Checking in After a Long Absence

Us…together in the study…

Once again, I’ve taken an unintentional but necessary break from this blog. I hope that this post finds you and your family healthy and safe! Some of you I follow on social media and some I receive email copies of your blog posts. I have deeply appreciated all your posts and updates during this time despite my silence.

What a strange period of time we are living through right now! A killer virus called Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the world to go into a mode of self-isolation in hopes of saving lives; a trip to the grocery store is an act of courage; school is quickly becoming a completely online experience for our young people; and lives and livelihoods are on hold while we wait for our superheroes of science and medicine to save us from this killer.

Right from the beginning, I found my own connections to this virus very sobering. The original epicenter of the US pandemic was in Kirkland, Washington…in a recovery center/nursing home just four blocks from where we used to live, just a mile from the school I taught in for almost 20 years, and where many of my friends and former students live and work.

The first case of the virus here in Oregon was admitted to the hospital where I go for all my doctor and dentist appointments and care. I found out a little while later, that I was at that hospital for an appointment on the same day as the Covid-19 patient was admitted. Yikes!

As my husband said, it felt like the virus was “following us around!”

This is scary stuff, and scary times!

But here are my positives:

  • We are well. I hope you are, too!
  • We are keeping busy at home and are grateful for our retired life that is full of books, gardening, long walks — all things that are healthy for us during a time of self-isolation.
  • Our adult children and our one precious teenage grandson are all well and staying safe. I miss being able to hug them, but that time will return.
  • And as I’ve already told my social media friends…I am so grateful to be in self-isolation with the love of my life for over 50 years. He makes me laugh every day, we don’t usually get grumpy at the same time, and we’re well practiced with tackling problems together!

I’m not sure I know yet how I am doing emotionally with it all. My reading focus has been limited, but my listening focus long! So I’m enjoying my audiobooks, and realize that I’ll get back to reading books later on.

It’s my writing focus that has taken the biggest hit by the emotional upheaval of our lives. Although I’ve finished audiobooks, it just hasn’t been possible to focus on a review or blog post up until now. I’ve managed social media pretty well, posting humor and pictures of flowers for my family and friends.

But I’m glad to be back here today and checking in with you all on this blog. In the next few days I will be posting a number of posts about upcoming reading events. And I am hopeful to publish a couple of reviews of books I’ve read recently! I don’t dare call it “catching up” when it comes to book reviews, but I’ll try.

Sending each of you hugs and best wishes. Please stay healthy and safe!

14 thoughts on “Checking in After a Long Absence

  1. Cath

    Nice to see you back here, Robin, and to hear that all is well and you’re coping. (Although I see you on FB of course so I knew you were ok.) The virus ‘following you around’ must feel a trifle unsettling. I’m glad your family are all well and that like us you’re focussing on the garden, books etc. I must admit the online bookblogging community and FB have been a life-saver for me, lot of people determined to get through this somehow. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Post author

      Thank you, Cath! It’s nice to be back, and feel a little bit more “back to normal.” I have to say that the “virus following us around” was really scary. It was impossible not to take it very seriously when it hit so close to home in so many different ways — my nephew and his wife are both emergency room doctors in Southern Oregon, so that’s another way it has hit close to home! Both of them are doing well, but they sent their two little boys to stay with their grandparents (my brother and sister-in-law in Utah) to keep them out of harm’s way.

      Im glad you and your family are well and safe, too.


  2. Marlo Quick

    I only “see” you here so I was delighted to see the blog notification. We surely are doing more of some things and less of others. Your close ties to this virus so early and so often must have been quite unsettling. I am glad you are well. Aren’t we lucky that technology at least allows us to see our loved ones and connect face to face if not hug to hug.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Post author

      Thank you, Marlo. I went to FB to see if I could find you, so I’m happy that we have one more connection now. The closeness of this virus to my life really threw me for a loop, I have to admit. I am deeply grateful for my family’s and friends’ continuing good health! And I’ll be ready for lots of hugs when it’s finally safe to give and receive them!


