What have you done in self-isolation that you have never done before?

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We have a writing assignment for you

By Chuck Woodbury
Most of us are sticking pretty close to our home, or in the case of a quarter of our readers, their RV-home. We’re not necessarily stuck inside 24/7, but when we go out it’s usually somewhere with no people packed in close to us. Gail and I have hiked a bit on a some beautiful Arizona desert trails, where we seldom encounter another human being. Lots of lizards (but shame on them for not wearing masks!).

Which brings to me to your assignment: Please take a little of your now-ample spare time to tell us what you’ve been doing these days that you’ve never done before without the distractions of the outside world. Have you taken up a new hobby? Planted a garden? Read a book you’ve just never had time to read before? Maybe pulled out the family photo albums and put them in some sort of order? Learned how to paint?

Have you started a diary (a great idea)? Or maybe you ordered a harmonica from Amazon and are bound and determined to master it. The next time somebody pulls out their guitar at the campfire you can join along.

So here’s your assignment: In 600 words or less, tell us how your life is different because of your new solitary lifestyle. We’ll post many your stories on this website. We’re sure many readers will be inspired, maybe even motivated to try something new. Heck, pandemics don’t come along every day, do they? (Thank goodness!)

If you have a photo to go along with your story, please send it along.

Send your essays to editor@rvtravel.com.

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Einar

Put up with my In-Laws for so long!

Ron H.

Early this year, about the time the Coronavirus was starting to spread, I was contacted by a long-lost cousin. One of the spit-in-the-tube mail-in DNA services linked us together and we started communicating and sharing old family photos via email. We found some photos of us as small children playing together about 70 years ago. Our families then went in different directions and we lost contact until this year. In the past few months we have swapped a couple hundred old photos and family history and this exercise has led me to totally rebuild an old album from the 1800s that was disintegrating. Our Governor’s “Stay Home” order has given me the opportunity to relax, get to know my cousin, sort through a trunk of family history and build a photo album that, I hope, will be of interest to future generations.

John Martin

On the lighter side, i learned “Big Foots” name is Darryl.

Larry McFadden

I have a couple things I say that seem to run true. The first that ” Water always wins”. Secondly, ” If you put enough rats in a box, bad things will happen’. Now I am not a doom or gloomer. I believe that the virus that has caused us some discomfort will be conquered by science and life will return to normal in time. I personally have a back yard I call my park that seems to have taken more of my time than it usually does or at the very least, I am spending more time in it. I DO miss going to the local watering holes and tasting new beers from the local breweries. Life will return as it was prior, maybe not as quickly as I hope it will.

Roger

NEWS FLASH!!

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST CALCULATIONS COVID-19 ONLY HAS A .025% MORTALITY RATE. THAT’S DOES NOT EVEN QUALIFY AS AN EPIDEMIC!!!
YES THERE WILL BE SOME HOT SPOTS, THERE ARE EVERY YEAR. NO THE WHOLE COUNTRY DOESN’T NEED TO SHIT DOWN.

My wife and I have done nothing different except having to deal with the “Chicken Little” mentality that gripped the government and those people who turn off their brains when they turn on the TV.
Don’t people understand that the rules set up by state governors are not laws and those rules have usurped several rights guaranteed by the bill of rights? We are NOT under MARSHAL LAW. COVID-19 be damned.
Time after time over the last few months various state Supreme Court rulings have reversed rules from state governors who think all they have to do is print up how the world should act according to them and then they can throw people into jail.
Do people not understand that this is how the NAZI party got started. Give them an inch and they will swallow the whole constitution!
We’re in our late 60’ and we are going to die of something sooner or later, everyone does. We believe in the after life so we don’t have to live in fear of leaving this one behind.

Jan Prins

The only difference is that I have a beautiful 800 sq. ft. garden and that my property is fully landscaped. In Canada we follow the government mandates and so will come out of this crisis ahead of the curve.
Quit whining and keep your chin up. Some of you that were in the military have had it a lot worse, so just look to the future.

