nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘COVID-19

abandoned gardens: flowers, out of place

with 2 comments

A flower common in flower gardens is the yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata). It is prized for its perennial nature and its whorls of bright yellow flowers. A closely related species, garden loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris), differs a little in the arrangement of its flowers and in other characteristics.

~

These flowers occasionally persist at abandoned home sites, or spread by the roots. As escapes, they look out of place, a bright spot in the green landscape.

~

We went for a drive in the countryside west of Woodstock in Carleton County last Friday and found two escaped patches of yellow loosestrife, one on the edge of a field along Green Road and one in the ditches in Watson Settlement.

~

16 green road lysimachi distance shot

a patch of yellow loosestrife in a field on the Green Road

~

large yellow loosestrife

Lysimachia punctata

~

slash of yellow

blooms in the crease

between sumac and hayfield

campion, Timothy, bedstraw and vetch

ladders of golden flowers escaped

from a garden now gone

~

10 green road lysimachia close-up

closeup of the patch of yellow loosestrife

~

At Watson Settlement, while I was photographing the flowers, a truck stopped to make certain we were OK. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about COVID-19 and social distancing, so although I chatted a bit, I didn’t ask the woman any questions. I could have talked to her about the history of the community and asked her about other garden escapes.

~

29 watson settlement road lysimachia

a patch of yellow loosestrife in a ditch in Watson Settlement

~

yellow loosestrife escape

~

In the ditch,

in the angle of two roads,

armloads of yellow loosestrife.

~

“Are you broken down?” she says.

“Hardly picked a cup

of wild strawberries this year.

But the Devil’s paint brush

is blooming again.”

~

I am afraid to ask,

in these days of social distancing,

about the yellow loosestrife,

about the community,

about garden escapes.

~

She smiles and drives on.

Unasked questions

unanswered.

~

~

28 watson settlement road lysimachia

yellow loosestrife in the ditch at Watson Settlement

~

 This work is supported by a Creation Grant from artsnb (the New Brunswick Arts Board)!

~

All my best,

please stay safe,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 8, 2020 at 7:00 am

my COVID-19 kit

with 4 comments

Since March 12, I have been almost nowhere. I am so careful, washing my hands until I have developed a thin outer layer of skin. I have stood six feet apart, even when no one else is there. I wore a mask when I went into the only store I’ve been inside in two months. My husband does the same. We quarantine every bit of mail coming into the house. I wipe down all our groceries. The grocery bags go into quarantine as well.

*

In spite of all these precautions, I worry. I am probably paranoid. The only thing that helps me be OK is my COVID-19 kit. Each morning and each night I pull it out. I take my temperature with my thermometer. 36.2 Whew! I lift my little bag of lavender to my nose. Sweet, potent, floral. Whew!

*

*

A high temperature and loss of the sense of smell are not the only symptoms of COVID-19. Our New Brunswick Department of Health lists the following:

fever above 38°C or signs of fever (such as chills);

a new cough or worsening chronic cough;

sore throat;

runny nose;

headache;

a new onset of fatigue;

a new onset of muscle pain;

diarrhea;

loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell; and

in children, purple markings on the fingers or toes.

*

Do you have a ritual that makes things seem OK? Even when they are not?

*

All my best,

staying at home,

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 1, 2020 at 7:00 am

in these times

with 8 comments

Someday, my memory of these days of pandemic will have faded. But there is value in lessons learned, so I will describe my experiences here.

~

~

My situation is that of a retired person, used to working on my writing at home and going out to do errands and some volunteer work. For my husband and I, staying home is not too different from normal life.

~

lemons

~

1. Food. Before the pandemic, we had already shifted to getting curb-side delivery of our groceries from the Atlantic Superstore. For that reason, no shift was needed. During this time, we make an order every two weeks, ordering early to get a convenient delivery time. My husband also goes to Sobeys once every two weeks for milk and a few needed items. Both stores have good distancing measures in place and the few substitutions any store has made have not been significant. As for take-out food, we have continued to order pizza and other take-out food as before.

~

~

2. Passing Time in Isolation. I am so lucky that my husband and I have been able to face this time together. I have not really been isolated, since there is always someone there to talk to. We do small household projects together, read a bit together in a mystery series we both enjoy, watch some TV and plan our meals.

I am a writer and my writing life is managed by working on several projects at once, each project in a different stage. I have been very productive in the last two months, completing drafts of three new poetry books, completing work on the next book in my science fiction series, and launching two books, one science fiction and one mystery. I have seen a little spike in readership in the last few weeks, as people turn to reading to pass time alone.

~

~

3. Contributing to Local Businesses. At the best of times, we are not big consumers. But during the pandemic, I have tried to support local businesses. I have bought plants for the growing season from Scotts, art supplies and toys from Endeavours and Think Play, fabric from Fabricville and so on. These businesses have gone above and beyond to give safe and friendly service. When parcels arrive, I put them in Quarantine for three days, to minimize any risk.

~

~

4. Getting Out and About. During the pandemic, we have taken short drives, to bird watch, check on our cabin (about 3/4 of an hour away) and deliver sold books. In a stroke of luck, I had ordered author copies of my four newest books before Amazon cut delivery service to Canada, so I have books to sell. I do what I call ‘drive-by-bookings,’ making arrangements with those who want to buy my books, hanging a bag of books on the door handle and leaving to maintain social distancing. I have also put copies of my books in some of the little free libraries in town.

~

~

5. Staying in Touch. I am so grateful to live in the age of the internet. I am able to keep in touch with family and friends by way of email, Facebook and my blog. My two writer’s groups have held their meetings on Facebook Messenger and I have taken a writing course twice a week on Facebook. I have family members not on social media and we have kept touch by way of telephone.

~

~

6. Staying Healthy. Our days are very routine. We focus on getting lots of sleep, keeping our intake of fruit and vegetables high, keeping in touch with our physician and diabetic health care folk. As usual, I fall short on exercise. I have mobility problems and always do a half hour program of stretches each morning. Other than that, my success in the area of exercise is rather pitiful. I say I will do better.

~

~

7. Adaption to new standards. We are lucky in New Brunswick where I live. We have had few cases, have no new cases (according to testing) and no deaths from COVID- 19. We are in the Yellow Phase of our re-opening plan which means most business can open with social-distancing and other measures in place.

Social distancing is hard. Not because I am a huggy sort of person, but because I find confronting people difficult. If someone is getting too close, I find it hard to confront, to say back off, even in a nice way. So when the delivery fellow comes to the door and tries to pass me a box, I take it, getting nearer than I should.

As our province tries to return to ‘normal’, I know mask-wearing will become part of our culture. So I dusted off my sewing machine and scanned the many videos showing mask-making. By the end of making ten washable masks, I could do them with my eyes shut, but my back hurt and I think I sewed through my finger at least once.

~

~

The other day, as I went through some poems I have written, I came across one about getting the H1N1 vaccine. I have almost no memory of that time in my life. Of course, our lives were not affected in quite the same way. Perhaps I will look back on the time of COVID-19 and know some things changed for the better.

~

All my best.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Stay home as much as possible.

Find a safe way to talk to and be with those you love.

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 25, 2020 at 7:00 am

%d bloggers like this: