I quarantine; therefore, I write

Like many people in the United States, I have suddenly become a homebody. I realized that my “Gee, I have no time to blog” excuse no longer applies, so here I am. Blogging. Thinking. Cleaning. Playing games with my family. Cleaning some more. Sneaking peeks at the CDC website to see what the newest bad news contains. Telling my kids that no, they cannot go hang with friends, although some days I am so tempted to just tell them to go wherever they want. I mean, MUST video games and movies be SO DANG LOUD? Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I’m a high school teacher by trade, and our school has canceled classes indefinitely. I honestly doubt that we will finish the term, and this has sent all of us into a tailspin. Unlike many other districts, we are not doing e-learning (long story) and instead are offering enrichment activities – all optional and not graded. While it has certainly started to refuel my creative side, it also has made me feel like I got pushed off the school bus and am now sitting by the side of the road, bewildered about what has just happened to me. According to my students who have answered my emails, they feel the same way. They are kind of enjoying their abundance of free time, but others are simply bored and seemed to be a little too happy to hear from me. I promised I would be passing along some stuff to pique their interests a bit.

Although I am in self-quarantine right now, I did travel to Brunswick, Georgia about two weeks ago. My husband has a band that was contracted to travel there, and I was along for the ride. We half expected the gig to get canceled, but the show did go on. Both Chicago Midway and the Jacksonville airport were ghost towns. It reminded me of going to Walmart on September 12, 2001, and feeling like I was the lone survivor of the zombie apocalypse.

Things have been pretty quiet in my quest for all things retro, although my husband and I have been able to visit some antique stores. We went to one a couple months ago and I was excited to find three metal containers that look right at home in my bathroom. I found the “cotton plucks” interesting, as I had never seen that before. Oh, and all three containers are FULL of product. The baby powder still smells the same; the Unforgettable by Avon is a lovely scent; and if I ever am in dire straits for a cotton ball, there is still cotton in that container.

This may be my new thing – trying to find metal containers that are still full of whatever they were supposed to hold. I tend to go on streaks like that.

The only other retro stuff I have hauled home involves vinyl records. My husband is a vinyl collector, and I do not mean just a casual buyer. This man has a collection of mint-condition and sealed albums that would make any vinylmaniac weep in admiration. Whenever we hit an antique store, he seems to have a sixth sense to sniff out the vinyl, and he always finds the good stuff. I, however, am more of a casual buyer. There is certain music that I like to listen to on vinyl – usually older stuff from the 40s and 50s, although my collection of John Denver and Neil Diamond seems to be growing at a pretty good clip as well. Those two are directly linked to childhood memories, however. I have distinct memories of going through my mom’s collection of records and putting them onto the lovely console stereo that graced our living room. I then spent what seemed like hours dancing around to the music and dreaming up little scenarios as I listened to the music. John Denver and Neil Diamond were some of my favorites to listen to, although I also remember being hooked on the song “Convoy.” My latest score involved three Dinah Washington albums that seemed to be sealed and in mint condition. My husband shook his head as I wasted no time in unsealing the albums and throwing them on my record player, but I tend to be a practical collector. I don’t want to just look at it; I want to use it.

Her voice sounds so wonderful in the background as I work or cook in the kitchen. As far as vinyl goes, she is my latest addiction.

Stay safe out there, and carry a big can of Lysol.

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