The slow return to post-pandemic life

Wednesday morning has a bit of post-pandemic feel to it. I was up early to do my regular routine of washing my hair, but that’s where it stopped. Wednesdays usually involve cleaning the bathrooms and washing the towels. I’ve been doing that for over a year now, during the pandemic. This morning was too busy to take time for those housekeeping precautions.

I was out the door by 8, with my hair dried and makeup applied. Usually, at 8 am, I am doing my exercises. I picked up two+ flats of flowers and delivered them to our church’s preschool. The director had mentioned at the March board meeting that the teachers would be doing a plant unit after spring break and would like flowers to plant around the campus. I agreed to bring some but didn’t get to it last week, what with my busyness with the grandkids. Yesterday, seeing beautiful flowers while shopping, I remembered, and checked my planner. Sure enough, I should have delivered them last week. Emailing the director to see if they were still needed, I learned that NO ONE had brought any flowers, last week or this. So, I made sure that there were plenty for small hands to enjoy planting.

The next stop was across town, at a local produce vendor I discovered during the pandemic. He would normally be delivering produce to schools, but since they were shut down, and he still had contracts with growers to take their produce, he started selling to the public. Wow. Fabulous local produce. The highest quality. The nicest fellow, too. He had strawberries that I wanted for jam-making. So, got a flat of berries and came home to process them. The jam is doing a slow-boil while I type this, close by. I use apples for the pectin for the thickening agent as well as long, slow cooking to caramelize the sugar. The smell is divine. First batch of the season, so I guess I can call it post-pandemic jam?

I have heard from all four of the Columbia teachers to whose classes I have been reading. They are all ready to continue their virtual storytelling, and one will be later Wednesday afternoon. Some of the kids will be in class, and some will be at home, all of them on their computers, watching and listening to me. Another class on Friday and then back to my regularly scheduled story times next week.

Since I’m doing it from my family room, the storytelling still has the pandemic feel to it, but otherwise, things are feeling a bit more un-pandemic. I’m wearing my mask every where and using my sanitizing wipes. Didn’t change clothes, though, since I was wearing a jacket and did remove it and put it in the wash when I got home. Little by little.

Addendum: the preschool posted this little video on Facebook of the kids planting the flowers.

8 responses to “The slow return to post-pandemic life

  1. You have been very busy. Your are so thoughtful to make sure those small hands have plenty of flowers to plant. Your jam is going to be delicious.

  2. Just the other day I was comparing my schedule from 2020 to the same time period this year. It was amazing how different they were.

  3. I made 7 Jam jars of Strawberry jam 2 weeks ago, using boxed pectin. All the jam is gone–gave 6 jars away (2 to the UPS guy). I’d like to know how you use apples in your jam recipe. Where did you learn to do jam like this? Awesome!

    • As for the use of apple, I read that somewhere. As for the rest of my recipe, I made it up as I went. I put all my fruit through my juicer and put back some of the pulp. My jams are more like thick jellies. Cooking the mixture for so long really intensifies the flavor.

  4. Your activities sound interesting with the plants for little ones and the storytelling — would like to know more about the latter.. As a strawberry addict can appreciate your delight with the fresh flat. I recall many years ago my mother made strawberry jam from a large patch we had when we lived in the country. The berries were cooked in the sun but don’t recall the particulars of the process. The jam was delicious.

  5. I sometimes wonder what they would do without you. It seems you pick up all the dropped tasks that should be shared. You are priceless.

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