Finding balance in the second half of life

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Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 10)

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2020 at 12:23 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. We realize we’ve slipped a bit from stories into conversation in 6-word increments; we’re giving ourselves grace given the circumstance. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

Bodhi doesn’t get “last treat” concept.
Morels! Daily walk just got slower.
Six-word stories: are we done?
Clean hands, full mask, can’t lose!
Thinking “permeable bubble” seems like oxymoron.
Either it’s popped or it’s not.
Shaved my legs. Feel inordinately accomplished.
Coffee-making is increasingly complex ritual.
Hating: ‘uncertain times’ and ‘new normal.’
My phone: ‘you are walking less.’
Me: ‘you are talking too much.’
New family member: Perfect, blissed-out boy!
Laundry day again! Time slouches on.
Family reunion would have been today.
Bajillionth batch of quarantine granola baked.
Washed windows for sheltering in (forever?).
Friends get bees; me, a clothesline.
“Do something,” I say. Every morning.
Have just organized my cookie cutters.
In Minecraft, she creates the world.
Does it have human capital stock?

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 9)

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2020 at 12:38 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. We realize we’ve slipped a bit from stories into conversation in 6-word increments; we’re giving ourselves grace given the circumstance. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

Tear salt stubbornly sticks to glasses.
Losing some momentum on meal planning.
Appetizers tonight: potato chips and crackers.
Don’t cry for me (in) quarantina!
SCOTUS. SCOTUS. SCOTUS. SCOTUS. SCOTUS. SCOTUS.
My attitude towards leftovers completely changed.
A watched fiddlehead doesn’t pop, apparently.
Family calendar only notes recycling pick-up.
38 steps from computer to refrigerator.
Insomnia treatment: swipe to lose consciousness.
Worry: who will nurse her son?
Pause. How do we hit ‘restart’?
Think I’ll make a cheese soufflé.
Exercise, diet apparently offer no protection.
Minecraft world: she’s built five houses.
Obama speaks. Weeping, we dare hope.
Cutting up pancakes for Bodhi. Worried?

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 8)

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. We realize we’ve slipped a bit from stories into conversation in 6-word increments; we’re giving ourselves grace given the circumstance. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

Trying to get through the day.
Writers are important. Just reminding us.
Bodhi’s exuberance is a daily tonic.
My husband’s good cheer saves me.
Buy eye makeup stock (masked future)!
Dwindling: senses of humor and outrage.
Actually, George, May’s the cruelest month.
I really need to hug. Everyone.
Wear same jeans how many days?
Same 20 in wallet for weeks.
Like an old woman, I reminisce.
I’d rather sit in the sun.
Why does she need these clothes?
She bakes, overnights a loaf of love.
The 24-hour tee gets open-ended extension.
Hyphens gettin’ swole from six-word workouts.
Her car: “Have I offended you?”
Lord. We’ll never get beyond this.
Gretchen gets some ink in it…
Without structure, imagination makes a home.
Her country has let her down.
On Mother’s Day, she hugs herself.
Mom’s coming to dinner. Good? Bad?
Reading: “As bombs fell, libidos soared.”
“Are you still watching?” Stop judging.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 7)

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2020 at 1:35 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. We realize we’ve slipped a bit from stories into conversation in 6-word increments; we’re giving ourselves grace given the circumstance. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

She. Needs. To. Hug. Her. Sons.
Comfort reading: Wind in the Willows.
Pulse oximeter arrives; she inhales sharply.
Another RCA colleague/hero has died.
C helpfully researching better sleep tips.
It’s overwhelming. For a moment.
Magazines no longer come too often.
“Control the intention; allow the unfolding.”
The sky knows a weepy day.
11:45 a.m. Heading back to bed.
Young love—yet another coronavirus casualty.
As hair lengthens; tempers shorten.
Let’s not repeat this, like, *ever.*
Making the bed, she covets unconsciousness.
Searching the news for nothing viral.
Waking to same same same same.
“It’s getting kinda old.” “What is?”
Developing a new definition of “summer.”
Resigned to Michigan’s definition of “spring.”
May Day! May Day! May Day!
Tulips are sole race spectators. Polite!
Bodhi flushed bunny and turkey. Conflicted!
“The virus is rewriting our imaginations.” [from New Yorker]
“What felt impossible has become thinkable.”
Only twelve hours till coffee again.
Hazel: “When the sickness is over…”
The days drag but weeks fly…
A lovely day for snakes, sadly.
Fortunately, also for humans. Not sadly.
Her sons: possibly better off unemployed?
Wishful thinking is my new hobby.
Another zoom party; Dad turns 89.
Sister happiness tip: Make, meet, move.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 6)

