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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, March 15, 2020

Flypaper thought pandemic edition

  • I have been in the woods of Texas lately and offline
  • Spent a lot of time with the wildlife and my own life
  • Felt due after retiring from teaching this year
  • In a few days we head home
  • Early because of this Corona thing
  • The Canadian government is calling us back to the mother ship
  • A cooperative healthcare system means you cooperate
  • We will be going back for two weeks of self isolation
  • You know what in other times we called a sewcation
  • Completely fine with being stuck in the house with food left at the end of the driveway
  • Of course we have to get there first
  • Only thing on my mind is my niece who nurses in long term care
  • And my daughter with her own immune issues due to MS
  • But of course she will be working because her patients are kids with cancer
  • And they need her
  • I am thinking of all I know about epidemics
  • My mom nursed polio and TB patients
  • She terrorized us all through our childhoods
  • My dad used to say with pride "your mother could stop the bubonic plague in its tracks"
  • When she used to come to visit she starting disinfecting the kids' toys before her coat was off
  • Books people gave us when we were kids were baked in the oven before we could read them
  • I only found out that all books didn't have warped pages once I was old enough to join a library
  • Home sick
  • Quarantine
  • Isolation
  • Used to be a thing
  • Remember germs?
  • Even those rounds of measles, mumps, and chickenpox we all had in grade two one after another
  • Meant long stints in dark rooms and no one to play with
  • Now there are commercials on TV for a pill you take so your flu vanishes and you go out the door to work
  • Hard for that generation to get this lie low thing
  • Time for thinking about the public good
  • Which would do us all good
  • So even though it broke my heart to tell the kids in California I wasn't coming to babysit
  • And even though I had had patterns and fabric shipped there ahead
  • That house didn't need someone flying in to see them
  • Another time, a better time
  • In the meantime on my way home
  • Restored by the trees and the owls and the camping life
  • To sit tight until this cloud passes
  • And try to learn the lessons that this time offers
  • While I sew myself some seams


Marie said...

Have a safe trip home!

bbarna said...

Safe travels. I have spent the whole winter making a new wardrobe for a once in a lifetime trip that we wont get to go on...sigh. At least I have some nice new clothes. I remember sitting on the couch with my two younger sisters, the drapes closed, being quiet as we recovered from the measles...Oh well, I guess I will start a new quilt.

Carol in Denver said...

Thank you for stitching together your childhood memories (baking books! isolation in darkened rooms!) with today's situation. I think you will be a comfort to your family, friends and blog friends.

Kansas Sky said...

Pure poetry, this. Travel safely, every mile.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of your stories about your mother's nursing zeal earlier this week - I wish she was running our public heath system! Hard to imagine that your niece is already working as a nurse, it seems so recently that you were telling about her beginning her studies.

Safe travels home!


Sarah Wale said...

This is such an oasis of common sense in a world gone mad on hyperbole and alarmism. Trust our Barbara to put it all in perspective!
Like another of your correspondents, bbarna, I have been preparing for a wonderful trip that now won't happen but I understand that we all have to take responsibility for not only ourselves but our communities and the wider populace.
Have a safe trip home and know that your family, even the disappointed ones in California, will love, respect and salute you for your consideration and good sense.
Kia kaha everyone,as we say here in New Zealand. Stay strong, this too shall pass.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

"Now there are commercials on TV for a pill you take so your flu vanishes and you go out the door to work. Hard for that generation to get this lie low thing"

No truer words were spoken! Have a safe trip home!

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about you. Glad to see this post with your humour and common sense. Safe travels.


Katrina Blanchalle said...

Lovely thoughts! Since I naturally self-isolate whenever possible, this is not any hardship for me, but I know it's a shock to the majority of humans. I hope all these "abundance of caution" measures turn out to be extremely effective and we can stop this thing from taking over. That would be an incredibly effective hygiene lesson to all individuals and a huge triumph for society as a whole.

Travel safely and enjoy the quiet time.

Julie Culshaw said...

We are in self-quarantine as well having returned from 2 months in Texas. Where in TX were you? we were in Tyler in the north-east.

Word is Trudeau is shutting everything down, including grocery stores and pharmacies. Get what you need today.

Anonymous said...

Your family will be glad to have you back Barb . Thanks for your post , always steadying .
Grocery and drugstores will stay open .
Safe travelling .

Sam the Aussie said...

Yep going nuts over here in Australia too :( Lots returning to our free, inclusive health system. (Girl next door's sister living in Manhattan saying it is difficult to get food. Also I think their health cover lapses when they are not working? Anyway probably coming back to Aus.) Hopefully I keep well and get to clean out, tidy the sewing den, maybe get to sew too. A bag of gifted wool may see some crochet happening. Also given some candlewicking supplies, so might attempt that too. Gardening, as we have just begun autumn and our winters are mild compared to yours, vegs to see us through? Daughter due to have another baby in 3 weeks so hope we are well enough to help out. Interesting to see Supermarket aisles empty, well the healthy, making ones - flour, dried milk, UHT milk, canned fruit and veg. Lots of 'junk' food -lollies, chocolates, chips, still full! Keep safe. X

Helen Marshall said...

Thanks for the reassuring words Barbara. I hope you get safely home . I'm keeping myself (nearly) sane while my daughter in another state is in isolation with this virus by doing a little sewing each day. Double top stitching and not using the twin needle so I have something that demands real concentration

Charlie Peony said...

Bye, Barbara. :-(
We’ll look forward to your return visit next year. :-)
Beautiful Nova Scotia and its residents need you!

Jean Shaw said...

Sure hope you got across the border before it closed!
Be well.