By CONNIE KINSEY | WestVirginiaVille | may30.2020
I re-posted my piece, “We Are Front Porch People,” to Facebook the other night, just because I was of a mind to. I’m getting ready to work on the landscaping in the front of the house and am lamenting, once again, my lack of a front porch.
Ironically, I wrote that piece as a hand-slap to the notion that West Virginia needs to technology-up and lose the old ways. Now, mind you, I’m all for getting our technology up to speed. But I am so completely against losing the old ways that I tend to wave my arms a lot and froth at the mouth.
WE ARE FRONT PORCH PEOPLE.
COVID-19 has a lot of us homebound a lot more than we’re used to. I’ve been pretty tickled by the amount of bread-baking, gardening, and creative tasks undertaken by what seems like the whole world, as well as extensive porch sitting. The old ways rise to the top when the going gets strange. Who would have thought a worldwide pandemic would engender shortages of toilet paper, bleach, and YEAST at the Kroger? Honestly.
An aside: So what did people do? They used technology to fish out instructions for capturing wild yeast in sourdough starter and are using that. Woo Hoo!
The old ways rise to the top when the going gets strange.
We are front porch people, but I have to make do with a flat section of mulch and an oversized Adirondack chair the ex-husband made me when he was still a husband. It sits high off the ground and is made of pressure-treated lumber with extra-wide arms. It’s perfect for lazy spring, summer, and fall days and it babies my aged back. It allows me to survey my kingdom from the front and wave to the mailman — pretty much the only person coming up here during COVID-19.
I have plenty of time for projects. But like so many others, my executive function is all wrapped up in trauma and survival, so much so that I’m not getting much done. Take a gander at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and you can see why. We are all at the bottom of the pyramid in survival mode.
The weather next week is supposed to be glorious, and I would be delighted to sit outside with an iced tea and not a care in the world. It’s unlikely I can achieve the latter, but the former is doable.
I ran across something on Facebook that originated in Canada, but which I’m cleaving to:
Recently, a grateful employee tweeted out a memo from the Canadian federal government, which told its workers not to hold themselves to pre-pandemic standards during this time. “You are not ‘working from home’,” it said. “You are ‘at your home, during a crisis, trying to work.’ ”
Yesterday, I was sitting on the front porch of WestVirginiaVille editor, Douglas John Imbrogno. I wore my epaulets in celebration of my new post as Minister in the Office of Paragraphs for this new online magazine, as well as wearing my face-shield. We maintained distance and he wore a mask. It was 86F with a humidity factor of 9,000.
I took off the hat for the photo he took. I’m willing to make myself ridiculous, but only so much. It was good to have in-person contact with someone. I am so very tired of Zoom and other electronic communication channels, but, oh, how miserable I would be without them.
I am very much pro-face-masking, but alas I have not found a traditional face mask I can wear without gagging. In desperation, I turned to a Huge Online Seller and found this hat with a plastic face shield. I’m told by a member of the Bureau for Public Health that it’s probably just as, if not more, effective than a face mask.
I am weary of all this as I imagine you are. Unfortunately, I think we have a ways to go yet. And so I’m waiting for all this to be through. And that brought to mind “Waiting,” a peach of a song and a video by Andrea Anderson aka Pepper Fandango of Charleston, WV.
Connie Kinsey is a writer based in Ona, WV. For more on her, see this link.