#SoCS – Sweet Memories, Hopeful Future


Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This week’s prompt is “beside you”.  Write about whatever is beside you when you read this prompt. Not when you sit down to write, but whatever is beside you right now. Take note of it if you think you might forget. Enjoy!

It’s Saturday morning and the first time I log into my blog in a couple of days.  It has been a crazy week. Our whole team is working from home and it has been so busy. I am not complaining. We all have jobs for now, though we have been told this may change.

I set my breakfast down and reach for my tablet before sitting down to enjoy it. I go to Linda’s page, see the prompt and look over to my plate, filled with beautiful, colorful fruit, French bread and a hunk of cheese. It’s stereotypically French and immediately reminds me of our trip to France, where we stayed with my daughter’s in-laws a few years ago. We had never met before and they were wonderful, gracious hosts. It also reminds me that I bought the tablecloth, with its bright blue and yellow colours of Provence on that trip. I remember our host trying to hide his disapproval as I went to pay for it. I bought it in a tourist shop and he knew I was over paying. So did I, but I didn’t care. I fell in love with it and didn’t mind paying a little extra to bring home a sweet reminder of the trip.

Our hosts lived in Agde and they took us to different surrounding towns every day. We saw Sète, Pezenas, which was once home to the famous playwright and poet, Molière, the fortified medieval city of Carcasonne and so much more.

 

After a week with our wonderful hosts, we took the train to Barcelona where we discovered architecture that book our breath away. It’s almost impossible to describe the beauty  of “Palau de la Musica” concert hall so I won’t even try.

Antoni Gaudi’s “Sagrada Familia Basilica” is also
stunning and his Parc Güell is a quirky mix of sophistication and structures that look like they might have been built for hobbits.

So this week’s prompt had me thinking about beautiful times in the not-so-distant past and my hopes for the future. The sudden onslaught of the Coronavirus has changed the planet and the travel industry, we just don’t know to what point yet. But if we all work together and distance ourselves, as we are being asked to do, hopefully we can get back to a semblance of normal soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The magic of Zoom!

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Today’s prompt is the word:  welcome.

I’m an introvert but not a hermit. Still, it came as a bit of an unwelcome surprise when only four days into working from home, I began to miss my routine.  Yes, that routine that I so often gripe about. You know the one:  Wake up, make coffee, hop into the shower, dry your hair, iron a blouse, pack your lunch, have breakfast, get in the car and drive to work. I could and should do the lunch and ironing part in advance, especially since I’m a born planner, but years of having to do it for both myself and my kids in the past have made me rebel against this.

Day one, I felt a sense of freedom. I woke up later than usual and then did my home workout during the time usually spent driving to work. By 8:30 am, I was at my computer and ready to face the day. Day two was similar but the sense of novelty was already wearing thin. On Day three, the isolation of my home office in the basement began to make itself known, even while my husband worked in his own office upstairs. I moved my computer from my office to the kitchen table where natural daylight streams into the room. My colleagues and I stayed in touch by email and by phone. But, none them stopped by while on their way to the photocopier; we didn’t gather in the lunchroom while we ate our mid-day meal or meet up at the coffee maker.

Then on Day Four, we all attended a meeting through the magic of Zoom video conferencing.  We had just bought it the week before to offer remote activities to our clientele. Our boss configured it and boom!  All our smiling faces were visible on each of our home computer screens. “Are you still in pyjamas?” someone asked me because the fleece around the neck of the hoodie I was wearing makes it look like a housecoat. “I don’t wear pyjamas,” I quipped (I was kidding) but it was so nice to hear their laughter.  After a few minutes of exchanging updates, we got down to business but it was a welcome break to the social distancing I am finding harder than I thought it would be.

#SoCS: Strange new world

Written for Linda G. Hill’s “Stream of Consciousness Saturday”.
This week’s prompt is the word “wire”.

The newswire was no doubt humming all  week. Each day brought something new about the infamous Coronavirus. It has been in the news for a few weeks, since it began in China, but on Tuesday night, I felt a shift in the way it was being covered in the media. My spidey sense was tingling and I just knew it was going to morph into an even bigger story than it was.

I texted my boss and asked if we should prepare a statement and a plan of action. There were only a very few reported cases in Quebec, but as a cancer wellness centre, we deal with a vulnerable population. We decided to wait and see. But my spidey sense was right and on Friday, we sat around the conference table and made a decision.

Our faces were glum as we reached a consensus.  We could not take a chance that someone who had been unknowingly exposed to the virus would come to the Centre and expose many others with compromised immune systems. We had to close for at least two weeks as many other schools, municipalities and organizations were doing. Our faces were glum as we prepared the message to be sent by mass email.

Outside, the sky was slate gray and the rain was pelting the windows so hard, it looked as if we might all need an arc to get home.  I checked my phone and saw a text message from my husband. He had been to the grocery store and by 10 am, many shelves were empty, and the check-out line snaked around the store.  Panic was setting in and it was every man for himself. Another local big-box store had temporarily closed because customers were fighting among themselves. I felt the weight on my shoulders grow heavier. Many say that humans are still similar to wild animals in the jungle where it is survival of the fittest. We are hard-wired to see to our own needs and let the weakest fend for themselves.

Then I saw a post on my social media feed. It was on a group page devoted to residents of our town and someone was offering to pick up groceries, medication or other necessities for anyone who was sick and/or quarantined. Yesss! It made me smile and it restored my faith in mankind.

Have you found a ray of hope in this new, Coronavirus-filled world where we are all forced temporary residents?