Cindy

I’m a little frustrated by constantly hearing, “Life will never be the same” said with a sigh. I disagree. What can possibly change that much? We won’t stay “social distanced” forever. People will get on with their lives, they will want to move back to the familiar and those things that made them who they are. Only the pessimistic among us will keep sighing and whining. Let’s not drown in our misery but rather prepare for the day when all is “normal” again.

Cheryl Thompson

We are both retired but my husband has a PT job with the school system but that was put on hold. The school system is still paying him what he would have earned through the end of the school term, BUT after that is still being discussed. Summer school will be online and the school is planning is returning in person in September 2020 if it can be done safely. He is a crossing guard so he has an special job compared to teachers.

We have adequate savings, Social Security, and state retirement benefits. We both will have Medicare by 6/1/20 and the state retirement fund has a no contract with a Medicare Advantage program negotiated to give us a reduced rate because of 100,000 retirees alone participating in the fund.

We have no children, of our parents only my MIL is still living and with my SIL so that is taken care of. We call every other day and check on her. While both of us are in the 65+ age category and have 3 of the health issues listed as critical, we are doing fine and both got a clean bill of health just before the shutdown.

We have gotten our POD in shape when and if overnight camping is opened up in our state. We plan only going to KOAs within 60 miles of us when that happens. We want to stay close to our doctors and hospitals rather than getting too far away and have anxiety during the trip. Things are chaotic, guidelines changing all the time, local, county, state and federal do not agree. One county has stricter guidelines and the one right next to us has none. I was a child during the polio epidemic in the 50’s and was in the danger zone for 3 years until the vaccine was available. I just fix things around the house, planting my flower beds and garden, eating at home fixing our own food or carrying out 3x a month to help keep our favorite restaurants going. We are waiting others to be the guinea pigs and see what happens and then adjust.

Fred

The one thing I’ve done(been) that I’ve never done(been) before, since we started fulltiming 10 years ago, is, I’m bored out of my gourd. I’ve been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, first, in the desert north of Yuma, AZ & now in southern Alabama, near the gulf shore. I’m itching to get back into the exploring the interesting things throughout this country as we wander. We’ve barely scratched the surface in the last 10 years. Our trip from Arizona to Alabama was weird because there were very few cars on the highways, only truckers & fewer of them than normal. The whole reason for the rv lifestyle is to be able to go where you want, when you want, with no restrictions. The very idea of the government telling me I can’t do anything or go anywhere (even if their reasoning is valid) just doesn’t sit well with me, so I’m very frustrated. At my age, with only a few more years left to explore this country, It’s maddening to be put on hold.

Terri R

Never done before – organizing all my photos decade by decade first & throwing out all the negatives & pictures of people I no longer remember with the goal to actually organize by year in the near future & maybe turn out some memory books that are so inexpensive to have printed.
This activity has led to rekindling old relationships as I reach out to some of the people in photos from 20, 30, 40 yrs ago. Thanks to facebook have been able to find more of them than I would have thought and messaging a copy of those pictures has led to great conversations. Just yesterday I posted a picture of my concert ticket stubs from 1981 – 82 & tagged the people I thought I remembered going with … great replies so far (& the Rolling Stones were only $11 to grab a seat back then!)

Jane Morgan

One thing that we have done that is different than we would have done is finish our new home so we can move in. The house is all done, thank goodness; however, you need furniture to use in there…correct??? Well, all furniture stores are closed so you have to resort in buying furniture on line. This is a new and different experience. I’m glad to say that so far it has been working pretty well. You just need to remember that you need to be handy enough to assemble all the pieces as everything comes in boxes “ready to assemble.” It works for us because my husband and I are pretty good at “building” and handyman kinds of projects. Works fine until the company you bought the item from forgets to include some parts…back to the internet to tell them to send more “washers”. Ugh. All in all it keeps us going forward and we are making progress. Home Sweet Home will be ready, one of these days.

