Following the Covid-19 Road

Scarecrows in Steveston

Our Covid-19 numbers are rising in British Columbia. With a rainy and cold October, social distancing is becoming more difficult. Yesterday, our Public Health Officer reminded us that our private gatherings must remain small and that masks should always be worn in indoor public spaces. My daughter and I are continuing with our Saturday afternoon visits to Steveston. During October, the storefronts are decorated with scarecrows.

I'm not sure Dr. Bonnie Henry (wizard) would be flattered.

In these times, I've been doing a lot reading. Yesterday, I had a Zoom bookclub meeting where we discussed From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle, a Métis-Cree man, who spent much of his life addicted to to drugs and alcohol. Although I knew that Jesse overcame his addiction, I found the description of his life as
a drug addict disturbing. Jesse and his two brothers were neglected as young children and were placed first in the foster care system and then with their paternal grandparents. One of our members asked, "If the Thistle family were your neighbours, would you have let your children play with the boys?" As we are a church-based book club comprised of many educators, we had a very interesting discussion. Not a book for the squeamish, From the Ashes, taught me a lot about addiction and White Privilege.

My newly exposed balcony is causing me some problems. The balcony is not very big and there are no drains. The half barrels in which I grew vegetables have become rain/mud barrels. I have no way of emptying them. I can't dump them on the balconies of the lower units. I tried using a pail, scooping water and flushing but it is very dirty and time consuming work. Yesterday, we put out suet, seed bells and hummingbird food. Our balcony is alive with small birds. I sweep and vacuum seed every day so that the neighbours don't complain. 

Apartment life is challenging during pandemic. The units on both sides of us have been sold and are being renovated. I'm in the bedroom right now as Brian is singing online with his friend in the living room. As I'm not working, we are home together most week days. 

Last week, I got my hair cut. It's the second time in 9 months. Curly hair is funny because when the stylist uses the round brush to style it, it usually looks longer than pre-cut. I'm learning to use hair clips and to make messy topknots.

Some days, I am very ambitious with my at-home tasks. Last week, I took everything out of my closet.
I put summer/resort wear in a suitcase and donated seldom-worn clothing. I still have too many purses and not enough black shoes. I collated all of my remaining clothing and accessories. In the early 2000's, I worked with a personal stylist. At that time, I was colouring my hair and my colour palette was autumn. 
I still have a few accessories. The other day, I put on my fuchsia tunic and blue/purple scarf. A definite winter, I'd say. It's funny how we change!



Reading, walking, stitching, cooking, gardening, household tasks with a Zoom meeting or a medical appointment thrown in (husband and mum)....I wonder where the Covid-19 road will lead us this winter.


  1. Yes, the Covid road is a winding one, with twists and turns that we can't imagine. There are many teachers and students sick at my school, staying home until they are better (not Covid) and it's very wearing on everyone. I've been getting my hair cut (with masks) and have been to my physiotherapist several times. Everyone is being very careful. I am REALLY looking forward to the end of January when I will retire!
    I would characterize you as definitely winter with your bright blue eyes and lovely grey hair. From the Ashes sounds like a difficult, but important book to read.

    1. From the Ashes was brutal. I was amazed that a child of alcohol and drug addicted parents who survived years of addiction and homelessness could be so resilient. We studied Louis Riel in school but I know very little about the Métis. The indigenous people played such an important role in the expansion of colonialism. They were the trappers, the guides and the partners/spouses of the French and of the HBC men yet their rights were overlooked.

      I've been hesitant to work in the schools. I'm sure things are stressful. I'm sure that retirement can not come too soon for you. And is hard not to miss the students.

      I'd say that my 1980's colour assessment was right and I am a winter.

  2. Your new hairstyle is lovely! I'd never thought about the difficulties of overwintering flower pots on balconies. You want it to still be a pretty place to be on pleasant days but if there's no easy place to store pots dealing with them while waterlogged must be a problem.

    I try to think of things I can do now to help make a locked down winter ahead easier but there doesn't seem all that much I can do that will help. It will be one day at a time, as it always seems to be.

  3. Dewena, it seems that everything is one day at a time right now. With more active cases in our community, there will be very little socializing even with family. Well, there's always home chores, books and blogs to read. Take care!

  4. I am trying to read books with themes outside my comfort level. Ashes sounds like one I should look into. Just finished The Vanishing Half which was a stretch for me but a book I really enjoyed.

    Trying to think what you could do about your barrels filling with water. Could drill some holes into the sides to allow some of the water to drain? I know that would mean dirt-filled water would be draining onto your balcony and the balconies below but maybe if the holes were high enough there wouldn't be much dirt in the water.

    Love the longer length of your hair and its lovely natural color. Very flattering.

    We have had new restrictions put into place today here in El Paso because our Covid cases are out of control. The children haven't even returned to school here yet. Heavens.

    1. I was wondering about you and how the pandemic was affecting you. Our students are in school but the teachers' federation is really concerned about teachers' health. Teachers can not stay home as a preventative measure and masks are not mandatory in schools.

      I'll look up The Vanishing Half. There is a place for all kinds of books in our lives. I have a hard time with certain topics.

      Your suggestion is what my husband suggested. I'm not sure but we've had a few dry days so I might saucepan some water today. It's a learning experience. Take care!

  5. It was one thing to have restrictions throughout the summer months when we could meet family and friends in the garden, quite another to contemplate a shut-down during the winter months. Our zoom book club has realised that a hard-hitting book is heavy going in these troubled times. Any suggestions for something cheerful would be appreciated!
    I really like your lustrous grey hair - but then, I'm biased!

    1. Both of my book clubs have chosen to read a "classic" once a year. Sometimes it works well, other times not so well but it's a break from "issue" books or books about women in the Resistance. Once we read a book from the Irish Doctor series which was light and quite charming. Have you read Penelope Lively's Life in the Garden or Shaun Bythell's Confessions of a Bookseller?


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