It has been 54 days since my partner and I waved a sad farewell to San Miguel and headed for the airport in Mexico City; 53 days since we pulled into our driveway at home and unloaded our hastily packed bags from the rental car.
As we flew from Mexico to Canada, I mulled over what lay ahead. Two weeks of self-isolation shouldn’t be too bad, I thought. When it ended on March 29th, I would resume my usual life. On Monday March 30th, I would head to Luke’s Place, where I work(ed) in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays. My colleagues and I would catch up on news after two months apart, while sharing the Mexican chocolate I had brought home for them.
From there, I would go to Waterloo, for the celebration my siblings and I had planned for our mother’s 91st birthday and for the party in anticipation of the May baby expected by one of my nieces.
Obviously, that is not what happened. Nor is it about to happen. Time to emerge from my state of suspended animation/denial and accept that it will be a long time before we return to normal and, even when we do, it will be something new. Time to stop thinking this is a short-term situation. Time to get a grip and move on from the inertia I have been wallowing in for the past 53 days.
As I admitted here a few weeks ago, I have a long list of tasks that I tell myself I will get to “soon,” even as month after month and year after year go by.
I make no promises that I will get to the bottom – or even the middle – of that list anytime soon, but I have decided to start, and to start small, thus increasing the likelihood of success.
This week, I cleaned out the drawer in my bedside table.
Next week: maybe a kitchen cupboard or two, but I don’t want to aim too high.
Leaving the couch
Really, just how much conversation can two people, who have been in the same space and have seen almost no one else, be expected to have after all this time? Is it bad to prefer to watch television, even while eating?
We have munched our way through many a good meal while watching TV programs of varied quality (Into the Night, despite its promising first episode, might have been the low point – along with The Tiger King – with Occupied, Babylon Berlin and Killing Eve ranking at the top).
But, last night we tore ourselves out of the now-permanently sunken cushions in the couch and ate dinner (chicken and black bean enchiladas and cabbage salad) at the table. We allowed ourselves to head back to the couch and the TV for dessert (Mexican brownies).
Fortunately, friends who live in the country let us know that the woods around their house were exploding with trilliums, or in my general pandemic-induced dazed state, I might have missed seeing my favourite spring flowers.
We made a trip out to their place this week, where we had a lovely walk and drank in the signs of spring: trilliums, marsh marigolds, trout lilies and trees showing that beautiful yellow-green haze that precedes the full arrival of leaves. It may have been that walk that inspired me to pick up my game.
This week’s cocktail
Since cocktails seem to have become a daily part of my pandemic life, I have decided to try at least one new recipe a week. This week, out of deference to my partner’s fondness for fresh ginger: an adaptation of the Southern Baptist. We tried it out last night and were more than happy.
Here’s how you make Pam’s Pandemic Punch for two:
Grate about 3 ounces of fresh ginger, then press through cheesecloth, a fine sieve or your hands to get about 1.5 ounces of ginger juice. More is good, if you are a ginger fan. Mix with 4 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside for a couple of hours to let the flavours mix well.
Place ginger juice, 6 ounces bourbon and 3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice along with some ice in a blender and blend until ice is thoroughly pulverized and drink is foamy. Pour into two cocktail glasses and garnish with a slice of lime.
Happy weekend, everyone!