Coping, Knitting, New Vocabulary, Spring, Stay Mighty, writing

Hello. Are you ok?

Hello my readers. Are you out there? Are you ok? I would like to share a few virtual hugs. In 350 words — no, it has gone to 424. Bear with me.

Some new conditions of the human race have floated to the surface of this strange and difficult time — and I don’t just mean words and conditions such as “quarantine.”

“Thank you for zooming in today,” my online yoga  class began this morning. “One foot in front of another, one word in front of another,” came from my virtual writing group. “Don’t bother to brush your hair,” I began when inviting friends to knit together on our computers. “Elbow bump!” back when we could be that close. I have a “yarn fairy” now, not a store, at Marblehead Knits. I don’t believe most postings, or stats, or links. I stick to one time a day on the NYT site for a morning update. One. One. One. I recognize anxiety a mile away now.

“Are you wearing masks?” is a question that makes me stop, drop and roll in my stomach. But I have bandanas and hair elastics for when that has to happen. It should happen.

This will end. We will be altered from this global catastrophe — our politics, our friends, our handshakes, our finances to name a few. This cannot be helped. I stay in quarantine aware that suddenly I am “elderly” and qualify for early shopping hours and that there ARE early shopping hours for over-60. Horrified, pissed off and acutely aware that going grey was a choice and trendy and now a sticker on my forehead.

But there are flip-sides about discovering so many hours in the day I had treated casually back in January. Spring — birdsongs, buds, tiny narcissi, my father’s hyacinth greet me and I linger to see them daily. Friends have reached out, ones I have not seen for forty years. I have a knitting blog alexandradaneknits to make that circle wider, the resources more accessible. I have a daughter and a dog moved in, her art studio set up in the sunny kitchen. Her daily art posting keeps us all thinking of new ideas. I set up a yoga space for online classes. I pulled out, washed and placed by my espresso machine all the grandmothers’ teacups and post my daily try at being a barista. Who would have thought that machine, last holiday’s indulgence order, would become essential?

Send me your resources. I want to throw them into the stratosphere and open the world when it has become more closed, despite. Thanks for reading. You are awesome.

Be well. Stay mighty. Stay home.

Alexandra Dane

lotus cup

 

 

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flowers, gratitude, Spring, Women

Hi, Lovely.

This weekend, if you are of a certain age, you have permission to wear white. This edict has been debunked by fashionistas recently; white has become the new black. Hurrah — it is fresh and clean. Only white is not-so-flattering on my butt. So I strategically wear this bright, happy color with layers and smile at my shocked grandmother in the mirror.

I am also of the age where May brings up a flood of memories and gratitude.

Every scent and sound throws me back to the women who cultivated my love of the dirt. I remember you all — both grandmothers with their carefully chosen long-stemmed rose bushes, my mother with the wild willful planters of fiery red geraniums and mint. I wish they could see that I plant herbs close together and crush lavender as I walk by.

This spring in Seattle I have the privilege to see the season of roses, peonies and Mock Orange bushes. My morning walks with Olive, in my white linen and wool sweater (Seattle sports a “marine layer” until noon) are sumptuous and breathtaking. I snap masses of photos and inhale Abraham Darby up my nose, all while leaning dangerously into the gardens of strangers.

I have to talk on the phone away from the window, the birdsong is so loud.

I put up the Silver Palate Minted Spinach and Snap Pea soup recipe, fragrant and bright green, to drink cold out of a jar. I simmer down pot-fulls of strawberries. I plant another round of sorrel, tarragon and basil in foraged containers.

And like the women who showed me how to cultivate, I, too, go down to the beds in the morning and greet my garden. For these women not only taught me to plant deep and water well, they showed me that our gardens, as all things that bring me joy, need to be thanked.

So I am the pajama-clad, bed-haired and graying lady speaking to my little garden at six in the morning. “Hello, Lovely,” I usually begin, then bury my nose in a blossom. I swear they nod at me.

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