Saturday, March 12, 2022

Two Years Later

Shortly after what I view as world lockdown began, March 11, 2020 (the date would no doubt vary from place to place and person to person), I began what I called "The Covid Journal." Thinking, like so many, that this change in our lifestyles would be short-lived, I chose a rather small journal I had bought two years before at Sennelier in Paris. I would record thoughts from this time in words and watercolor. It would all end neatly, when Covid and masks were a thing of the past. Not necessarily a happy ending, but an ending.

I should have bought a bigger book.

Those who have read the Marmelade Gypsy for quite some time may remember that on March 10, Rick and I headed to Canada, stopping to celebrate 24 years together at a lovely restaurant along the way. 

 

When we reached our friends, the news was on and as we watched the horrors of overcrowded hospitals in Italy, canceling of NBA games and many others, video of shopping carts overloaded with toilet paper and a grim announcement that international travel into the U.S. was halted, we were stunned.

It wasn't that this came out of the blue. For a week or two before, Rick had been contacting the trade show he was set to attend a few days after the stop in Canada to see if it was canceled. The news from Italy and other places in Europe wasn't good. We worried about our friend Giorgio, who lived in Torino, with the north of Italy being very hard hit.


But, as he set off the next morning for the show (which did end up being canceled, something he found out while on the road), I stayed in Canada until the border was ready to close, where I first noticed empty shelves, carts full of toilet paper and hand sanitizer in book shops. We had no idea that two years later we would still be dealing with a disease that was smarter than all the world's best scientists, with mutations as mercurial as the moods of a toddler.

Last year at this time I wrote about the things I'd learned in the previous year of Covid. Reading it again, I didn't realize quite how much that was!

Over the past few days, I've looked back on this journal again and thought even more about the past two years, how it has changed me and how it has changed our world.

For me, it has meant a quieter life. In all honesty, I haven't missed the life I had before all that much. Yes, there were events that broke my heart to miss -- family holidays, the birthdays of friends, the wedding of my cousin's daughter. And days like "Fathers Day" or "Mother's Day" should have been with family. It was just Rick and me.

I was supposed to be in England in 2020. And when that wasn't possible, 2021. And now, who knows?

So many things were canceled. But in many ways, my life opened up.


Oh yes, I have had a meltdown or two. The pity party we all probably experienced now and then.


And yet. And yet.

I savored the time I had with Rick and the time I had independently. Time to do things I wanted to do and often got put behind because of one obligation or another. I could still walk to the ditch, spend time at the cottage, paint, read, write, cook. 


And yes, we had to wear masks and our hair grew and grayed and mine was colored and grew and grayed some more. I can work with that, because I'm here to tell the tale.  

  

Dinners at our favorite restaurants became dinners for two, quiet times on the porch at the lake, and wonderful conversations.


And, when things eased, in the ebb and flow of Covid over the past two years, we had wonderful, albeit small, gatherings.


I suspect I will always have a mask (or two or ten) at hand and that there will be times when I will lock myself down again and carefully monitor whom I see and under what conditions. I don't for a second believe this is over, just resting.

And why not throw caution to the wind when all restrictions are off? Here's why.


I have enough issues that might prevent my having a long life with these little guys. I don't intend to let Covid or its ugly stepsisters to be one of them.

When I walk into a room into my house, stare at the things on the shelves and debate what can be purged or donated and what to keep, I realize that in my own "house," myself, I have already made similar decisions. I have purged most large gatherings and am very careful on those I say "yes" to. I have little desire to meet in a group with more than a given number of people. What's that number? I don't know. Depends on the people. Depends on the place. Depends on how active Covid and its variants are in my world at the moment.

I have purged the cacophony of the group for a good conversation between one or two dear friends, hopefully in person, but if not on Zoom. Thank goodness for Zoom. It keeps me in touch with those farther away or larger groups.