Richard Davidson

The one thing we have done that we never did before is use ZOOM to be a part of our bible studies. It has helped tremendously in not feeling so isolated and in keep up with our friends and family.

tipsy

Did not know how to add photos.

tipsy

I have always loved restoring old pieces of furniture, but once I sold the house that came to and end. However, hanging out on my friends goat farm(learning about goats too), I noticed there was quite a number of Iron features, Concrete statues, wood features etc that were all in dire need of help.
I started with a marble topped table with an ornate cast iron pedestal plus and not that old cast iron sun dial where the black paint was peeling off.
I stripped both got rid of the rust, repainted ( sundial used three colors of metallic paint, & pedestal I used a medium blue with the white marble)than a rebuild. Learning along the way.
My friend was absolutely thrilled and than suggested I work on the concrete statues, in particular the badly damaged, weather worn madonna that used to belong to her mother. Oh and an antique concrete chicken missing her beek and had been painted copper! (Ugh). Now concrete is NOT iron and I had much to learn before I even started. (YOUTUBE & Internet research).
I stripped the layers of old paint off of both than removed the weaker concrete spots on the madonna and prepped the top of her head that had long ago broken off.
Through trial and error and remembering proper concrete repairs (previous experience at old house), along with molding tools, I built up her head , missing thumb and all the areas of removed soft concrete.
Next I pulled out my trusty dremel. Nothing on dremel website mentions what bits to use to grind hardened cement! What, people don’t carve cement? So I tried some of the various grinding bits and eventually reshaped and smoothed out her head hands etc.
I amazed myself, lol.
Side note: when grinding concrete, a good respirator , eye protection & hearing protection are a must. Cough cough hack…
While madonna was curing , I turned to chicken. i built up her new beak and next day I realized I put her beak on her forehead!
Rewind, try again, this time her beak was crooked, okay, this time I added more repair concrete and ground it straight! HAH
I fixed her tail and other minor issues and she was ready for next step.
I found a weather resistant oil based primer to use that I could also use on a large exterior book case I had built (requested by friend).
After priming I had finally settled on type of paint, colors etc.
As of this writing, I have added lots of color to madonna, lighter blue veil with a ink blue cloak, antique gown, brown hair and eyebrows ( adding eye brows was an adventure in of itself), olive skin tone and earth tone globe. Chicken is going back to its original colors using white, green, yellow and red & black eyes.
I still have work to do on both (touch up & top coats).
In mean time I added an antique iron boot scraper brush shaped like a cow, and an old Iron pre-block grinder stand(no grinder though), an old pipe wrench and a metal welcome sign missing all its paint
So I have learned quite a bit in areas of refinishing iron and concrete. Blending paints, color choices, paint types etc.
Not to mention Leather working & lapidary.
Stay at home restrictions, heck I don’t have time to leave home!
Y’all stay well!

Dan

The only thing we’ve done different during this time of uncertainty is to curtail plans in our travels to visit interesting museums and parks because they’re closed.
Since April 1st, we’ve traveled from Haines City, FL north and west to Shreveport, LA. There, we stayed a month at our favorite commercial RV park, Gavel Falls RV Park. Our daughter, son in law and grandkids live less than a mile away. No, we didn’t quarantine well with them, and we’re all still healthy.
We left Shreveport May 6th, heading north to Pine River, MN, our home of record where we have our own little private campground.
Oh yeah, did I mention that we’re fulltimers? We’ve settled down here for the summer. One big thing we’ve done different during this time is to have our daughter in law do our shopping for items we run out of during our 14 day quarantine. So, there are two things we’ve done differently. Being a retired Navy sailor with one of the hardest sea intensive ratings in the Navy, it’s no big deal for me or my wife who grew up in the country and rarely made it to town.
Otherwise, it’s life as usual for us.

DENNIS J CHARPENTIER

I have done two things that I think will continue even when this is over. First, I have posted several of my original songs, done solo of course, to Facebook. This has allowed others to provide feedback. Whatever the feedback, I like doing it and will continue sharing my music and listening to others sharing theirs. Second, I have made my own pasta. It’s so easy and tastes so good, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the box version.