No matter what I’m called, though, I intend to follow the instructions to the best of my ability. Unlike the president, I believe in science. While the science of COVID-19 is still being discovered, I have a lot more faith in what the experts say than in the series of lies, misinformation, and stupid uninformed self-serving comments of President Trump.
So here I am stuck at home. Not a terrible sentence. After all, I’m retired and am used to being here, enjoy being here. How different can it be?
Turns out my life was more varied than I realized. Each week I went to a meeting first on one college campus and then on another to participate in research groups. I had a weekly dinner with a longtime colleague and a very good friend. I would lunch with my nephew, go to Einstein’s for coffee with a neighbor, and eat out with a fellow runner. I would go to operas and do the weekly shopping. I’d drool at items in the hardware store or Home Depot.
All that has been put on hold, leaving gaps in my days, gaps that, in the manner time works, will be filled one way or another.
The question is: How?
First by doing many of the things I always have. These postings, for example. Completing a draft on my latest book. Walking the dog. Walking me at a fairly fast pace thrice a week.
To fill up some of the newly available time I use emails and phone to maintain contact with those I previously saw in person. I’m reading more. Our local library has always delivered books to the home. I figured there’d be a constant flow. Alas, it stopped operation a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, I still have a good supply, and I can check out ebooks from the library. I read the morning newspaper and do not subject myself to like input for the rest of the day. I discovered the Met has been streaming a daily opera. There’s three hours right there!
One time-filler I love is the result of entry into my fifth second childhood. I got a hankering a few months ago to build a model train layout. The trouble was, my current home seems to have no space for it. Attempts to take our office or guest bedroom for the project did not generate family enthusiasm, and neither did sacrificing the living or dining rooms.
I literally walked through my home for months trying to figure out a location. The most hopeful spot was the garage, also known as the storage shed, but I could figure no way to find the needed space without blocking access to what was stored.
Then inspiration hit. I could build a two foot by four-foot table and put it on wheels. Then, when I’d need access to some object, I could just slide the table out of the way. I constructed the table.
The trouble was with the dimensions. Two by four is small, really small, for a train. Then I discovered N-gauge. Everything about it is tiny, often a challenge for my big fingers. But nontrivial layouts on the small table are possible. I got started.
Then the virus came. When I realized its potential impact on my life, I ordered online the parts I would need. Now, when I get bored with everything else, or just want a change, I work on my tiny railroad, usually for a half hour or less. It’s mind diverting, time consuming, and fun.
How are you filling your excess hours these days? I would love it if anyone wished to share. I’ll be glad to use it as a posting, or to merge several offerings (all by Anonymous unless you wish otherwise). Just send them to me at email@example.com.
Meanwhile, be safe. Remember this will end.