Seeing Friends 10 Feet Apart

Since the weather turned warmer, I have been able to see two of my friends, Gigi and Indira –one at a time, of course.  We sit on the screened in porch or outside ten feet apart and can talk for a couple of hours.  It’s always breezy this time of year, usually a wind off the ocean. I feel both Gigi and Indira have been holed up and behaving with extreme I feel safe with them.  It helps a lot.  Once a week, I talk with Melenie, my chosen daughter.  Dale comes in on some Mondays and works in the office downstairs for a few hours.  My poetry group meets via ZOOM the last Wednesday in every month. We each read two poems we’ve sent out ahead of time so that everyone can critique it.

That’s my social life.  In what used to be normal times, I enjoyed having people to dinner every other week and giving a party every so often.  I’ve always been good at organizing parties and I like to mix up the invitees. That was already happening less as our circle diminishes.  Now not at all – perhaps never again will it be safe to have largish groups

I am about to start freezing spinach.  Today I have to thin the beets and take winter squash seeds down to the lower garden by the road to replant what didn’t come up yet.

Until I check it out, I have no idea how well the sprouting went.  I have one raised bed with three kinds of butternut and a slightly longer raised bed with five kinds of winter squash in it.  Woody planted pole beans in the lower garden, but something has already begun to eat the tiny bean plants as fast as they come up.

Yesterday, we actually cleaned.  We have been enjoying so much working in the gardens that we’ve neglected the house until it embarrassed even us, how dirty it was.  We did the upstairs – livingroom, upstairs bathroom, bedrooms and my office. We’ll do the downstairs the next rainy day.  Kitchen, diningroom, assistant’s office, storeroom, bathroom.  I can’t pretend we enjoy cleaning the way we enjoy working outside, but we did it and it felt good to have those rooms no longer a combination of a Gothic basement and the local dump.

Mosquitoes have arrived in swarms. Those first bites of summer itch like crazy.  Woody has had several ticks to remove.  We have our first bluebirds ever.  Woody saw a hummingbird sipping from the money plants – also called honesty or lunaria.  They grow wild around out house and into the woods. I put out a feeder for them yesterday.  I haven’t seen orioles this year but Dale has two pair.

I’ve written a couple of poems this week, besides revising recent poems. There’s one I just can’t seem to get right.  It must be in its 5th draft and isn’t there yet, wherever there is with that ornery poem. The galleys went off to my editor, holed up in South Carolina.  Glad to be done with that. It took a week.

There’s a march in Wellfleet to protest the murder of George Floyd.  I wish I could join it, but my very painful ankle means I can’t ever march anyplace.  I can walk around the garden with a cane,  but can’t join marches probably ever again.  I wonder how many demonstrations I’ve taken part in so far in my life, as well as the ones I organized. It must be least fifty, probably more. Probably a lot more.

We have been eating very well during the months of isolation.  Might as well cook something special since we’re stuck here. A combination of old favorites and new  recipes from one of my cookbooks or something found online. It’s one of the pleasures still open to us, along with the pleasure of each other’s company, the cats and the garden.  Reading.  Watching what TV“I can stand and of course, the preferred narcotic now, Netflix.   

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