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2020 at 12:37 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. We realize we’ve slipped a bit from stories into conversation in 6-word increments; we’re giving ourselves grace given the circumstance. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

Going nowhere, more slowly than ever.
The world is in a chrysalis.
Every day’s stumper: What’s for lunch?
Awake half the night solving—nothing.
Having good days requires sheer willpower.
Coveting my kids’ weather. Also youth.
Outdated reminder: Pack for Austin trip.
“Dr. Death” distracts from real thing.
Minecraft elbow. The pain is real.
Plumb out of six-word stories.
Swapped Bogs for wellies. That’s something.
Apparently we eat lots of granola.
Finished my stash-busting corona cardigan.
Resourcefulness ceases to deliver same satisfaction.
Knitting is easier than not sleeping.
Absence makes the heart grow weary.
Puts on a dress. Doesn’t help.
Cowboy boots will make the difference.
A little sunshine would be nice.
Governor’s new guidelines: bikeshops not bookstores.
Every day, exciting to be Bodhi.
NYTimes trades “Travel” for “At Home.”
Is skinny-dipping in tub even possible?
Perhaps it’s a matter of intent?
Attitude. It’s a matter of attitude.
Today the day to stay abed?
Speaking for me: healthy, so fine.
“Happy are the kind and compassionate.”
Something interesting almost happened, then didn’t.
Meditation: sew masks while watching church.
Car battery dead. No matter. Seriously.
In the woods, everything’s all right.
Dandelions doing well. Foraging in future?
Watching spring unfurl before my eyes.
Brene, we’re all at 20 percent.
Missing everything, everyone; screens are inadequate.
Bodhi, doe pointed at each other.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 5)

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2020 at 1:45 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. We realize we’ve slipped a bit from stories into conversation in 6-word increments; we’re giving ourselves grace given the circumstance. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

Probably time to don big-girl panties.
Our flashes of joy are triumphs.
Mark seemed to be recovering; died.
Shape stories for sympathetic nervous system.
We’re play arguing. Think it’s play.
Anyone else effing sick of COVID-19?
On the other hand, lap dog.
Step one: get out of bed.
Finally hugging son—small and huge.
The finches are busy, busy, busy.
9:31. Already anticipating lunchtime beet salad.
Pandemic pro tip: Schedule cries regularly.
Reading, a fire; almost seems normal.
Relearning parenting lessons: when cranky, feed.
We two disagree about essential groceries.
No plays no films no galleries.
The Time arts section is featherweight.
Lockdown breakthrough: read 46 consecutive pages!
Efficient meal: Cheerios straight from box.
Excited as Bodhi when mail arrives.
Zoomed with sisters; weirdly normal now.
Bodhi’s ecstatic about every day’s walk.
C painting rainbows; Zoom party decor.
April snow. Why not? Bring it.
Yet another batch of granola made.
“With” is a poignant word now.
At least the sky is blue.
At least the snow has stopped.
Blue sky, yes! New buds, yes!
Another clean cupboard, another week gone.
She forgets what she’s waiting for.
C giddy to clipper my hair.
May be wearing hats for Zooms.
Another Sunday in sweats, watching church.
Put on earrings for online church.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 4)

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2020 at 12:32 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. We realize we’ve slipped a bit from stories into conversation in 6-word increments; we’re giving ourselves grace given the circumstance. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

