COVID-19 Quarantine, Day 36: Signs of Spring and Messages of Hope

There’s a lot of imagery that defines this strange, restless, panicked time. Major monuments, tourist destinations and airports without crowds. People queuing outside with gloved hands on their shopping carts, face masks covering their nose and mouth, waiting their turn to shop in Trader Joe’s. Masks on face after face. That look of fear as someone is walking on the same side of the road in the opposite direction as another and they don’t know how they’ll keep six feet as they near.

Coronavirus covid facemask on mannequin

Local boutique in Fairfield with mannequin modeling a paper face mask

Those are the images of social distancing. I realize that the imagery is far more grim in the hospitals, but those experiences are not mine to share.

gratitude front line rainbow hunt fairfield county
As I near the end of week five of social distancing, I have more hope than I did throughout the first month, like when I posted on day 10, day 14, and day 25.

hopeful messages covid coronavirus quarantine

It’s not because things are looking better. Our corrupt federal government is awarding 80% of coronavirus stimulus money to millionaires, rather than struggling Americans. The Trump administration is handing out $55 million allocated for PPE to a bankrupt business with no employees or equipment to make such items. Trump is taking advantage of this time to share more intimate conversations with Putin. He’s discouraging democracy by spreading mistruth about voting by mail and taking a page out of a dictator handbook while forgetting about the American Constitution while claiming to have ‘total authority.’
rainbow hunt covid coronavirus quarantine hearts fairfield county

The home front has its challenges as well. We’ve been baking bread and eating non-perishables for weeks as we make our groceries stretch as far as they can. With this stretching, though, last week we found ourselves stressing. My husband and I were bickering about what our tween was eating almost every day. Catching him sneaking snacks became a really big deal. We were forgetting that being extra safe was a choice, not a sentence.

On top of that, a tween doing what a tween does: complain. A toddler doing what toddlers do: tantrum.hopeful messages in fairfield county during coronavirus quarantine
If you’re thinking, ‘where’s the hope in that?!’ I get it. I think it’s primarily that we’re settling into routine, and that we had a lot of sunshine this past week. It’s a few hours my husband’s blocked off from meetings during my toddler’s nap time so I’ve gotten alone time walking around my town–time to BREATHE that I hadn’t had quite enough of before. It’s back to being a collaborative couple, looking for ways to take care of one another. More time playing catch & frisbee outside, more hands in the dirt gardening, more sword fights with sticks against the little guy. It’s getting a brand new book in the mail after suffering through a couple of low-quality thrifted ones I never got around to reading before (I see now why). Those little moments I decided I would seek out in my last post about the quarantine.
Sometimes those little moments of light are ignited by messages of hope I’ve seen on my walks, or people have shared on our county’s rainbow hunt Facebook page. Little reminders of the beauty after the storm. Sometimes it’s seeing a fully bloomed tree, a splash of color that reminds me that nothing lasts forever.

These are the images I want to focus on. Individual people and families taking time out to uplift a stranger in a time of crisis and despair. A reminder that even if our government is failing us, the American people are still good hearted and deserving. That we’re surrounded by heroes, big, small, willing and many who didn’t sign up for this, but are fighting anyway.

Times are hard, but the best I can do right now is to share a bit of the beauty, gratitude and kindness that I’ve come across during these times.

hopeful messages rainbow hunt fairfield county quarantinehopeful messages rainbow hunt in fairfield countymessages of hope rainbows covid coronavirus quarantinepainted stones hopeful messages during covid-19 quarantine

rainbow hunt during coronavirus pandemic fairfield county

ranbow hunt fairfield county covid coronavirus quarantine

Westport Connecticut hopeful rainbow hunt wall coronavirus

Social Distancing During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Day 14

It’s day fourteen now. Two weeks in. Friends and family that live back in Texas are just starting their social distancing journey; Houston’s stay at home order started at midnight Tuesday. Homeschooling began Monday for them. On social media, they’ve started talking about how much they love being at home, how they were made for this.

I remember day one.