I have purged "I've GOT to do this" and "I SHOULD do this" for "Do I NEED to do this?" "Do I WANT to do this?" "Will I be sorry if I DON'T do this." 

I have always placed great value on deep personal relationships and joy. But now I realize that things can change in a heartbeat -- literally. Part of that is the nature of aging. For those of us "of a certain age," regardless of situation, there is less time than there was before. Part of this is, of course, illness, which can come in all forms, at all times, at all ages. Loss is never easy and it will be more prevalent, Covid or not. What business is unfinished when it comes to saying goodbye? I hate unfinished business.

The past two years were learning years -- readjusting old habits. I appreciate and value all the more some simple things, like going to the grocery store and picking out my own produce -- something I didn't do for a very long time. And hugs. Oh, how I missed hugs. How good they feel now.


We took care of each other in the best ways we could, whether it was keeping distance or helping out. Eventually I stopped home delivery and Rick shopped for me. We kept six feet between us pretty much all the time until we were vaccinated in February 2021. That was WAY too long. And when we could, which was rarely, we saw the little guys -- who were growing up far too fast.

Globally, I think our world has flunked the tests. The tests of wisdom, kindness, selflessness versus selfishness, truth and trust.


I have seen far more anger than I ever would have expected. Much of this is cloaked in political partisanship with standards of behavior that became -- for lack of a better term -- normalized over the past four or more years. 


Civility seems to be a thing of the past. There is no gray, only black and white (or red and blue). It's as though the lid came off a simmering powder keg. Pandora's box was opened. 

Or, to quote Theognis of Megara, a sixth-century BC poet: 

Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind;
the others have left and gone to Olympus.
Trust, a mighty god has gone, Restraint has gone from men,
and the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth.
Men's judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted, nor does anyone
revere the immortal gods; the race of pious men has perished and
men no longer recognize the rules of conduct or acts of piety.
(Wikipedia)

 In other words, everything old is new again.


Have we forgotten history? I couldn't help but recall, as all signs pointed toward war in Ukraine, Hitler promising he'd take only the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, not a bit more. "It belonged to us, from World War I" was the argument. Neville Chamberlain and others believed him. Appeasement. We all know how that turned out.

I have never seen our country or our world so far apart. It has taken a war, halfway around the world, to actually unite us in at least one way.

My word of the year is "Endure." I thought it would be another year of enduring Covid and its "children." Maybe it will be, though things are easier now. But it is also enduring the insanity I see in the world -- the wars, the environment, the politics. It's so tiring. 

Yes, I've changed. I have little interest now in going to the movies or the theatre or out to a restaurant or to large events. I don't miss them as much as I did in those early years. Right now, I long for moments like this...


...or this...


...or this.


And lots more like this.


And more to the point, I value every single second. 


Things are easing now, at least for a bit. And that's good. I hope it stays that way. But six million have died worldwide and countless others have been ill and with long lasting effect. Hopefully, the newer variants will be lighter for most. But my docs tell me, not necessarily for me. So, I'll relax, but be prepared. And, I'll hold Megara's words in my heart:

Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind

 And I can work with that.

Sharing with:   Pink Saturday    /   Love Your Creativity  

69 comments:

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...


BEAUTIFUL post... I agree with you 100 percent, and share your sadness for it all. Love your art, and your heart - Onward, with great hope

Karen/this old house 2

My name is Erika. said...

Wow Jeanie. I love this journal; it is amazing.Your really captured with your sketches and watercolors some wonderful moments in the last 2 years. There has been good moments- a lot of them. And what a lovely post too. I totally agree about how covid let us reset. Finding what is important right around us. Not having to do big things to be happy. I must admit the empty shelves was a bit of a negative. And I am ready to do some more traveling again, but I like being home and working in my garden, reading, baking, and seeing family (which was tough for awhile). I must admit I still feel the need to be cautious because of my husband, which is still a little damper in my new world, and I am liking little treats like going out to eat or when I went to the empty theater movies last week. But do I need to rush out to see lots of movies? No. Do I need to try every new restaurant, no. Thanks for this post. It was a joy to read. hugs-Erika

Sue in Suffolk said...

