OK, how long’s it been? I started hearing how serious this was in the U.S. in the beginning of March, and by March 16th or 17th, I was working from home. By the 30th I was furloughed, and now I’ve been home alone a little over a month. (Because Topper–sweet as he can be — cannot be considered company. His conversation skills, even when he’s awake, are seriously limited.)
I’ve called my family to make sure they’re well so many times, I’m sure they’re sick of me. I cleaned the house pretty well when I first got home, but now I’m getting a little sloppy – and I’m now out of disinfectant wipes. I was really good about food when I first stayed home — now, not so much. I’m letting in more carbs, in spite of what my pants are saying about me behind my back. I’m still walking a lot more than I was, which is the only reason I’m able to fit through the door.
I’m starting to understand why my mom used to talk to her light-up Jesus so much. She didn’t drive, so during the day, she was stuck home. No wonder she told my dad she needed a final child for company and to help her clean. That was me. That’s how desperate a person can become. Rather than be alone, she’ll undergo another pregnancy just for the company and household help.
I called my 90-year-old Uncle Richard yesterday, who I love talking to any time. I asked him if this reminded him of war and he said it did a little bit, but that this was nothing compared to what he experienced as a child during the war. He said their small mountain village would witness planes flying low overhead, hear an explosion, then see smoke from the train station nearby, and know it was gone.
He said the German troops rounded up the town’s young men once, including his brother – my uncle Sesto. They’d suspected someone had deliberately set a match to the munitions they’d stored in town. Finally, after threatening all the young men with death, one of their men confessed he’d accidentally done it with a cigarette which is why my uncle got to live. And food was very scarce, except for what you could grow that the occupiers didn’t take.
Horrifying times — to say the least, yet when Uncle Richard was talking with my Aunt Maria in Italy the other day, she said this is actually harder, in some ways, than the war for her. She said, at least during the war, you got to see people, and talk, and be together. We need that connection, like plants that wither and turn yellow without the sun.
I totally get it. I don’t go out all the time, but do love connecting with people. I used to joke that I hated people. I even have a pair of socks a friend bought me that verify that. But not being able to connect leaves me a little rudderless. I hate walking down the street, sometimes crossing it to avoid people, then seeing them do the same to me. You start to feel like one of the Bible’s lepers. We’re shunning on a nationwide scale.
At first I thought, finally, I’ll have the time to work on all the projects I’ve wanted to! Now, I find myself starting to burn out, feeling like I haven’t made nearly enough progress. It’s enough to make me want to take my chances at the grocery store. Here’s a link to a great article from Bon Appetit called, How Do I Learn to Live Alone?
This will pass. I’ll call someone and feel fine again. I’ll start talking to my Mom’s light up Jesus, now in MY hallway. I’ll go for a walk, hear my favorite song and break out in dance in the park (alone) again. I’ll kick myself, turn off Netflix, and get to work. We’ll all move forward, but I totally get what my Aunt Maria in Italy is saying.
Stevie S.April 30, 2020 at 4:01 pm
Ciao Bella Fran. Life is good here. Thanks for your uplifting Contributions & Blessings. :+))) Stevie Sugano
Fran TunnoApril 30, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Awww thank you Stevie! Stay safe and thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. You are very much appreciated.
lafridayApril 28, 2020 at 7:45 pm
These are truly strange days. Like others have said, the social isolation is not too different from the solitary life that has become my daily round for the past year and a half. However, the ENHANCED fear and uncertainty seems to have heightened everyone’s sense of disorientation and purpose—and a need for added carbs. Thankfully, we have your humor and perspective to help us through. Also, thankfully, you on the other end of my phone has meant love and connection for almost two decades. <3
Fran TunnoApril 29, 2020 at 10:28 am
It is unbelievably strange. The good news is it’s forcing me to work harder on my personal goals, without the excuse being I have no time. Well, now I do! Thanks for the sweet words Linda. I just re-read your blog about that Kennedy speech you could hear in the backyard of your youth and loved it!
