My quarantine has been a time of growth and renewal

I haven’t posted on this blog since March when the quarantine was new. No one really knew what we were going into. Would it last a few weeks, a month, two months, or more? Well, now we know this is not going to be a quick fix. There is no telling when life will be back to normal.

I have used my time wisely. I have not heavily scheduled every minute, but have given myself time to breathe. I have taken the time to enjoy the spring weather outdoors and now it’s summer. I have taken many online classes through SCBWI and SVS and listened to podcasts about subjects I am interested in. I have read books and watched far too much NetFlix.I  have given myself time to develop book ideas for picture books I plan to write and to nail down those elusive ideas that have been tapping on my shoulder for years. I never seemed to have enough time for my own projects in the past. I even managed to clean out a few closets and make a good start on cleaning the basement.

Sweet baby Ryan

Yes, I have missed seeing my family, who is spread far and wide. But with all the modern ways to stay in touch, it hasn’t been too isolating. My only regret is I haven’t been able to hold my brand new grandson in my arms. He was born April 2nd three weeks early right at the scary time of the quarantine. My son and daughter-in-law have been good about sending lots of pictures and videos. We Facetime and Zoom frequently, but I can’t hold his warm little body in my arms. I can’t smell his sweet downy head. I joked when he was born that I might not see him until he would be walking. I may not be too far off. We are hoping to see him in October if everything goes well in the U.S. with the virus.

I want to snuggle with him, read him picture books in all the funny voices, and teach him to be creative. It is so important for parents and grandparents to read to little ones starting when they are tiny. They should associate the loving, snuggling, and positive interaction with books and pictures.

Enjoying my self quarantine for now.

I’m sitting here all cozy in my home enjoying the peace and quiet. No restaurants, no movie theaters, no mall shopping, no church, no meetings, no going to work, no get-togethers with friends, I never thought this would happen in the U.S.

It’s a new reality for all of us. I believe it has brought out the best in many people. I found the hoards of grocery shoppers surprisingly polite and cheery. I had three people try to help me get the last can of my favorite soup from the top shelf way in the back. We all laughed about not having long enough arms. Of course at the check-out lines, everyone stays spaced to give sneezing and coughing room. In our small neighborhood of 27 houses, we have quite a few older couples and single ladies. Everyone is looking out for them. I set up a website with a community forum so we can communicate our needs, fears and offers to help each other.

I have taken all the closures in stride so far. The one that hit me the hardest was the library. It closed before I could really stock up on books to read. I have a large library at home, but I have read all of the books. I guess I will start reading them again, starting with the classics. Books on my iPad just don’t give me the same satisfaction I get with real pages.

WatercolorI have a new children’s picture book ready to start illustrating, so that will keep me occupied during the day. I’m always excited to start working on a new book. Sorry I won’t be able to share the sketches and finished illustrations with you until it’s published.Drawing on Wacom Tablet Watercolor illustration

Counting my blessings and hoping everyone stays well.

Dayne