My First Week of Social Distancing is in the Books

I am confident that you will agree with me when I say this is all very odd. COVID-19 has altered our reality and our sense of community.  Spring is arriving on time in Virginia, but nothing is as it has been in the past.

Last week I posted a list of the things that I had planned for my week of social distancing.  As with all lists, some things get done, and some things don’t.  Some headway has been made, but my list will be incomplete as I go back into the work rotation starting at midnight tonight.

Of particular note is my initiation into Zoom nation this with my siblings and parents.  Mom’s 82nd birthday was on March 23rd (Happy Birthday, Mom!).  My sister decided to get us all on ZOOM to sing to Mom.  Having come of age in the 1970s with two brothers and three sisters, I heard enough Brady Bunch comments to last me well into the next millennia. And yet here we were, six siblings and our parents zooming a birthday wish to Mom.  I wish I had the skill to put us in order by age ala “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.”   (photoshopping skills by Liz Dorgan, aka Bitsey)

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Here’s the story of a lovely lady…”

I found all manner of distraction to keep me from falling prey to Musket Court Syndrome.  There was grass to cut and daily runs out to the mailbox after the mail carrier had double-clutched on to Remmington Drive.  My post person has a habit of leaving all the residual Musket Court mail that failed to get to the correct recipient in my box.  I am a federal employee, so delivering the wayward post did not seem to be a violation of social distancing rules.  After the mail, it seems to be time to deal with the vast Baumann family fortune.

The storage spaces up in the Frog have been sorted.  I found some plaques given to me as I checked out of commands throughout my career in the Navy. I know that many Navy retirees have an “I Love Me” wall with all of their stuff displayed.  I had forgotten about my “I Love Me” box.  What was lost is now found.

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I  repacked toys from when the boys were young and pondered why some items in the deep recesses of the storage spaces were still in my possession.  I have to sort the remaining things and parcel them out (of my house) to the correct person for safekeeping.

I’ve developed a fondness for Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra. There is nothing quite like a Norwegian bluegrass band! Don’t judge! Check them out on YouTube.  With all this time on my hands and Alex socially distancing himself on his side of stately Baumann Manor (the bluegrass music may be holding him at bay), I have caught up on the Marvel Universe with viewings of Ant-Man as well as Ant-Man and the Wasp. I now understand what Michelle Pfiefer was doing in the funeral scene in Avengers End Game.  It all makes sense now.

20200322_084054Moby-Dick is still out there.  I am in hot pursuit.  I have 100 pages and one more ocean to cross before the end of the fish story.

Did you know that the lyrics of the songs “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “House of the Rising Sun,” and “Amazing Grace” can all be sung to the music of all three songs? Go and try it,  I’ll wait.

Of the strange things that happened this week, one still has me befuddled.  I have a Seth Thomas desk clock from the 1940s.  I have tried to get it running several times.  A gentleman who ran a clock repair shop for decades in Norfolk told me that it would cost more to repair the clock than it was worth.  My son Scott took it to another shop and got it running for about a day.  Last Sunday, I was cleaning the first floor of my house. I moved the clock while dusting an end table in the “library,” where it has been showing the correct time twice daily for the past few years.  When I came back later, it was running. (Cue the Twilight Zone music).  I set the correct time and went on cleaning.  It has been keeping time nicely for over a week. I relocated it to my desk up in my room.


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The Lazarus Clock


And just to follow-up on my list from last week, here is a status update:

  • I checked in with my family.  Everyone is well.  Whales are off the shore of Scituate entertaining my sister and her girls, and my Aunt Maureen is tap dancing in the Adirondaks. My parents are doing well, taking care of each other. Need I say more?
  • The beard is growing nicely, but it is coming in gray.  It is tough to see in the early stages.  For those of you who don’t know what I look like, count your blessings.
  • Painting Scott’s room and the foyer will be next week. I decided that trips to Home Depot are not a top priority.  I have to think about keeping Alex and my co-workers safe.
  • The Sonos Speakers are now playing my Spotify account, which explains why Alex is sequestered in his room with sound-canceling headphones.
  • I think I am close to proving that Johann Baumann came from the area of Kaiserslautern, Bavaria to the United States in 1865.  More to come on that little piece of the family tree.
  • I have cleaned a number of my fountain pens.  There are more to go, and then the process of filling three of them.

I know this is all nonsense.  COVID-19 is not to be laughed at. This is how I am coping.  I am 500 miles removed from where my heart is beating.  I worry about “Doctor Jeanne” every waking moment.  I know she is smart and taking all the necessary precautions.   She is just too many zip codes away right now.

Tomorrow I go back into the office with “Team One” to deal with whatever comes our way.  Team Two gets eight days to figure out what to do with themselves in social isolation.  I will be back next week.   Until then, be safe.  Please!


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