It’s been mentioned by several of my friends, that while I have Facebook friends, I am not all that Facebook-friendly. I am so sorry for not staying in touch better. A writer knows that time on the computer watching YouTube videos and following endless threads on social media is time that you are not writing. Since I have been behind on my latest book since the fall of 2018, I know better than to go there when my time is limited. So, over the last few years, I have become more dependent on my iPhone to communicate. I tend to text more than using platforms, as it seems I always have my phone with me, not so my computer.
I know everyone’s lives are much altered these days. Same here, it’s been crazy. As many of you are finding out, staying at home all the time means more housework, more cooking, more cleaning, more laundry, and more long-avoided or just-thought-up home projects. You’d think you’d have more time to get caught up, being stuck at home. But it works out to be the exact opposite. However, we now have a new roof, new shrubs, new mulch, new double ovens, and a new microwave. The garage is clean, windows washed, the financial files re-ordered, closets and drawers organized, attic neatened, and gardens tended to. And . . . wait for it . . . I finished my new book! (560 pages—Yikes!).
Typically, I am up by 4 or 5 to write, bathed and breakfasted by 8, and sometimes up for a walk on the beach if the weather and tides cooperate. Then I drive to Supply to “fetch” Cohen (the McDonald’s at 211 is mid-way between our house and Kim’s). Once home, I do my best to replace his teacher and school friends for a few hours then endeavor to keep him amused until five, when it’s time to take him back to the drop off point. At four-years-old, he has the attention span of a kitten on catnip, and my carefully thought-out and planned-out play ideas, are in the wind within mere minutes. We bake, we bike, we have pool time, sand box time, reading time, iPad game time, and cleanup-the-toys time. Sadly, rarely is there naptime anymore. And I could really use one most days!
Returning home, it’s time to get dinner ready, then clean up and watch the news with a glass of wine, or six. I am usually asleep on the couch before Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy is over. Good thing they are all re-runs. By eleven, I have managed to move to the bed. The cycle continues until the weekend when we try to get shopping and other chores done while Cohen is with his parents. Every other month, we take the RV out, usually to our favorite campground (only 26 minutes away). Cohen loves to go camping, and it’s the best way to social distance and get out of the house and the routine. There is a lovely lake with an asphalt path around the perimeter for walking, biking, or riding in a golf cart. The campsites are generously spaced out and they all have fire pits. You can look it up online, Willow Tree RV Resort and Cottages in Longs, SC. It’s great place to take kids.
We’ve really been careful about following all the mandates, but as you know, we live in paradise and people from all over want to come here for their vacations. A two-week quarantine is out of the question when they can only afford to be away from work or home for a week. So our numbers are going up everyday. Our church, where Cohen was attending preschool, has decided not to open the school next year, so Cohen will now be going to school in Wilmington instead. Which means we will not have him every day anymore (picture a lot of sad emojis here). Kim and Zak, and his other grandparents, who live in Leland, will have to get him to and from school and mind him while Kim works from home. That’s just too much driving for us on a daily basis.
So our lives will be evolving into new routines. Everyday there is something new to worry about, deal with, contemplate the pros and cons of, or pray over. Never one for change, I am adapting and trying my best to keep upbeat. I know God has his hand in all this. I just wish he’d stop stirring the pot and adding new “ingredients.” Kids need to go back to school, medical personnel need vacations, and everyone needs to reconnect with family and friends.
I have written this to explain why I haven’t posted anything for quite some time. I wanted you to know it’s not because I’m depressed or lazy. I am still as mindful as ever, as I move Post-its from one pile to another nearly every day. “Email_____, Call_____”, between others that say “Pay Bills,” “Figure out what to do with skanky hair,” “Read reviews on new vacuums,” “Figure out how to get the car registration renewed,” “Google when it will be time to see if there is an AA Zoom meeting forming online,” “Does Amazon have a program called Over Buying Anonymous?”
But here I am, actually getting another book out. Whoo-hoo! Should be out mid-July. It would have been nice if I’d had it out for those sheltering in place since March, but it appears there will be plenty of time coming up for people to read this fall. If you’d like to read the first chapters, they are on my website: www.jacquelinedegroot.com
I pray everyone stays safe from CO-VID. Interesting thing, 19 used to be my favorite number. Not so much anymore. So much anxiety and fear of the unknown is affecting our communities. I hope our leaders can stay strong, make the smart decisions, and that people stop feeling so entitled and listen to them. I hope you are happy, we all have much to be thankful for; many of us are sheltering in place in beautiful homes. As I said, God’s got his hand in this, and everything’s going to be all right. We just have to be kind and help each other get through it. Take care of you.