“What about a–“ “I ate that.”
Sold out: jigsaw puzzles and yeast.
Still biting my nails; tempting fate?
Fear makes our lives shrink, shrivel.
Lorna walks by, waves via text.
Friendship via text is not enough.
Somehow, I’m preoccupied with my hair.
Home cooking is survival, but boring.
I’m actually enjoying creative pantry exploitation.
You’re my idol. I eat crackers.
Meijers: she can’t stop him shopping.
Week three snowed in. No snow.
News flash: people are overusing bleach.
What’s that smell? Ohhh. It’s me.
Prime deliveries delayed: TP, detergent, pistachios.
I’m wearing actual shoes. Proud moment.
Discovered TikTok. Damn, people! You creative!
“Yum! I love a mud pie.”
“Rush hour”–walking in the street.
At three, Hazel knows social distance.
Hopefully, children will forget this era.
Who knew loneliness could save others?
Another colleague just taken off respirator.
Best at gazing at to-do lists.
Friends’ teens ditch screens for Monopoly.
Son, now furloughed, tries for sanguinity.
Lost power briefly. That would suck.
Power’s out. What could be next?
I find I quite like electricity.
Maundy Thursday and so much hate.
I miss being reckless about cleaning.
She lies to others, to herself.
Even lying, your honesty is admirable.
Puzzle arrived. Must I work today?
It depends. Is the puzzle work?
A puzzle is worse than work.
A puzzle takes over your life.
Zero interest. Entire world is puzzle.
Yesterday, six words were too many.
Some days it’s enough to sit.
And humor is a (frayed) lifeline.
Mood: The sky’s falling/not falling.
Sun is deceptive, wind spooky loud.
Getting little curls around my ears.
“Popcorn is dinner; don’t judge me.”
Someday will eat someone else’s cooking.
Week Four’s end, we fall silent.
Small moments of joy seem scarce.
Living in the moment feels eternal.
(Tomorrow may be better; still hopeful)
Minecraft world: she adopts a cat.
Found: some six word small joys:
A kiss is still a kiss.
New moss still feels like velvet.
Croissants in the freezer; oh, boy!
Why pay bills when time’s stopped?
Squirrel filches no-bakes, leaves rolls untouched.
She needs to see the lake.
About 750 pieces of 1,000 today.
“They are going through the unimaginable.”
Minecraft world: building a family compound.
One woman, 1,000 pieces, 44 hours.
Don’t let me start another one.
Lois, I am here for you.
Phones no longer verboten during meals.
Into week four, resigned but hopeful.
Son: “Careful or you’ll lose it.”
ALL CAPS IS NORMAL—HEALTHY!—RN

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 3)

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2020 at 12:27 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

I wake up, smell the coffee.
Minecraft: sons remind her to eat.
Fake tree stays up, spreading light.
(Fucking tree still up; husband insists.)
Son arrives. What joy! (What germs?)
Days are starting later and later.
Baking for twelve, eating for one.
Happy hour starts earlier, lasts longer.
People in movies stand too close!
Testing lipsticks like a bored child.
One of us likes world music.
Her French class moves online. Merveilleux!
Our cities are empty Hollywood sets.
On my quiet street, birds rule.
Constant risk calculation drains my humanity.
Are onions essential or not essential?
The news wasn’t news at all.
Happy April Fool’s Day! If only…
Jigsaw massacre! Cats attempt to “help.”
Reminders from life BC appear, obsolete.
Going to bed because why not.
Bird flew into window, hard. Understandable.
Inexplicably, the Tiger King cleanses, renews.
FaceTime with sons: she wears earrings.
Greetings from mask making mini factory.
Scary, seldom-used back stairway suddenly attractive.
Considering amputating hands. No more washing!
Hazel says, “When the sickness ends…”
Plenty of time to do Kegels.
“Happy Birthday” in dad’s own hand.
New tennis opponent: the garage door.
Masked man delivers her aunt’s ashes.
Lhzy–sorry! Was sanitizing my phone.
Received fudge in mail. Restraint doubtful.
Lois’s mail better than mine. Why?
Tracking business miles is really easy.
Staring at Lake Michigan is zen.
Fear weary. Bring it on already.
Everyone grieving life seldom considered before.
Our former lives ghosted us. Rude!
The worst loss is always yours.
Allan died. A kind, brilliant man.
“Missing compelling reason to get dressed.”
Do or not do; both okay.
Free at last, she recycles puzzle.
Should eat all fudge, banish temptation.
Happy nostalgia tripping through 80’s movies.
Desperately Seeking Susan, Pretty in Pink.
Contemplating dressing up, i.e., getting dressed.
Buddhist service at 9:30, Christian at 11:00.
Wondering, do Buddhists wake up earlier?
Missing reasons to wear a dress.
In Minecraft world: swimming with dolphins.
Avril teary making mask for Hazel.
The turntable is getting a workout.
She tails him, wielding disinfectant spray.
Coronavirus fashion: The stretched-out sleeve look.
Maiming tulips now would deter tourists.
If tulips don’t show, tourists go!
I will miss Dutch Fat Balls.

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 2)

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2020 at 12:43 pm

This is how four writers pass the time (and stay connected) during their isolation. Join us by adding your 6-word stories in the comments.