  3. kaysreadinglife

    I’m so glad to see a post from you, Robin! I asked Les if she had seen anything from you on other social media and she told me that she had. So, I didn’t worry. Yes, strange times, right? My reading has been sporadic too, but I’ve settled in to read/listens of JD Robb’s Eve Dallas series and I’m content with that. It wouldn’t be the series for everyone, but I love it. Other reading is more problematic. I’ve had to wean myself from the news updates and I walk and walk and walk. Try not to worry about our daughter who is a nurse. She’s fine and has sent us some pictures of her in her mega-gear for the hospital. Labor and delivery is a very specialized unit so they are isolated from the rest of the hospital and have not had any patients with the virus as yet. That being said, all their patients are very, very nervous and they’ve had to spend a lot of time calming them, while being covered from head-to-toe most of the time when they are with those patients. She told me that she had never thought about how much they conveyed as nurses in the way of calm and encouragement just through a smile. Otherwise, my husband is working from home and has been for almost 5 weeks. It has worked out well for him. I thought of myself as a homebody, but I truly miss my library volunteering. Take care – stay safe – have a peaceful week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Post author

      Thank you, Kay! I hope your daughter continues to be well and as “safe” as can be given her work location. What a difficult and stressful time in her career! Please let her know how much we all appreciate the work she does and the sacrifices that all the medical community (and others!) are making to keep us safe at home! And please tell her that I’m sure her smile is in her eyes and brings great comfort to those anxious patients!
      Our son has a 3-D printer and has been printing the apparatus that is used to make medical face shields. It’s something he can do to support medical community, and he just keeps his printer running while he works from home, too. Strange times, indeed.
      I’ve been walking a lot, too. B and I try to get out every day for a walk, and always feel so much better after being outside for awhile.
      I miss my volunteer work, too, although much of it is moving online. I honestly don’t know how I will feel about going “back out into the world” when that time comes. I especially don’t want to be amongst big groups of people any more! This experience will have far-reaching effects in so many ways!
      Take care. I’ll try to communicate more often.


  4. Ti

    Hello! I am loving these update posts because we all want to know how people are doing so it’s good to check in now and then.

    Seems like you and your family are doing well. I was a bit of an anxious mess when my son was still at college because they allowed the students to stay but the first week of April nearly everyone had moved out, he had lost both of his campus jobs plus the ones he secured for the summer so he came home. We all feel better with him home but he’s been a little down. He loves his college and the beach town that borders it.

    I am working from home but it’s been very busy. We are all worried about furloughs because our university is now considering not going back unto Jan 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Post author

      Ti, I agree…it is nice to see these updates from people and hear how that are all doing. I’m afraid my fear and anxiety took a big toll on me at first. It was “so close to home!” But we are all well, thank goodness.
      I know that this lockdown and the complete change in our lives is all very hard on the students. I feel so bad for them, many missing graduations, and all of them missing school and learning in the ways they are used to. I think this experience will have a major impact on the education world, and make many changes in the way we have structured learning for forever. But I hope he will be able to get back to his college experience — January 2021 seems so far away, but the important thing is health and safety.
      Take care and best wishes to all our family!


  5. Les in OR

    That is very scary that you were so close to the first infected case here in Oregon! Rod had a doctor’s appointment in early March and that was when we first noticed people wearing face masks. However, the waiting room was packed, so I waited in the car. Turned out, we were in the wrong building (remodeled hospital confusion), so Rod got out of there quickly, which was probably a good thing, although our county has only 5 confirmed cases so far. I just checked your county and it’s at 415! Yikes!

    I think my positives are very much like yours. We keep busy and our lives aren’t that much different than ordinary retirement other than the absence of being with friends and going out to eat. I do all the shopping, so I do get out of our neighborhood every two weeks.

    I know you are enjoying your garden and it will be gorgeous this year, I’m sure! I wish I liked to garden more, but it just isn’t my thing anymore. I can walk for miles, but working it the yard is hard on my lower back. So, I shop, cook, clean (a little), walk, read, write (blog posts), enjoy my husband’s lattes and guitar playing, work on puzzles, play games, watch movies and Zoom with family and friends. We even had our book group meeting on Zoom this past weekend! Thank goodness for technology, right?!

    You two take care and someday we’ll be able to get together again for lunch in McMinnville. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robin Post author

      Thanks, Les! Washington County is second to Multnomah County, and that’s scary! The daily numbers make it very clear that we simply don’t know WHO is carrying the virus or possibly getting sick in the next few days, so we have gone out as little as possible, and always with a mask. Amazing how we can make our food supplies last for a lot longer than we used to!
      I’ve been reading/listening straight through Deborah Crombie’s mystery series (one book left!), and I’d like to get back to Louise Penny and do the same thing! And I’m hoping this weekend’s read-a-thon will boost me back into my book reading, not just my listening!
      I love the things you’re posting on FB and InstaGram. And I look forward to meeting you again in McMinnville!
      Take care, enjoy your coffee, your puzzles, and your reading!
      Hugs to you all!



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