Although your book is full of memories of a strange time, it's a little bit of history to treasure.
The numbers of people with covid are still high over here but very few people are actually ill with it. If they didn't test they might think it was just a nasty cold, but variants keep appearing and will for a while I think.
Summer weather should make us feel better although we might be stuck in WWIII by then - just have to take each day as it comes, no regrets.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Your Covid journal is a work of art and I love the foresight you had to start it in the first place. I'm a big believer in looking back before forging our future paths and there is no doubt that Covid has changed us all.

Tracy said...

Wow! What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing your paintings and your memories. I am sure that those little people will treasure it in years to come and show it to their own children with pride, love and a shed-load of happy memories of the special person who made it. X

Mae Travels said...

One thing that definitely happened: your watercolor and sketching skills got better and better. I just love your style!

Soon, I hope, you & I will be able to get together again. Maybe in a park when the weather improves. Since Common Grill, where we sometimes met, has closed, we need a new venue.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful journal pages. Covid has taught us a lot and taken so many people. The numers here in Germany are still very high in spite of all the precautions. Between Covid and the Ukraine my thoughts are swirling back and forth. Stay safe and well! Hugs, Valerie

Anvilcloud said...

What a retrospective! I could never put together such a summative yet thoughtful post.

And what a marvellous journal your created. My SiL keeps quite the arty journal.

Karen said...

I had to miss my sons wedding. So did his uncle the priest, who was coming from MI to officiate. The brides father, immunocompromised, watched the outdoor even from a distance.
Next week our masks are no longer required and all mandates are finished at the end of the month.
I don't want to be in a crowd, so no music festivals for me. I am longing to sit in a restaurant and have a good meal though. Some of that money I managed to save will be helping a small local eatery recover.

bobbie said...

Powerful post! All your paintings for it are great, but I fell in love with the one of Lizzie yawning! Hugs ~

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

A lovely written post and I feel that we have all learned to value every single second of every single day.

Carol said...

I love the journal! I am thankful that we are over the worst of this virus, but I find that I worry about it now. I worry when it might return and we might be quarantined again.

William Kendall said...

The pandemic has left me mentally exhausted.

Debra@CommonGround said...

Jeanie, I just loved this post and perusing your journal. Thankyou for sharing it with us. Loving your amazing watercolors!

Joyful said...

Beautifully put. I too have learned some good lessons moving forward. Thank you for mentioning the Netflix documentary. I see Netflix has uploaded it to YouTube. Have a good week ahead.

Marilyn Miller said...

I love your summary of the past two years with COVID. That says so much. And now I am thinking of the things I no longer miss. I certainly don't miss large gatherings. Our mask mandate was lifted today and when I went to the market about a quarter of the people were no longer wearing masks. I wore mine and will when around lots of people.
What a great journal! paintings! and memories!

Susan Kane said...

This was so pretty. You are quite awesome artist. Water color is not an easy medium.

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Jeanie,
I loved this post!! I too have felt these past 2 years were learning years...For me, I had just retired and was now able to walk decently after my knee replacement surgery when co vid reared it's ugly head... These 2 years actually defined what i want my retirement to look like.I do not care to travel because of health reasons but I do LOVE staying home and "playing" in my home... I never was one for crowds and I enjoy a small number of people...I still do not go out much..Now my husband has not been as content with all of this like I have been...His skin is crawling when he is home and can't stand to be home....We are very different...Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by!!
Hugs,
Deb

anno said...

Jeanie -- this is a beautiful and powerful elegy for the last several years. They have taken such a huge toll on our lives, and transformed them, too; and, as you noted, focused our attention on the things that matter. As ever, you seem to have the ability to take the material of your life and make something beautiful out of it. Thank you for sharing all of it.

ashok said...

