my friend, Chryste, at the Folk Art Center’s back parking lot for a visit and lunch in a shady spot. She lives about the same number of miles north of there as I do south, so it was the perfect spot to meet. I haven’t seen her in seven months, as our longarm guild stopped meeting.
I have to tell you a funny story. While we were having our picnic and chat, a car came driving slowly by and the woman at the wheel looked us over. She then parked a short distance away. A few minutes later, another one came, slowing down to look us over, then moving on. Then a third car, but this one just wheeled into the parking space next to my friend’s car. We were looking at each other, and all the empty spots everywhere and wondering, when she got out of the car, came around the back and it was someone I knew! She exclaimed “what are you doing here?” And I said we were having lunch. She jokingly said “you are in our spot” and we both started laughing. No wonder we were being stared at, LOL!! Turns out, a small group from her guild meets in that space regularly to have show and tell, and just safely socialize. They moved down to the next set of parking spaces to set up their picnic. We had to walk over after we ate to show them our show and tell for the day, and see some of theirs. I came home and made a phone call to a guild buddy. Our local guild area group should figure out a place for us to do this too.
After a couple of visits to see friends at wineries, I have decided I feel safer where there are no strangers getting too close that might not be wearing a mask. I don’t care for wine, so I am also uncomfortable taking up space but not supporting the business. So, I invited a couple of close friends to my veranda to bring a lunch and have social time. If we sit back from the table just a bit, we can be far enough apart to be safe. It helps that all of us are very careful and stay home a lot. I set a bit of a table for us, with my Colors of August placemats to show where to sit, with the end spots closer to one edge than the center. I put out food covers just in case the bugs came around. Cloth napkins with flower pot rings make it just a bit special, and I think this is OK with these particular women. The cloths went straight into the wash when lunch was over.
I put my Cafe sign in front of the planter of yellow torenia for a centerpiece.
Oh, yes, sushi for me!! Everyone brought their own lunches.
Along with going hiking with My Sweet Babboo, I think these safely social lunches qualify as getting outside. That is just one of several recommendations in an article on WebMD that might help on Dealing with Coronavirus Social Isolation and Anxiety. Taking some more of those ideas, here are some things that might help our mental health. In the Get Busy category, put together a fun jigsaw puzzle like this one at C&T Publishing. Did you know they will give you a discount code when you sign up for their newsletter? They don’t send newsletters often, and sometimes there are sales. Thimble Blossoms Sewing Jigsaw Puzzle
Work a fun puzzle book slanted to quilters – Happy Valley Variety Puzzles
Plan a new project with this Quilter’s Project Planner
Or just have some fun coloring with Coloring Books and Pencils like these. Some of these patterns might be good inspiration for some free motion quilting, too.
In the Go Outdoors category, do some gardening, even if it is just getting a pretty potted plant for your kitchen or den. Green living things lower our stress levels.
My tomato plants have been so prolific this year! They looked denuded of leaves lately, and you can see that in the photo of my veranda table above, and I found out why. Four tomato hornworms were destroying the leaves and had begun to munch on the green tomatoes. My Sweet Babboo had to help me as I am a real wimp when it comes to bugs. I tell him that it is his job to slay the dragons. He picked them off the plants, and bagged them up to go in the trash. But speaking of tomatoes, oh my, this sandwich full of fresh tomato right off the plant (well washed of course!) made a flavorful lunch.
Another suggestion in the article is to help others, and you know by now that helping others is usually on my list. I’ll be delivering the last of the Safelight spa bags by the end of the month.
And I’ll be helping with the promotion of the Sunset Dahlia Quilt for Bullington Gardens. Raffle tickets are on sale now, and they will ship free to winners out of our area. See my page Sunset Dahlia for Bullington Gardens to see all the close up photos and more information.
As we all need things to look forward to, I’m working on planning and doing some prep work for my annual Autumn Jubilee. I am getting excited about this, the plans are coming along, and the line up of vendor sponsors and prizes is amazing!
So, I’ll be sewing this week on special secret projects, and enjoying the “Fog” creeping in on little cat feet. If you missed my post on the Carl Sandburg house, click on Hiking Connemara.
I know this post is long, and if you’ve made it this far, I’d love to know how you are staying safely social, and what plans you are making for the next few months. Stay well and be happy, dear friends!