LIFE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA

Author’s note: This was a hard post for me to write. The internet and social media are drowning in negativity, drama, prejudice, and self-absorption. I’ve been working on this for nearly a week and have not felt comfortable hitting the publish button. The content is so mundane and too much about me. I assume most of us who have the option to stay home are facing similar challenges and changes to our routine during the enforced quarantine. So if blogging means being transparent and authentic, then I need to share. All photos are mine.

Life in the time of cholera. Apologies to Garcia Marquez. The Spanish word cólera can refer to both the disease cholera, but also to extreme anger or rage. It’s related to the little-used English word choleric, which means wrathful.

Life these days is impacted by the coronavirus which has disease-like manifestations. It is life in the midst of calamity.  “Cholera” alludes both to the plague that is ravaging the Earth’s people as well as to the provocation of societal wrath, frustration, and despair.

My life in the time of cholera has taken on a new routine centered around my existence at home. We, as individuals, have been forced to exercise our coping mechanisms by the restrictions imposed upon us.

How am I coping?

CLEANING — cleaning out, re-organizing, and de-cluttering which also serves to clean my internal house. Clutter, external or internal, has always tended to increase my level of stress – for me it’s about ridding my life of so much unnecessary “stuff!” 

BIRD WATCHING — I fill my bird feeders and enjoy bird activity. The goldfinches are starting to turn yellow, and I’m waiting to spot my first bluebird.  Ever the optimist, I made my sugar water solution and filled my hummingbird feeder.  I live in anticipation of spotting the first hummer.  https://www.hummingbirdcentral.com/hummingbird-migration-spring-2020-map.htm

a lucky capture last summer

I WRITE — I’ve enjoyed chronicling Leia’s growth and development on my blog, and it feels good to be back to a semblance of regular writing.  My mind constantly mulls over possible prompts for topics to share with my readers and finding (or taking) appropriate photos or images to use with a post.

PHOTOGRAPHY – one of my passions. There’s a deep stirring in my creative center that is nudging me to pull out my Canon and also to experiment with my recently converted infra-red camera.  I’m grateful for the freedom to get in the car and take off with the dogs on one of my photo jaunts, exploring new territory and delightfully getting lost on back roads where no one minds if I poke along at 15 mph.

hydrangea

CREATIVITY AND COLLAGE – Free time to be creative is always a bonus.  Last week I started a “limited edition” coronavirus card series. Humor does help to maintain sanity and perspective during challenging times. 

One of my cards

WALKING – I love to walk, and especially in the company of my dogs.  Leia and Heidi are a joy to have as walking companions, each of us enjoying nature in our own way.  I’m lucky to have access to many beautiful venues which are usually isolated, open, and very safe to allow the “girls” beneficial off-leash time. 

Tyler Park: one of my favorite places to walk

THE GIRLS (my dogs) – How fortunate I am to have the company of Heidi and Leia.  Living alone, and being somewhat of a loner, I am well acquainted with solitude. However, unending solitude can eventually become unhealthy. Heidi and Leia are companions in the truest sense of the word. They do communicate with me in their own way.  Caring for them fills the days, especially since puppy needs are frequent and often unpredictable. 

Leia – 4 1/2 months

READING – Just finished a delightful and imaginative YA novel by author Brandon Sanderson titled THE RITHMATIST. Luckily, just before the quarantine was imposed, I’d collected a pile of freebie discards from my public library.

Life in the time of cholera – predictable, yet sometimes unpredictable.

How are YOU, my friends and readers, coping with the days of quarantine? How are you FEELING?  What are your THOUGHTS? 

LEIA UPDATE — Many of you have asked me how Leia’s housebreaking is progressing.  She finally recovered from her UTI, which enabled me to start positive steps towards re-establishing a housebreaking routine and trying to break the unfortunate habit she’d formed of soiling in her crate. When she’s out of the crate indoors, she has been consistent in asking to go out when she needs to toilet.  She goes for days without an accident, and then will unexpectedly relapse. But I see a definite improvement, and I just keep my fingers crossed that she doesn’t get another UTI.  There is HOPE in the time of cholera.