Life in the Slow Lane: Spring Cleaning, Glass Jars and Lockdown

Two Wolves, QuarantineIt’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted a blog – my deepest apologies! It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes life takes over a bit too much to think straight. Just like for everyone else on the planet, life as we knew it has come to a grinding halt, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it’s just different, and it takes some adjusting time. For me, that’s meant recovering energy from a mild case of Covid-19 – it mainly just wiped out our energy for about a month, giving me achy joints; in the meantime, I’ve been getting used to having my husband at home 24/7 as he works from home. It means we get to have lunch together, but it also means that I’ve spent more time in the kitchen than usual. Even with all the adjustments, I could get used to it all and enjoy it! The introvert in me is fine not having a loaded agenda; I’ve had more time to write, to do a bit of “urban” (read “indoor potted plants“) gardening (mainly kitchen herbs), and tackle a bit of spring cleaning.

When you slow down, you tend to notice things in more detail; you might think of old friends that you haven’t contacted in a while, and you pick up the phone to call, Skype, Zoom or message. You notice things around your own home that, as busy as life usually is, you’ve overlooked or ignored as a non-priority.

But now there’s time. Time to look around, time to observe, time to do something that hasn’t been a priority before. You know what I mean… you’ve walked past something in your home that’s out of its place a dozen times or a dozen weeks without putting it where it goes. Those little nick-nacks and thingamabobs that go somewhere else; a book that you’ve been intending to read and have dusted off a time or two in the meantime; that glass jar that came out of the dishwasher a week or two ago that you’ve intended to use… you get the gist.

Spring Cleaning

Speaking of glass jars, I’ve always held on to large ones or unusual ones, thinking I’d put them to use someday. Well, that day has arrived: About a month ago, I started battling those horrid little kitchen moths; likely arriving in a package of dates or a package of Asian noodles (where they’ve been found thus far), they kept appearing every time I thought I’d finally dealt with them. So I did a bit of research, and ended up emptying and taking the cupboards apart! Every glass jar I could find now has something in it – dried beans, rice, spices, flour, grated coconut, etc. Any other time, I would be able to go out and buy large jars; but in this time of lockdown, the only source I’ve had is our local grocery store – and even they have such selves cordoned off… only things that are necessary have been for sale (so I’ve bought them anyway – yes, I ignored the restriction, which was there to keep one from buying things at a grocery store that other shops, forcibly closed, might sell you – but I would have bought them in the same store, anyway. Maybe they took the hint, because last week they started selling 2-5 litre Fido canning jars, and I’ve stocked up “legally” now!). It’s been good – I now know what I’ve got in the pantry. I have TONS of spices (which I use), at least 7 varieties of rice (yes, they are all necessary!), and a good collection of dehydrated foods (all homemade). My husband’s a happy camper, as I’ve made our kitchen decorative shelves into a veritable candy store, with snacks galore: dehydrated snacks like watermelon, bananas and candied ginger; dates, figs, nuts. The glass jars look nice, and you can see how much you have, take what you want without leaving an open package (a neon sign for crawlies), and have something healthy within sight when you get a snack craving. Yes, it took moths to get my kitchen more decorative.

I’m curious: What have you been doing around your house during lockdown that you might not otherwise have undertaken? Please comment below!


Filed under Articles, Musings

11 responses to “Life in the Slow Lane: Spring Cleaning, Glass Jars and Lockdown

  1. I laughed when I read the illustration with the wolves. Slowing down means we have more time. Almost a magical truth. I’m glad you’re using all the jars. I keep the larger, unusual ones as well. Recently, I started filling them or considering not keeping them. I’ve been trying most days to go through things I haven’t gone through. I had to bring a couple of offices’ worth of stuff home a few years ago and haven’t known what to do with it all. So slowly (slowly) I’m going through everything either to have a place with me or go into a (mostly boxed-up) pile to go somewhere else. Not that anyone’s hauling away things these days. But I’ll be ready.

  2. My wife, Laura, and I don’t work, so the biggest difference for us is that we haven’t been spending money in bars and restaurants, not a bad thing at all. Our conversations have deepened. We cook more together. We go to the beach for sunsets. All in all we’re in a very good place. She spent much of her life in the service industry, so she agonizes over the service people out of work. It’s been interesting to watch the lockdown protesters. I think they are illustrating Darwin at work.

    Be well; be safe; be kind.

  3. Amen to it all. 😉 We’re doing what we can for those in the service industry; our neighbour has a drink business, mainly providing for festivals, sporting events, and restaurants. Ouch. We get most of our drinks from him, now – it’s not much, but it’s something. Stay safe!

  4. I laughed when I read it too! 😉
    It’s a good feeling to simplify life; we accumulate so much, yet we could get by with so little. Years ago, I was on the mission field; I had to carry whatever I took with me on my back, so I learned not only to pack lightly, but to realize how little we need to be content. It’s healthy to remember that, and keep it in mind when we are tempted to accumulate…

  5. That’s marvelous that you’ve accomplished so much recently.

    My life hasn’t changed much at all, since I stay home most of the time, anyway. I kept reading about all the things people were doing to fill their time and could only rustle up a bit of envy. Reading a book was something I would have liked to do. Alas, all the titles I jotted down from friends’ favorites had a waiting list of six months. Yes, months! John conjectured that everyone went on line to borrow books in the first week of lock down. I should have asked if there were any book available instantly, but that’s not how it works.

  6. You might consider getting a Kindle (or download the free app to your computer or tab or phone) – then you could get books instantly. 🙂 Amazon and Smashwords have a lot of free books, too.

  7. There’s an idea! I haven’t heard of Smashwords before. I might already have the Kindle app. Thank you for these suggestions.

  8. I have all of my books on both Amazon and Smashwords, though I prefer the latter (trying to move away from the monopoly of the former)… Enjoy reading! 🙂

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