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Painting Class in Fairfield County with David Dunlop

One of the hardest things about returning to blogging is that I have SO many pictures, reference notes, and experiences to share that I don’t know what to pick!

I decided to install a random picker app, put a few ideas on there, and let it help. I use Tiny Decisions.

Random selection app

There’s no affiliation, but the name did help me decide which app to download 😉

Today I’m going to talk about one of the painting classes I took last winter.

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Dog Friendly Pumpkin Picking & Corn Maze in Fairfield County

SUPPOSEDLY, it’s still fall until December 21. Supposedly. The weather outside is frightful and the Christmas decor is delightful here in New England, so it’s easy to forget. But when the leaves were just beginning to change color, Tobias had a day off for Yom Kippur & we took advantage by heading over to Castle Hill Farm in Newtown, with our dog Laser in tow.

newtown-connecticut-in-fairfield-county-ct Continue reading

Day Trip: Kent Falls State Park & Downtown Kent, Connecticut

 

In late October, one of my closest friends came to visit. Being my first fall living in New England, and she being the friend I discovered my love for hiking with, I thought we should go on a road trip, hike, and enjoy the fall foliage that New England has to offer. Plus, it seemed like it was the prime time of autumn to do so.

fallen-leaves-autumn-in-litchfield-county-connecticut-kent-falls

Through my research, I found this killer fall foliage tour through New England. I also learned there was a name for the likes of us: leaf peepers. No shame.

Unfortunately, she wouldn’t be up here for long enough to take the tour suggested. Then, Tobias took up baseball, and with only a family car we were faced with him either missing his last two games or us staying more local. I had read a ton prior about Kent, Litchfield County, and about how this is the area in which the Appalachian trail goes through Connecticut. Sold. Continue reading

Hiking with Dogs in Fairfield County: Huntington State Park

Yesterday we had huge wind gusts come in through our coastal town here in Connecticut, and it wiped away much of the beautiful fall leaves I’ve been admiring over the last seven weeks. Last week the foliage was certainly at its peak when I took Laser for a trail run that, at far too many times, became a hike as I tried to maintain my heart rate while climbing some steep elevations.

This was the second time I’d been to Collis P. Huntington State Park. Last time was while I was training for my trip to Machu Picchu (That I still haven’t written about!) and I got the most lost I’ve ever been on a trail. Laser and I were out for hours. No complaints from that guy. Continue reading

Apple Picking in Fairfield County, Connecticut

It wasn’t long after moving to Connecticut that I began discovering things that are quintessentially New England: calling liquor stores “package stores,” seeing a Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner, and having a preference for what style of chowdah or lobstah roll you like, to name a few. I soon looked forward to Autumn, for not only leaf peepin’, but also apple picking.

Last Sunday, on the first weekend after the Autumnal Equinox, we headed out to Silverman’s Farm. (Along with what seemed to be everyone else for miles.) No doubt, this is the perfect place to head to on a date or with a family when you get that first hint of fall weather. Continue reading

7 Things I should have known before I moved across the country

Last week, I celebrated six months of living 1,690 miles from what I’ve known most of my life.

I use the term celebrated loosely. What really happened was that I started crying over something completely minuscule right after my son got on the bus, and minor setbacks throughout the day had me crying all.day.long.. Around 1 p.m. was when I realized it was actually the six month mark, so I can’t say it had anything to do with it. Upsets carried on into the next day, as well as my crying.

knew this was going to be hard.

I knew that growing pains occur with all change–that’s just how it is. But, still, I don’t think I was ready for this. Continue reading

Microadventures in Fairfield County, Connecticut: Mill Hill Open Space

Last year, I read an article in The New York Times about NatGeo’s 2012 adventurer of the year, Alastair Humphreys and The Virtue of Microadventures. At the time, it struck me. It’s a lesson that took me too long to grasp: in pursuit of living a big, adventurous life, you don’t always have to go far from home.

Connecticut is perfect for microadventures. As I mentioned in my post about how settling in to CT, there is an abundance of open space areas to wander through & break away. On a run one day, I stumbled upon Mill Hill Open Space.

Town of Fairfield Mill Hill Open Space April 30 May Sign

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