Mary J TunnoApril 18, 2020 at 6:56 am
I hear what you are saying, Fran but I disagree. I know animals can’t speak english, they “DO” talk in their own way. Since I am single things haven’t changed all that much for me. Glad to have Aurie, (my cat) for company and I know Topper is a sweetie as you do too. I thank God I am still working and so I still see, talk and connect with the outside world which I am very grateful for! I just HATE wearing these lousy masks, (which are now mandatory)! They’re hot & muffle what you say! I guess it’s a way to save money on my lip gloss, LOL, “one” positive aspect. Keep praying to that Jesus. I know he’s very real and hears us and He “does” answer! God bless & talk to you soon. 🙂
Fran TunnoApril 18, 2020 at 9:05 am
Topper has his moments. He is getting a bath today, but now that he’s older, he mostly sleeps all day. And he’s rather crabby and getting a bit aggressive at times, trying to go after the mail lady and little kids on bikes. Good thing I have a good hold on him when we go out. But he relies on me and it’s good to be needed. Went to the grocery store yesterday, which helped. I actually got to talk to people, woo hoo! That mask could save your life, so keep it on!
EmilyAnn FrancesApril 17, 2020 at 9:37 pm
Fran, I found your gentle humor a much needed source of stress relief at this late hour. I am sleeping in two shifts. Usually 10 pm to midnight. Then 3 a.m. to whenever I get up. I love what you did with the light-up Jesus. I brought out my Mom’s framed picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Along with that prayer cards of saints and angels are also started to establish a place at the dinner table where this impromptu shrine is set up. Please do not think you live alone. Rather you live on your own. There is a difference in the way it feels. At least for me. Try changing how you think of it.
Fran TunnoApril 18, 2020 at 8:59 am
Emilyann, thank you for that. You’re right, everything changes when you simply change your perspective. I will work on that and I’m glad I was able to offer you some stress relief! Thanks for reading and taking the time to write! Hang in there. i hope Our Lady of Perpetual Help, does help! Hang in there…and I will too!
EmilyAnn FrancesApril 18, 2020 at 9:09 pm
Charles BurkettApril 17, 2020 at 8:36 pm
I, too, live alone Fran. It is every bit the challenge and mania you describe. I am working from home as a teacher, now a 14 hour a day job! It really is insane. I think you might be on to something about dancing alone. A buddy suggested it too.
And I liked it. Take care Fran.
Fran TunnoApril 18, 2020 at 8:57 am
Hi Chuck, yep, it was Michael Jackson’s Shake your Body Down yesterday. Not sure who it will be this morning, but I better be off for that walk and dance before it rains!
Larry FojtikApril 17, 2020 at 5:33 pm
INFANT OF PRAGUE‼️ *Cosmic* hug, dear Fran Xx
Fran TunnoApril 18, 2020 at 8:55 am
My mom had him too, a giant ceramic one. Wonder what happened to him? The nuns used to have one with different outfits they could dress for different occasions. How much money must the Catholic church have made on iconography? My mom was one of their single greatest supporters! Love you Larry! Can’t wait to meet your sweet wife! Tell her I said Hi Yinz!
MonicaApril 17, 2020 at 12:24 pm
Thanks Fran- it’s hard to keep telling ourselves “This too shall pass,” but it will. And believe it or not, I HAVE THOSE SAME SOCKS!!! I cracked up when I saw them in this post. Stay safe and sane and hope you are dancing again soon.
Fran TunnoApril 17, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Well Monica, great minds do think alike! That’s pretty funny. And we will get through this, I just never thought it would be so challenging to go without human connection. I guess we all need hugs more than we realize!
Jane JacobsApril 17, 2020 at 11:03 am
What a beautiful and honest message. I have also been furloughed, and feel the same sense of uncertainty and lack of focus. Sending you virtual love and connection.
Fran TunnoApril 17, 2020 at 11:19 am
Awww, thank you Jane. Glad my message was helpful to you. We are tough and this too shall pass! Hopefully, furlough too.