Small, Smaller, Smallest

It’s surprising to me how many people think that Disney World in Florida was the FIRST Disney theme park that was built. Of course it wasn’t. Think about it. Disney, Disney films, Hollywood… of course the first one was in Southern California. Anaheim to be exact. Disneyland was opened in July, 1955. My parents took my sister and I there when I was 8 or 9, 1967 or so. I remember vividly getting into one of those little cars that ran on a rail, all by myself, and I never felt so grown up. Driving a car meant everything. I also remember the “It’s a Small World” ride very well. There were all the animatronic characters from all over the world, singing and dancing “It’s a small world after all, It’s a small world after all….”. The point being that if we only get to know each other, from all cultures and beliefs and worlds, we will happily get along and understand each other. That Walt. Such a dreamer.

So here we are in the middle of this pandemic and the words “it’s a small world” have taken on a completely different meaning. Our worlds are indeed small. At least mine is and it’s not small in the lovely happy multicultural way that Walt Disney had in mind. Here is how my year has gone:

  • house chores
  • dog chores
  • grocery/pet store shopping
  • knitting/spinning/sewing
  • visit in-laws
  • online shopping
  • Zoom once a week or so with friends
  • FaceTime with my mom every few days
  • Watch TV, cook, eat with DB and Scout the dog

I did spend 2 weeks working very part time at a yarn shop, back in December, before the latest lockdown. I worked a total of 4 days. Then I decided I didn’t feel safe and my world got even smaller when I said I didn’t want to come back until I’m vaccinated.

I walk the dog at least once a day, often twice a day. I go to the grocery store once a week and do the self checkout so I don’t even talk to a soul there.

After spending the last year knitting like a fiend, I have wrecked my shoulder and can’t move it without pain. I went to a physical therapist last week so he is an additional in-person contact I have had in a year. The shoulder is getting better and I’m trying to start a little knitting again. Above is a photo of the last section of lace I have to knit to complete the Shetland lace christening shawl I’m making for my nephew and his wife. My world has shrunk even smaller when I can’t even knit anymore! NOW what am I supposed to do with my time? Read? I can only read for so many hours in a day without going completely crazy.

Every day I try to remember how lucky I am to not have to worry about money or work (DB’s job is secure and he works every day at home). I realize how lucky I am to be relatively healthy. But still. Can this be over now?

Another Year Older

A Neil Young lyric just popped into my head – “Here we are in the years…”

Just about a year ago, on March 6, 2020, I flew back to the Netherlands. Our California adventure was over and our lives in NL were starting again. Except that it hasn’t really started, has it? People ask me “what’s it like to live in Den Helder?” and I tell them that I don’t know. I’ve spent the year in our house (but the first 2 months in my in-laws house), knitting, sewing, cooking, raising a puppy, and that’s about it. We ate out at restaurants a total of 4 times in all of 2020, and that was all during the summer when the pandemic was at an ebb. We used to go to the movies a LOT in California. Now we watch Netflix and Disney+ and Apple TV+ and HBO. I can’t remember the last live concert I went to.

Blah blah blah. It’s the same story for you too, I know.

I’ve been especially down the past few days. Maybe because this anniversary has come up and things are not better. Festivals for 2021 are being canceled. Events I look forward to are postponed to 2022. The vaccine rollout in NL is incredibly slow and haphazard and unpredictable. I think the unpredictability of the world is what has me depressed.

I am a planner. I cruise the internet looking for camping vacations for September. I browse shops that have tents on sale and I’m tempted to buy one even if I won’t use it for a year just because the act of buying it will give me hope and allow me to plan ahead for something fun. My planning instincts have been slammed flat all year long and it makes me feel things I’ve never felt before. Like futureless. Rudderless. Adrift.

During all of my working years I dreamed of being able to stay at home, not work, and do whatever I want. I’m KIND OF in that situation now. I don’t HAVE to work. I can knit all day long if I want. Or sew. So why do I have no enthusiasm anymore for any of that? I thought I would write a book. Or learn a new skill. And here I sit, feeling sad and bad and listless. ”What a waste of a year!” I think. But no, of course not. I have a puppy (almost a dog) and a home and a husband. We have a life in progress. I know how lucky we are.

I think starting up this blog again will help me to focus and give me a place to put down what I feel – to get it out there into the world and out of my body. DB thinks I should start running again. Maybe. I think I’ll start with writing again. Stay tuned.

The photo above was taken last Sunday on the morning dog walk, at Willemsoord wharf, just minutes from our house. With full moon and fog. The fog horns were going. I can’t upload a video to the free WordPress site here, but if you follow me on Instagram you can see videos and hear birds and the foghorn. If that’s your thing.