Friday night, I went to bed feeling almost….giddy. I had made an amazing pork chop dinner, which was so good my husband came over to high five me. I’ve never considered myself a great cook, so when I do ace something it’s always a really pleasant surprise. I happily ate a yummy dinner, retired upstairs to watch my drag queen show, and fell into a deep sleep. Saturday was supposed to be near 60 degrees, and rather sunny. I couldn’t wait to get out in the yard! It seems people fall into a couple of different camps during the “stay at home measures”. Some are bored to tears and others are so busy that they yearn for down time. I’m in the latter category. After weeks of being insanely busy at work and cooped up in my home office all day, I yearned to be out in the fresh air.
Saturday morning I bounced down the stairs with a spring in my step and coffee on my mind. After grinding beans and making a fresh cup for my favorite mug, I grabbed my gloves, my new powerwasher I’d treated myself to, and headed out to the back yard. Despite cutting my finger while putting together the powerwasher, I was undeterred. I fired it up and headed over to a fence we shared with the neighbors. It was a white fence that was covered in green stuff. Pollen? Algae? I had no idea. Within minutes the fence was sparkling white again. I headed over to our porch and then patios, cleaning both. My favorite is an old wooden fence near our patio that my husband said he likely needed to sand and paint. The powerwasher made it look like new. I spent much of the day cleaning our garage siding, our shed, the fences, the patio and the porch. It felt so relaxing. After a while, the rest of the family came out and started tackling jobs. I continued to powerwash the patio furniture. By the end of the day, we had a new outdoor rug out, the patio table cleaned and ready to go with a new umbrella stand we had purchased a few years ago (but it didn’t fit our old umbrella). The rug for the porch arrived, as did the chairs, and my husband began assembling them. Once we have everything set up, the lights up, and some warm weather, I think the space will look quite nice. We also upgraded our wifi router to a mesh system so we now have some wifi in the back yard so I can work out there sometimes when the weather is nice. With us being stuck indoors, it felt like time to get the outdoor space in better shape so we can feel like we have more room and more usable space. Now if the weather would only cooperate!
Sunday the weather took a turn for the rainy, which was hard after having a semi decent day on Saturday. I drank way too much coffee, and lounged way more than I had expected to. Days like that are luxurious but also a bit dangerous. The less you do, the less you WANT to do, but I could see my daughter getting antsy, so I told her to come with me to the kitchen. She is happiest when she is a helper, so I asked if she would like to help with dinner and some baking. Her whole face lit up and she shook her head yes. I’m not fancy so I pulled out some brownie box mix, some muffin mix, and we set about making brownies for dessert and cranberry orange muffins for breakfast. Then she helped me saute some onions in preparation for “cheesy meatloaf” and prep for “taco pasta” (one of the kids’ favorite meals) for today. Before long the house smelled amazing and full bellies were in effect. Tonight has been designated as “leftover night” where anyone can pick any leftover and have that for dinner. Which leads me to a strange yet interesting conversation with my dad I had a couple of weeks ago.
I was chatting with my dad on the phone and we were discussing how we were coping with the “stay at home” situation. He made a comment that occasionally my stepmother will eat leftovers if they order food in from a restaurant, but that he doesn’t. I asked why, and he said “Well, I didn’t grow up doing that”. This surprised me, and I dug a little further. Apparently, while eating “leftovers” is very common in the US, where I spent most of my life, in England, according to my dad, it’s not common at all. I’m not fully sure if they don’t eat leftovers cooked at home, but apparently while restaurants in the US offer to go containers, this is not common or usual in the UK. I was quite stunned by this. I’d simply never noticed this fact in all my years of travelling between the two countries. I told my dad that couldn’t possibly be true. He laughed and said it wasn’t common at all over there and when my grandparents had come to visit they were shocked and a bit grossed out by the fact people took home food from restaurants here. I tried to think, and realized I had never once brought back food from a restaurant in the UK. I’d never been offered a to go box there either. When visiting family I’d never eaten leftovers there. It all seemed so strange. My dad said he’d never done “leftovers” or brought a “doggie bag” home because it just felt so strange after growing up in the UK. He’d never got in the habit of eating them, and I think honestly, the thought of it skeeves him out a little. Looking back, I also don’t remember my mom ever making leftovers either. I am shooketh. Such a funny little nuance but I never in all my years noticed that my family never did leftovers. Meanwhile, I don’t mind them at all.
After getting some jobs done, like dishes, cleaning the guinea pig cage and kitty litter box, getting the kids to bed, and tossing in some laundry, my husband and I settled in to finish binge watching Afterlife2. It’s the 2nd season of a story about a man who is suicidal after his beloved wife dies from cancer. It’s gut wrenching, hilarious, and I am left hoping they continue with another season because it’s so bizarre and great. Some scenes left me ugly crying with a box of tissues in my lap, while others had me howling with laughter. It’s a funny, well written show.
As the weekend wound down, I was left a little melancholy. I felt rested, excited for our outdoor space to come together, and to try some new things. I’m antsy of course, as is just about everyone, and I often get the urge to get in the car and take a long, leisurely drive someplace. The house is still a wreck, and us all being stuck at home hasn’t quite spurred on any domestic miracles, but we’re tackling one space at a time. Right now I am nervously thinking about our planned trips this year, as it’s possible they may get cancelled, but hope lingers they won’t. Vacations are going to take on even bigger importance after this. I think getting out into the world is going to feel amazing, as long as we can do it safely.