Wonderful journal Jeanie

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jeanie, your journal is such a wonderful heartfelt account of the past couple of years. Your words and your watercolors are full of hope. It's beautiful!

Betty said...

Your journal is brilliant, worthy of publication - I love the art, there's so much expression and all the experiences are ones that we have shared so I feel it speaks to so many of us :) Yes I do agree with you on the Ukraine situation - the only way to deal with a bully is stand up to him and it frustrates me that in Europe we aren't doing the obvious.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
Your post on the last two years is beautifully written and thoughtful. I feel much the same, family time is more important than anything. I am seeing the anger too, I remain hopeful, overall people are kind. We certainly do not need another Hilter in control and invading other countries. The alternative facts are just lies. Your watercolors are all beautiful, well done. I am glad some things are back to normal, but we still need to be careful. Have a great day and a happy new week!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

A great post, Jeanie, extremely well written and illustrated. I am sure it will resonate with many. COVID has obviously affected everyone, but in many different ways. The biggest impact for me was to have to cancel my plans to visit Australia, and of course there was the lack of socialization. But other than that, I have to say that life carried on pretty much as normal. My greatest joy, as you know, is to be out in nature. That is where I feel happiest, it is there that I derive my joy, that is where I find my fulfillment, and that did not change. Even during the severest of lockdowns I could still get into my car, in my own garage, either with Miriam or alone, and drive to places where I knew I would never meet another person, and even if I did I could maintain 100 metres of separation - forget about two! So I did what I would have done anyway. I never stopped shopping in person, and got together with fellow naturalists every chance I had. All things considered, COVID has not been especially hard on me, and when I think of the global deaths from an out-of-control population of almost nine billions, the impact worldwide verges on insignificant.

La Table De Nana said...

Your covid jounal and art..a treasure...(s)
I didn't suffer a lot from distancing as I did that over 10 yrs ago..But..distancing from my family was the worst for me.
Things are getting better..but I'll wear a mask in public for a while.
Im shopping with my daughter this aft..those things I missed.Eating en famille..Distanced Christmas..
You mention Neville Chamberlain..
We watched Munich Edge of war.Very good.
A couple of weeks ago..Winter In Wartime..Very Good.
This war is senseless..and he's a murderer.

Iris Flavia said...

This is a wonderful, beautifully illustrated and somehow even positive post.

Who ever would´ve thought the world would take two crazy turns at one time.

All the pics of unmasked Ukrainians heading to us sure were a bit... scary.
Right now Selenskyj is is speaking, oh, I so hope the Russian people find their brains - understand it´s but propaganda and get rid of Putin.

Day 18 - "we will not give up".

COVID, we will manage. I am sure.

It all is a "new normal" and one has to see the good side, too, people who can work from home, Mother nature says thank you...

csd said...

Your post is very powerful and so very true of what so many of us feel and have gone through these two years. Thank you for your wonderful writing.

Decor To Adore said...

Jeanie, I am writing in a completely serious voice. I think while you were jotting down notes and painting such beautiful images you were also writing a book. The content would probably resonate with every single person on the planet. You are amazing!

Veronica Lee said...

Such an amazing journal - a wonderful work of art!

Stay safe, Jeannie!

Happy Sunday!

Sami said...

What a beautiful Covid journal Jeanie. Love the little paintings and your words describing your feelings over these dreadful 2 years.
The world has changed a lot and so have we. I agree that there seems to be a lot of angry, unkind people...and now war! I do feel for the Ukranians and hope someone, or a Government of some country will be able to put a stop to this insane war!

We are lucky in Western Australian that we were basically "locked up" and so were protected from the ravages of Covid - we only had 9 deaths which happened the first few weeks of March 2020. Since the 3rd March we have opened the gates and Omicron has invaded and 3 or 4 more people have died. In the Eastern States and the rest of the world it appears numbers of infected people have greatly reduced, so we hope it will also happen here and we will miss the big numbers of infections and deaths.
Keep well and enjoy every day as you say :)

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Jeanie, your journal is amazing! So sad, but true. You have documented along the way, complete with wonderful pictures. Thank you sharing your precious thoughts.

