Dear Sunday Letter friends,
What a week.
The coronavirus continues to spread, the stock market is vacillating, we survived Friday the 13th, and today is the Ides of March.
Oh, and I launched my second book!
Even with all the craziness, my Gene, Everywhere book launch week has been a thrill for me! If you participated in my virtual book launch party—thank you! If you have already purchased a book (or two or three)—hardback, paperback, or ebook—thank you! And if you’ve already posted a review on Amazon and Goodreads, YAYYYYY!!!
Everything feels surreal right now as events have been cancelled and people are told to practice social distancing. Until this week, I’d never heard the phrase social distancing. Confession: Not to minimizing what’s going on, as an (extroverted) introvert, I’ve been doing this my whole life:))
Calming Effect of Nature
Thank goodness for nature.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, a silent walk does wonders. The greening of the trees reminds me that no matter how dire things may seem, spring follows winter. The birds keep on chirping. Listen and feel your spirits lift.
In two days’ time, our daffodils have exploded into blooms, delicate yet strong. This variety is my favorite. It’s called Thalia. I pretend they are named after me (only spelled differently).?
A few months ago, we were convinced a critter of some sort had eaten all our newly-planted tulip bulbs. Despite our doubts, tulips are poking their heads up all around. I love walking the flowerbed borders and studying each one.
All throughout the neighborhood, clematis vines spiral along fences and trellises, their tiny buds holding tight and growing stronger each day. Soon petals will unfurl until they stretch wide open, strong and brilliant, with no regard for human or economic condition.
Bees and butterflies are busy. Even though we don’t always treat them as we should, they work tirelessly for the benefit of mankind.
The lessons of nature are more important now than ever. If you can, get out and take in the calming effects of nature.
Thank goodness, nature is still open.
Panic at Walmart
We learned in school that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
I believe the opposite of nature’s calm is the widespread panic at Walmart. I’m no sociologist, but I have a theory.
In my opinion, we are seeing a breakdown of consumer confidence. During times of worry, times of concern, people need to feel like they have control over something. And so we stockpile items like toilet paper. Really, we aren’t that different from squirrels hoarding nuts for winter.
We stockpile fear and spread it lickety split. From end of times to conspiracy theories, various opinions and beliefs run rampant in my Facebook feed. It’s exhausting. And it adds fuel to the fire, y’all. We don’t need it.
Here’s some good news—toilet paper is not something we import. Since we manufacture it in the United States, we aren’t at risk of a supply chain interruption of toilet paper. Empty shelves happen because people make panic purchases.
Annabelle in 2015, before TP became a commodity…
No one knows what’s going to happen, but I believe this—there’s a virus for which we have no vaccine, no protocol, no treatment. If we look at what’s happening in Italy (and it happened very quickly), common sense dictates we take measures to keep it from spreading. I don’t have to see it on my street to believe it.
Call me crazy, but I trust science and the World Health Organization and the CDC. I trust common sense too. And I want to understand the facts. Taking precautions seems smart to me to protect the elderly and the immunocompromised.
I hope those who have panic purchased are doing it because they plan to stay home and do their part to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In the meantime…
I’ll be doing what I always do.
Walking Lucy and Annabelle.
Watching our tulips grow.
Digging in the soil and preparing for spring gardening.
Looking on the bright side.
Checking on my neighbors.
Watching Outlander and a few movies I’ve been wanting to see.
Washing my hands better than before. (I’ve begun saying the Lord’s Prayer as I wash to make sure I wash long enough.)
For the immediate future, I won’t be going to large gatherings mainly because I don’t want to spread the virus to my Momma. Most have been canceled anyway.
The Flip Side?
Small businesses will quickly feel the pain of this pandemic. Now would be a great time to start your online Christmas shopping and purchase a few gift cards from local creators and area restaurants.
Now would be a great time to do some of those things you’ve been wanting to accomplish at home. Organize. Clean. Rest. Read. Spend more time with family. Play board games. Read. Visit with a neighbor. Limit your coronavirus news intake. Read.
Maybe in the end, some good will come from this.
Look for the silver lining. It’s usually there.
Things Momma Says
I have eaten a whole pan of cornbread, last night and today.
In other news, the new season of Ozark starts tonight! I highly recommend it.
See you next time, Sunday Letter friends. Be safe, smart, and kind.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.