Quarantine life in Hawaii has been (mostly) politely followed by its residents and, from all accounts, been a productive time. We have been told we “flattened the curve.” We have done a great job at protecting our keiki and kapuna. Out of our 1,412,687 residents, a total of 629 Covid infections occurred (565 recovered), with a total of 17 deaths. Hawaii has reportedly been one of the most restrictive states, in its attempts to squelch the novel virus. So, while sheltering in place and counting your stash of toilet paper and spam cans was fun, we are now going to begin opening up non-essential businesses. Yeah! Since shopping is a fine art in the Hawaiian Islands, due to the sometime lack of certain chain stores and easily obtained goods, confining our shopping to grocery stores and drive-through fast food has been difficult, especially when the Governor closed the beaches too — ugh! Serious withdrawal symptoms ensued!
Like most people, we aren’t sure how long the loosening of restrictions will last. But, here are some of the things I’m grateful for and learned to appreciate during the shut down.
- TIME: It has been a luxury to have time with family. Our lives have become too fast-paced, even in Hawaii. Having time to do things we haven’t had time for, and time to do nothing is a luxury little-valued in this day and age.
- TEA: I’m a tried and true coffee addict. But, needing a gentler brew in a scary time, I came to re-appreciate tea, especially when enjoyed with my beautiful daughter and some cookies for dunking. We probably talk more the most people, but sitting and sipping, with no agenda, enjoying the silence and allowing subjects to bubble up organically, has been really good for us and made us closer.
- SEWING: I was raised in a time when girls learned how to sew and do other types of needle-work. I never really thought of it before, but growing up and having my Mom show me how to knit, sew, crochet, embroider, needlepoint and even tat (make lace) kept me busy as a kid and taught me patience and the joy of finishing what I started. Our lives have become too screen-focused out of laziness, or the desire to keep up with what everyone is watching. So, I taught my daughter how to sew face masks by hand, while we waited for a sewing foot to arrive from Amazon (my Mom’s 30 year old sewing machine had a busted one.) It was great to sit and sew in silence and see her pride in finishing her masks.
- SOUP: Making soup has become a new joy. Originally, I wanted to make one pot of soup a day, as a way of counting the days during the Pandemic. There were two problems with this plan, however. First it was a bit too ambitious and would require too many trips to the grocery store. And, secondly, the pots of soup lasted more than a day. We had great plans to bake a lot, but missed out on this goal…or at least baking from scratch much. We did bake a lot of box mixes and bust out the cans of country style biscuits. It makes you appreciate the hard work of the home cooks of former eras. Scratch baking, home cooking, washing/drying dishes by hand and doing housework was REALLY a full-time job in those days (said she who runs her robot vacuum everyday.)
- GARDENING: In Hawaii, worries about food insecurity are a bit of a given, due to Tsunami and Hurricane warnings. We fair pretty well on a day-to-day basis of course. Our stores are full of most anything you’d want to eat. A lot of people fish and hunt, of course, but surprisingly, gardening hasn’t been a big deal here….at least, until the Pandemic. I was TOTALLY shocked at how the garden stores emptied of seeds and soil…and a little bummed when all I could find one day was kohlrabi and okra. It seems like everyone is putting in a Victory Garden. And while I’d appreciate having a few more seeds myself to plant, it warms my heart to see people putting in gardens! Is there anything more healthy and rewarding than working in a garden everyday? We have loved harvesting our own cherry tomatoes and lettuce, and the TASTE! Wow, so different than store bought! My Grandma was known for her green thumb, so when I’m in my little garden, I think of her and her windowsills filled with tomatoes to ripen up and put in her yummy uncomplicated salads with Catalina dressing.
I’m so grateful for those (5) silver linings! They were memory-makers. I don’t know, but hope my daughter won’t forget them. I know I won’t.
Peace and Aloha friends. Stay Safe Out There!
Mrs. Sassy Pants