The kiddo has been seriously missing his Nana and Grammy (my mother and grandmother), who he usually sees for a full day once a week. At first, he enjoyed FaceTime calls with them, but over the last few week, he’s mostly refused to even do that, saying that he “wants to see their whole body.” So on Sunday, we finally went and saw them in person.
Before we came over, my father set up chairs and caution taped off their front walk with well more than a six foot distance around them. I told the kiddo we had to be very careful when we went over, and that if he couldn’t stick to the rules and stay outside the caution tape, we wouldn’t be able to stay. He was able to listen, and we had a great time playing near them for a couple hours.
My mother had brought out a bunch of toys for us to play with, and we were able to chat and hang out while sticking to strict social distancing. It was a lovely time, and one I’m looking forward to again soon. It might not be the same as being able to hug them, but seeing and talking to them in real life for the first time in six weeks felt pretty great.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. One of our neighbors started a thread in our hyper-local neighborhood Facebook group (there are approximately seventy of us in it who live within a few blocks of each other), asking everyone to share what they were looking for that might be out at the stores right now. I mentioned that I was running low on yeast (onto my last jar thanks to all the baking lately), but that I wasn’t quite out yet.
I got home from a walk later that day (or the day after, who really knows about time any more) and found a few packets of yeast stuck in my door jam. I know I brag about my neighborhood all the time, but we live in a seriously special place.
2. We had most of our meals shared again with the one neighbor house, even if we didn’t eat them all together. We switched off making the meals and then dropping them off to each other. Between that and ordering take out a couple of times, I only made maybe two meals of the last seven. With all the work I’ve been doing at home, not having to cook often has been a big deal. Even when life goes back to normal, I could see us continuing sharing the cooking labor long term.
3. We spent more time in the garden again this week, and I finally planted my tomato and pepper seeds. They are now sitting in the garden window in the kitchen. Wish me luck – this is the first time I’ve ever attempted to grow peppers and tomatoes from seed (other than the tomato volunteers that have popped up in the garden beds the last couple of years).
I also spread quite a bit more of the straw onto the raised beds while my husband did a thorough job pruning the raspberries. If it wasn’t for the hectic pace of work and the pandemic circling the world, I’d really enjoy how much attention we’ve been able to focus on the garden this year.
4. We’ve had more neighborhood happy hours in the cul de sac again this week. No birthday parties this time around, but we’ve found ourselves out talking almost every sunny afternoon. At my last count, we’ve had neighbors from at least eight or nine different houses stop by to chat at some point or another.
While we’ve known our neighbors pretty well, we’ve gotten to know each other even better over the past six weeks or so. When our social time is limited to our neighborhood and conversations from at least six feet apart, we’ve spent more time conversing with the people who live in close proximity with us than anyone else these days. Zoom chats and phone calls are great, but they just aren’t the same as face to face time.
5. Thanks to almost never leaving our neighborhood, I haven’t filled up my gas tank since mid-February and I still have more than half a tank left. Other than the visit to see my family on Sunday, I haven’t left the city of Kirkland since February 27th (or a slight bit into the neighboring city on walks). While we definitely long to get adventuring again, I do love not driving, both for the ecofrugal aspect but also because I simply don’t enjoy it. Walking is so much lovelier.
I actually went on three runs this past week (Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday). While my heel hurt a bit after the first two runs, it felt better pretty quickly with some massage. Perhaps I shouldn’t have run again on Thursday, but it felt pretty great, and I still kept it to a short twenty minutes. I might be pushing it a little bit, but I’m trying to be careful not to push it too much. Otherwise, I went for a walk every day, soaking up every bit of sunshine I could.
What’s the situation look like where you are? Do you feel like you’re settling into a new routine these days?