notes from quarantine

I wanted to check in and say “hi” to all of you guys. How are you and your loved ones doing during these SUPER uncertain times? I hope you are doing well.

Honestly, if you would have asked me 6 weeks ago if I could stay at home 99% of the time, home school our son, continue to work as part of a strong, creative design team plus improve my cooking (& cocktail) skills, go crazy with organizational OCD, find continuous joy on daily walks, rides and gardening sessions….I would have said “NO WAY!”

“Pre-corona” I would leave the house daily, to grab coffee with a friend, go to the studio, do some therapeutic thrifting, shop at the West Side Market, check out a new restaurant, explore a new hot spot, attend an after-work meeting, grab wine with my gals… and on and on and on.

But here we are…together…week 7. My daily “outfit of the day” story posts have evolved into daily breakfast and dishtowel posts. Bedtimes have gotten a touch later but mornings feel longer and more lazy even on the busiest of “social distancing” days. Where once I would buy bread from our Cleveland bakeries, now I am self-challenging with homemade Naan, NYT no-knead bread, muffins and more. Gosh do I miss my girl Meredith and her manicure masterpieces; and while I love my new lavender polish it’s just not the same…and let’s not even talk about my bangs trims.

I recently had an urge to go thrifting, to discover a one-of-a-kind, a score, instead I turned to Etsy. While I have been trying not to shop during these uncertain times, that day I was in need of some solid retail therapy….so for $19 I picked up a pair of fluorescent orange, JCrew heels and I felt a touch more normal. Then there is home schooling…to all you teachers out there, bless you. While I am enjoying arts & crafts and read-a-loud time, kindergarten new math and keeping our guy on track and attentive on Zoom is a daily challenge I can do without.

All in all, these last few weeks have been filled with many challenges and sacrifices…but also so much joy. The time together as a family has been incredible. Our long walks and “family meetigs” (to decide what’s for dinner) have brought us closer together as a little family unit. We for sure have our roles in this new normal…I do school, laundry and “grocery management,” Mr C. does Taco Tuesdays, “baseball practice” and the recycling and NinjaMax wears his noise cancelling headphones when Mom and Dad want to watch a movie with questionable 5 yr old words in it….and so far it’s all good. I mean, we’ve for sure had our challenges…like I want to spend this time doing every constructive, DIY project around the house while my boys want to spend this time to get caught up on all of the Harry Potter movies,…and while I like movies…I don’t like them all day…but that is so minor, I can’t really complain.

We are healthy, so for that I am deeply grateful. We are wearing our masks and gloves and using our hand sanitizer. We are social distancing…not even a glass of wine in a driveway, 6 ft apart…YET. I’m not saying never, but so far I have been pretty strict with the new normal rules and while I know I can’t do this forever…I will approach re-entry into the world full of hesitations.

A couple of things that we have loved during these times…
Bike Rides. NinjaMax learned to ride a bike! So we have been riding all over town including the Saturday morning North Union Famers Market. We go online and order meats, lettuce and herbs and then we ride our bike to pick up our goods. I love this routine.
Instacart! What can I say, it’s a new neccesity to either pick up or have your groceries delivered. I have always loved this service and in these times, I love it even more. Here is my trick…place your order for a few things early in the weeknand then add to the order throughout the week…by the weekend your order will be ready for delivery…or at least this has been my experience.
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. This local nature preserve has been our escape from the daily routine. We’ve enjoyed watching the trees bloom, the birds arriving for the summer season, the little flowers sprouting up from the earth and the neighborhood park coming to life. Thanks to the staff at the Nature Center for all you are doing durng these days.
Amazon. Amazon for everything…from board games, to hair clippers, to fancy cherries for manhattans, to new baseball mits, to vegetable seeds and paints, cookbooks and sidewalk chalk! Just to name few household things. Thank you to all the friendly drivers who are delivering during these times. We are so appreciative.
TV! While I mentioend I dont want to watch all day…I am good to go in the evenings. Currently loving Little Fires Everywhere, The Beastie Boys Movie, Tiger King, Ozarks, and Hook; circa 1991.
Peloton. As a “user” for over two years, this bike and wellness company is currenlty my lifeline to sanity, fitness and funky afternoon dance parties. Thank you Peloton family for evolving and changing with the times, I am a tried and true user for life. Thank you!
Food pick ups. The first few weeks we had zero food other that what I was cooking. Then after the 3-meal-a-day food prep I was loosing steam and open to the idea of pick up. Then when Vero opened their phone lines for pick up, I was totally game! From there we have picked up burgers and fried califlower from La Albatros, fancy pasta from Dante, Ban Mi’s from On The Rise and grain bowls from Luna Bakery. We take precautions filled with lots of hand sanitizer and leaving the bags and boxes in the garage but these few food purchases have kept us connected to the Cleveland food scene while staying safe (& somewhat sane) at home.

Last but certainly not least THANK you to our nurses and doctors for taking care of Cleveland on the front line. Thank you to the delivery & mail people for bringing notes and packages that bring our family joy. Thank you for our teachers for pivoting and teaching our kids during these scary times. Thanks to our friends for touching base to check in on us and make sure we are doing okay, personally I will be FOREVER grateful for the silly Zoom calls, the sporadic “HouseParty’s” and the day to day text check-ins with my community of friends, family and even those of you who have reached out just to say “hi.” Thank you.

So I hope you are well. I look forward to seeing you later this summer…with masks on of course…but I truly miss you dear Cleveland and I can’t wait for what the future holds. Be well. xo -Charity