I Made a Thing!
In early March when it became clear that a global pandemic would likely be declared and the world would come to a surreal sort of halt, I had fantasies about all of the things I would get done while sequestered at home.
- I would get my yard weeded.
- I would organize my closets.
- I would write a book. Maybe two.
- I would sweep the floors. Daily.
But it hasn’t worked out as I imagined it would, and while I have made progress, I have not completed even one of the items on my pandemic chore bingo card.
Part of that is due to the fact that the pandemic has changed the way I experience time, and my priorities have shifted in ways I didn’t know they would.
One thing is that I am less willing to put off an immediate desire to that elusive and future “someday.” If I want buckwheat pancakes with blueberry compote for dinner, “someday” is now. And since I had the foresight to stock up on buckwheat flour well before the pandemic, it is also something I am prepared to make. And if I don’t have any blueberries, I can make an apple-based compote instead.
One immediate desire I decided to indulge was crocheting a great granny square blanket to give as a gift to a baby born in the middle of the pandemic. Her parents live in a city where COVID-19 deaths were surging at the time she arrived, and there was an added layer of concern when she came a full month early.
She was in the hospital almost three weeks before she was allowed to go home, and it was a reminder than even the lives of the very young can be cut short, and if I wanted to make her a blanket, now was as good a time to start as any.
Living the Sears & Roebuck Life
The pre-pandemic world sometimes felt as if “tomorrow” were a quaint and old-fashioned notion — one that had been replaced with a “get that for me yesterday” mindset.
Being impatient was socially acceptable, even encouraged. If you were important, you didn’t have time to waste, that was someone else’s job.
If the pandemic hasn’t exactly put that kind of thinking to rest, it certainly has made it take a long nap.
When I set out to make the blanket, I knew I wanted it to have an orange flair, but my yarn stash was what could be termed “orange deficient,” so I had to order more orange yarns. And then I had to wait for them to arrive.
As I compared the options at different online yarn retailers, I felt much as I had when I was a child poring over the weighty Sears & Roebuck Christmas catalog, imagining a life with the things in the “Wish Book.” After hours and hours of looking, an order would be placed by mailing in a form and then another phase of the waiting would begin.
Sears is no longer the retail behemoth that it was, and the retailers than have filled that void have improved on the delivery times of products but the pandemic set limits that I had not had to observe since I was a child.
Because no single online retailer had all of the color options I wanted to explore, I would place an order with one retailer, wait for the yarn, and then see how the colors worked out. Then the process would repeat.
Eventually, I had enough suitable orange yarns to create the effect I wanted, and today, after two months of inching along, the blanket is finally done:
What I have learned over the months since the pandemic was declared is that what you do and don’t get done during a pandemic looks an awful lot like what you do and don’t get done when there isn’t a pandemic.
I have also learned that when it comes to filling out your pandemic chore bingo card, it helps to choose things you want to do.