Striped pajamas look like prison garb.
First rule of coronavirus: Get dressed.
On her checklist: Make another checklist.
During week two she downloads Minecraft.
“If we’re going to live together…”
Baked three dozen cookies. Uh oh.
Baked six perfect cookies. Only six.
Lockdown is no time for Luddites.
Hated social media; now seems poignant.
New exercise routine: bouncing off walls.
Kiss dying aunt through a mask.
Long walk to mailbox yields disappointment.
Mom forgot about the virus again.
Schitts Creek, because we’re up it.
Finished the mini marshmallows. What’s next?
Dad’s 85th birthday party via iPhone.
Cemetery run: the dead don’t cough.
She’s staying busy growing her hair.
Laundry day! She has a mission.
Need granola two days early. Snacker!
New diet: too stressed to eat.
Doctor friends are updating their wills.
So excited to see mail truck!
Madeline’s birthday; we FaceTime group hug.
She cannot believe it’s still March.
Writing, we forgo articles, add colons.
Forlorn, Dad asks, “Where’s my family?”
Separated by distance, united in grief.
Sober silver lining: no school shootings.
Screen addicted teens miss real contact.
Made some cookies. Chocolate at last!
(Recipe only makes 12, thank heavens.)
Deafening peepers: Check for open windows.
New best friend: Heather Cox Richardson.
Shouldering fear and sadness, she runs.
Bryan dropped donuts at back door.
I want Bryan for my friend.
Times crossword: it must be Sunday.
Stress points: safety guidelines and playlist.
Brad misses Nixon, “garden variety terrible.”
(The bar is so very low.)

Life in the Time of Coronavirus (Week 1)

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2020 at 9:00 pm

Loyal readers (all five of you)—we know it’s been ages since you heard from us. Life was complicated until it became suddenly and agonizingly simple and we found ourselves with time on our hands and a deep craving for communitas.

In an attempt to calm our existential anxieties, the four of us—Christine, Debra, Lois, and Lorna—have been texting each other every day with six-word stories about Life in the Time of Coronavirus. Since the plague seems to be the only thing on our minds right now, the exercise has given us a way to creatively channel our obsession. And it has helped us laugh together.

So we’re sharing the stories we’ve complied so far, with the hope that you’ll add some of your own. We’ll keep posting them until we are all safely on the other side of the pandemic. Or until we can think of something else to write about.

Be well.

Hand washing beats back hand wringing.
Mom forgets why she’s locked up.
Tuesday writers’ group cancelled. Why live?
Jigsaw puzzles are fun! (Day One)
Childhood wish granted: no school forever.
Without showers, social distancing is effortless.
Last supper with sons: no hugs.
No nailbiting when I need it.
Tulip Time is cancelled! Klompen solo.
Lorna Jane: a six-word story machine.
You opened Pandora’s box, not me.
Who knew six was so easy?
The president speaks. Our confidence crashes.
Cleanliness next to godliness? I’m sainted.
Aimless wandering leads nowhere good.
Free toilet paper with hot dog purchase!
‪‭Millennials have mortgages: tip for takeout.
‪‭Tip: Stay home. Servers: no tips.
‪‭Who knew focus would elude me?
Niece being tested. Just got personal.
Groundhog Days: coffee…wine. Bed. Repeat.
‘It’s unreal.’ ‘So surreal.’ Too real.
He coughs. I freeze. False alarm.
Sequestered with books! Can’t read yet.
Dad is nervous. Mom blissfully ignorant.
(Woke early. Wrote six word stories.)
Linkedin: “you appeared in three searches.”
Corona-wary, I run upwind of others.
Required reading: “How to Do Nothing.”
No time for a confirmed telephobe.
Same clothes for how many days?
We’re all in this together, alone.
Evidence-based lifehack: Swap Twitter for Rosy.
Time for rationing: chocolate, news, anxiety.
Sudden realization: these walls need washing.
Pants? Leggings? Long underwear? Nobody cares.
No bra. Why did I ever?
Six words. All I can manage.
Lorna quit. I still bite, pick.
I lied. Biting as we speak.
Trump is talking. I can’t manage.
Corona win: Washed that gross curtain.
I read three pages, remember none.
Our dog Zeke remains blissfully unaware.
Geese honking on this peaceful morning.
Considering sticker chart to keep moving.
Slept nine hours; my new hobby.
God drives Brad back to Facebook.
Madeline reminds me: Just show up.
On my walk, avoiding friendly people.
Corona bonus: Shower stays clean longer.