Hello in there

K2-S0 says “Heartfelt homage and appreciation for John Prine, RtFIP.”

Mostly, my family and I are OK. My charming husband has been working from home — as I have been for the last 14 years — and given the wee square footage of our house, it’s been remarkably harmonious and kind. We’ve weathered the death of my younger brother, after a long illness, without being able to gather and grieve his passing, and most recently, the furloughs and layoffs of half of my husband’s corporate master company.

The awareness that many others are experiencing far worse experience and circumstance is never far from my heart and my mind. How could it be otherwise? We are all in this together. (And for all of you who have reason to say fuck you with two middle fingers to this trite truism, I hear you.)


Ruby and Maddie are learning to wash dishes. Without me.

Scarlett maintains her unrepentant insistence on knowing interior spaces.

Um, nothing much new in that propensity.

My birthday was in early March, and I splurged on new deck furniture from Tidewater Workshop. Of course our planned new front deck construction is delayed until who knows when, but I built and painted all the new pieces with the leftovers from the wave gate project, and am sealing them as the weather allows. Above are three of the rectangular side tables.

The recent April full moon coincided with my mother’s birthday and mild weather. What a wonderful reason to sit outside late and watch the night sky.

I’ve been keeping busy with multiple projects and diversions. This 1:12 scale Bandai kit was so very satisfying to build.

What with shelter in place and all, my walks are constrained to our hilly mid-century suburban neighborhood, and I’m keen on … finding more interesting things to notice than whatever, or sweating, or not dying from a heart attack. (My neighborhood *is* really hilly.) So today it was flowers, and this one won: Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ honeywort. I use the iNaturalist app to help me identify that with which I am unfamiliar.

If only there was one for our time.

9 thoughts on “Hello in there

  1. Eileen says:

    I love your “hello in there”. Stay well. Life has become very odd, but I’m sheltering and doing little projects so am ok.

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Eileen, I’m so glad Hello In There resonates with you, and I have every intention of staying well, thank you. Odd is a good word to describe how we’re living these days. And “sheltering” is a reassuring word, don’t you think? Little projects help get us through, until the next thing. We can do this, because, consider the alternatives?

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Hi Sheila! So far, so OK. Good to see you’re still building too. I’m hesitant to say I think both of our cats prefer this new set of circumstances, but it’s pretty obvious they do :)

  2. wilma knipe says:

    Hello in there. Loved your email. Isn’t it sad that the World is in this very vulnerable state at the moment. I’m sad that you couldn’t farewell your brother the way you had wanted to, but I’m sure he would have understood.
    Scarlett’s world at least has not changed, as mischievous as ever.
    I totally understand about your Granddaughters, I think that’s the hardest of all, longing to just hug mine.
    Love the fun projects you’ve been doing, and that little flower is so much like a Fushia, apart from the leaves, very pretty.
    I hope going forward, you and your family stay safe, however long this change in all our lives lasts.
    Take care Wilma xx

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Hello Wilma! Heartfelt thanks for your condolences, and I believe you are absolutely right. I like to think my little brother is enjoying his two minutes of internet fame :)
      As for missing daughters and granddaughters and associated family members, it is fierce, so *undomesticated* and hard to contain.
      Creative focus has been very much a moving target for me, but trying to combine daily walks and some sort of noticing gives me a new reason to get outside my yard :)
      Thankyou for your well wishes; I hope the same for you.

  3. Marilyn Ormson says:

    I am sure anyone reading this feels pretty much the same although you have had to endure the loss of your brother too during this awful time… so many new normals to get to grips with and a world without your sibling is that bit tougher.
    As you say I keep trying to remind my self to count my blessings and think about many, many people who are in much worse circumstances than me in my nice house and garden. A bit of a challenge today as we are missing my grandson’s fourth birthday — he being the reason we uprooted to Scotland is sort of ironic too as we are currently seeing less of him than when we lived four hours away. Hey ho.
    As for the lovely Cerinthe major — one of my favourite herbaceous border plants and you have reminded my new ones here don’t have them. Currently unable to rectify that as we can’t go out and all online plant nurseries are basically swamped by folks using this time to sort their gardens.
    Stay home and stay safe… and in harmony with your co-worker

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Hey ho Marilyn! Thank you for your condolences. There should be some sort of non-touching hand signal for “I see you and recognize your sorrow/pain/suffering.”
      As for me, I have been emboldened to greet neighbors and strangers with heartfelt hellos and how are you todays, as I safely encounter them from way more than six feet away on my new walking regimen. Civility is everything.
      As is staying at home, to lessen the spread of this plague, and being mindful and kind of one’s new co-workers. So worth it.

  4. Bennie says:

    I hear you, it’s been a very weird few weeks here. I’m glad you’re staying busy. I love your new outdoor table, the colors are fantastic. I must say I’ve not been very productive here at home. I have been doing some ‘work from home’ but it’s been very slow. My goal for next week is to try and go through my closets a little bit. I’m glad you’re all getting along in your small home. It’s just me in my place. Luckily I do have some neighbors in my complex and I’ve been taking some walks with them keeping our distance of course. You stay well.

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