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Confessions Of A Quarantined And Frustrated Writer

Pasta on the Floor has been more than a blog to me. Since 2009, I have shared my experiences with you writing about the people, places, and situations that I  have encountered. Oh, and the food! Cheese does indeed heal, and great food makes a great night with friends more than memorable. I thank you for every text, hug, and comment that you have given to me.

The quarantine has squelched my inventiveness. My creative, externally stimulated mind is forced to now look within. My need for people’s interaction is tremendous and soon left unfulfilled. I have faced these front doors for almost two weeks and they prohibit my entry into the world of available content.  I am a quarantined and frustrated writer.

No problem. We will look within, and we can attack the list of things that have required attention for months, maybe even years. The house has been cleaned top to bottom, so let’s get cracking on these other jobs.

The basement.

We have a storage room in the basement, and like most families, we have not traveled in too deep for fear what may be lurking in and around those Rubbermaid totes. Rubbermaid totes have been a central part of my life since having Amelia and Jack.

Cleaning out the basement during quarantine 2020.

Here is the Rubbermaid and miscellaneous count from my storage room:

  • 35 Christmas totes
  • 18 Halloween totes
  • 12 kids school work, toys, and memories
  • 9 shelves of household goods, holiday party supplies
  • 11 pieces of camping gear. (we have not camped since 2006)
  • 3 artificial Christmas trees
  • One very unique 4-foot x 4-foot volcano that Jack built in elementary school

I repurposed eight empty obsolete or damaged bins to the curb, and someone within the afternoon picked them up. Three garbage bags carried away the remnants of old, broken, or expired items. It was cathartic.

Memories.

What I did not count on were the tears. Every time I opened a tote and found Amelia’s first pair of Keds, or Jack’s Thomas the Train collection, the tears flowed a little harder. I texted the kids some pictures as I encountered years of memories. It was overwhelming.

Amelia’s first pair of Keds (Thank you Zia Tracy)

I am so fortunate that I have those memories, and they were not stolen from me by hurricane waters or a raging fire. My heart breaks for those families suffering from an angry Mother Nature.

Jack’s school project. He loved penguins even then!

Cleaned out my contacts.

Pooped from a few hours in the basement, I sat down and picked up my phone to check email and the news. For some reason, I began scrolling through my contacts. There were over 850 housed in the contacts app.

Did I know all these people? Do I still remember all these people? It was time for a purge.

My contacts, at first glance, appear as a random list of names and numbers when in actuality, it is a window into my life. As I clicked through the names in this new age, Rolodex, decades flashed before my eyes and disappeared with a double click. Teachers, coaches, bosses, and colleagues, people from a life lived long ago. I remembered Amelia playing basketball and Jack rowing when I saw the names of the coaches. The teacher’s emails flew by from Kindergarten to the High School principal.

The hardest click-decision to perform was whether or not to delete the friends, family members, and colleagues that have since died. I decided to keep them. I can almost hear their voices and seeing their names creates happy thoughts and adds to the memories.

This was the best hour I have spent in a very long time. (over 110 contacts deleted, check.)

Cabinets, armoires, and a ride.

Could there be that many places to store things? I have three armoires in my home. Yes, three. From the depths of those doors and drawers, I found:

  • Five new Yankee Candles- score!
  • A few old Dudley Do-Right puzzles from when I was a kid.
  • Pictures from our honeymoon, our very first tax return, offer letters from old jobs, my sales awards from LexisNexis, and…
  • One single Bud Light can. Hmmm, I don’t drink Bud Light.

To shake off the crazy, I took a 90-minute drive on Sunday in Frederick. Cheese heals, but so does the open road and a little bit of speed. Sunroof open, windows cracked a bit and even my short hair will blow in the wind. A little Dire Straits on the radio and the stress melts away.

As of this post, I have one day left! Thank you to my friends and family for the random drive-by with a cold brew coffee and a smile. I thank you for trips to the market or the Coop for supplies and food for Izzy. You have made this quarantine go by quickly. I think Izzy is the only one that will be sad when it’s over.

I, however, am ready to send my other office mate, Chip, back to his office. Izzy and I are used to working solo.

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