If it weren’t for Covid, this week would have been abuzz with final trip preparations. We had hoped to go to Eastern Europe this summer to trace Al’s ancestry, with a side visit to see the town where my great grandfather Harry Herwitz lived. All that is now on hold (in one sense, a good thing, because the Herwitz family came from a town not far from Minsk, in Belarus, which, if you’re following the news, is in political turmoil over their election last week).
So, instead, we’re taking time off to work on our home. Last week we took care of some important electrical system repairs. There are leaking skylights to replace and a leak in my office roof (a converted porch), some painting to do, and a kitchen floor to refinish. We have some redecorating plans, too, which involve a lot of decluttering. Not exactly fun, but I’m hoping that by really focusing on all this stuff that we’ve put off for far too long, our home will be more organized, comfortable, and cozy.
Given that we’re all spending more time at home these days, it’s a worthy goal.
Over the weekend, I was listening to a podcast interview with Pico Iyer, who is a wonderful, thoughtful travel writer. He was speaking about how his travel has become more limited during the pandemic, and how it has brought him to appreciate his immediate surroundings much more. I have found myself doing the same, even on my walks around the neighborhood. Every time I walk, I see or hear something that I missed before—a purple door, a fairy garden, the chatter of katydids. These are welcome surprises.
We’ve had some unwelcome surprises as we’ve begun our home improvement projects, including the discovery of a main electrical cable with completely exposed wires due to rotted insulation. But I’m very grateful that we found out, and it’s now been replaced. That’s what happens when you start to pay attention to what’s been right under your nose all along.
So, I will be off next week, exploring the familiar with heightened focus, maybe taking some day trips, also. I hope you, too, are able to make the most of these last weeks of August in Covid Time. Back in September. Be well.
Image: Debby Hudson