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Out & About with Rachel Morin: Ten things to be positive about

Rachel and Liz take frequent walks along the ocean.

By Rachel Morin and Elizabeth Morin

My daughter Liz and I have been struggling with Covid-19 ever since mid-March.  We see our friends struggling as well.  

“It is hard and it’s getting harder.” says our friend Lucy.  

 “Our regular clocks are off” as noted on the 60 Minutes news (we like that one and repeat it often to each other), and our other favorite is one I came up with, “We have lost our bearings.” This last one really seems to resonate with us.  We have indeed lost our way.  Nothing feels right.  And yes, the simplest task takes effort and time.  It is hard.  For a few weeks, we found ourselves exhausted, frustrated, and crying at every news update.  But enough.  We have decided — with a little effort — to look for the positives to share with our friends and family.  Once we got going, it was not so hard.  This is a small start and we hope this will change our outlook.   Maybe there are many more positives that others will think of and share.  

Ten Things to be Positive About (In no particular order).

  1. I have more time to reconnect with my family. 

We are now making time with family count.  We actually schedule a time and place with a purpose in mind.  We call it a Soup Swap, but we don’t necessarily limit it to soup.  Not with the Morin foodies.  My family goes out of their way to outdo each other.  We gather in Liz’s back yard, bringing chairs, wearing masks, and each family brings something delicious packaged to go — a casserole, a soup, dessert, or a surprise.   We do this every month or so. Everyone looks forward to bringing home a different culinary experience.

  • Time to do big projects that we have procrastinated on.

 Oh, haven’t we pushed off many a big project “for when we have time!”  And of course, more projects are added for that elusive time going by.  Seeing as I am staying at Liz’s house temporarily, she gets the benefit of this.  I’ve already written about organizing her garage, but now, we have also tackled closets and eaves.  Lucky Liz!

  • Free time to garden more!

We both love gardening.   And despite the pandemic, we still got spring fever.  We were ready to plant flowers—annuals and our favorite perennials and vegetables.  We visited our two favorite greenhouses to peruse this year’s seedlings. We spent an entire weekend “putting in the crops” as Liz says, and we were exhausted but quite pleased with our efforts.  Each morning, we take a walk through the garden with our coffee and notice each new blossom.  

  • Time to try new recipes. 

Restaurants are closed and that’s been a bummer.  But Liz has been cooking and baking more with new recipes.  Rarely has she repeated one.   She does the cooking, baking and I do the clean-up.  A new recipe that has become a favorite is her Apple Bread.  Her soups are some of my favorites.  

  •  Time for longer and new places to walk.  

We notice on these walks during the virus, people are very social and smile with a friendly greeting.  They practice social distancing and wear masks, as do we.  These days, the virus seems to have made people reach out to each other.

  • Time for Jeopardy!  

Our favorite game show with Alex Trebek. It has become a contest for us, shouting out the answers!  Liz is the quickest and has 99% of the answers correct (note from Liz, “Not really”), while I lag behind. 

7.       Time for ZOOM classes with USM Lewiston Auburn Senior College.

I love our ZOOM classes, learning new material, and especially, at our computer at home.  It’s a great opportunity to see our friends in person and hear their voices.   It is a special two-hour time to be with the instructor and friends I have been cut off from for so long.   The Fall Semester will also be via ZOOM.  

  • Time for art projects with my grandchild Emma.  

Tante, Liz and Emma conduct countless tutorials — at first via ZOOM and now in person.  Emma does great work and has a unique, whimsical style.   She has a large portfolio of drawings and paintings and has designed a Greeting Card catalog. It is a favorite time for us.

9.       Time to turn to Satellite TV! 

We have been avid watchers of the local, national, and world news broadcasts.  Unhealthily so.   We can’t help ourselves.  But when it gets to be too much, we have been tuning in to see what’s going on with our friends in Mayberry.  Visiting with Sheriff Taylor, Deputy Fife, Aunt Bea, and Opie is soothing.

We are also partial to Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sofia.  It is amazing how well this show has held up — except for the clothes.  Fashions sure have changed.

10.     Time to Wake Up and Smell the Coffee — and we end on Liz’s favorite.  Each morning I wake up to the smell of coffee brewing.  Mom has set out breakfast and has already packed my lunch.  What luxury!  Yes, I am lucky.  

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