Ga From Dekalb said...

This was a labor of love & thank you for sharing it.
My simple pleasure now is to go to the grocery store & select my fruits & vegetables. I still wear my mask.

Victoria Zigler said...

Beautifully written, and I feel very similarly. There are signs of the compasion mankind can show at times, but far more selfishness and hate is making itself known than I would have expected in this day and age and with these circumstances. And I don't believe it's over either. Not completely. And certainly not ever for some of us who are more vulnerable because of certain health issues.

Rita said...

What a lovely, touching post and stunning artwork!!

The pandemic has altered life all over the globe. Besides all the obvious bad things...a lot of good things have come out of it. In the past two years I have thought a lot about how when the chips are down you find out who your true friends are (and who really loves you) and how in a crisis a person's true character comes out. It is actually a good thing to have those aspects so clearly and obviously revealed for us. A lot of people's false masks have dissolved away. The negatives are always with humanity. It is easier to navigate when you can plainly see where the darker side is welcomed and nurtured...where fear and hate thrive. People's truths--their core goals in life--their beliefs...come out in the times of trials and tribulations. Makes it easier to avoid them in your own backyard, so to speak. I stick with the people who choose love and kindness and compassion. Much easier to find them now. ;) Glad I met you.

Pam Richardson said...

Such a beautiful journal that you have kept during this time, Jeanie! Civility, who can hardly remember when it was practiced!!? At least we all agree that what is going on in Ukraine is evil.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Reading this beautifully written post is bittersweet. So much loss in the last two years. So much anger and dare I say stupidity. My life has settled in a new pattern like yours. I really think I'll be wearing masks in public for many years. With my compromised immune system, it's the smertest thing to do no matter what my governor says. As you said part of this is my aging and part of it is respect for the nature of the beast we fight.

I wish you a beautiful time in the future being yourself and sharing with close friends and family when you can. I'll always want to drop by and visit your space. It's warm and comforting.
Carol

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Jeanie, This is an amazing overview journal. I'm tickled pink by your self portraits, you capture yourself so well, so lovingly! It must have felt good to have reflected like this. A retrospective of the last 2 years. I don't know if I'd be able to, though I did take notes of my lfe & feelings in my personal journal. I related to a lot of what you wrote. I am struck by your acceptance of change, of life on life's terms. And now we have the horrors in Europe.
This morning CBS Sunday Morning did a piece on civility, wondering if it's gone for good. They showed townspeople at a school meeting, yelling violently, threatening with guns even. So I try to keep focus on the goodness, the kindness, the joy, & The Hope that is part of this world too.

Bill said...

An amazing journal, Jeanie. Your art illustrations are superb. Covid surely gave the world a gut punch but it is surviving. The virus will always be with us but we just need to take precautions. We still wear our masks and I don't mind it, it beats getting sick. Anway, what the Ukrainians are going through is much worse. They are tough and the lunatic is throwing everything their way. Hopefully they will make it and the lunatic will be a war criminal and brought up on charges. It's crazy and breaks my heart.
Take care Jeanie and stay safe!

Barb said...

Jeanie, this is a gorgeous post - both your words and watercolors in the journal. Lest we forget:"Do I NEED to do this?" "Do I WANT to do this?" "Will I be sorry if I DON'T do this." Take care and stay healthy!

Susan Kane said...

2020?! That was a crazy year, and it was a struggle after a few weeks. Writing projects that were on hold got some attention. Your journals! Oh my goodness. Your art is exquisite. Could you compile the pages to making an ongoing work?

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Jeanie, I am a bit late in post reading this week, but even if a bit late, thankful to have found this one. It was a wonderfully written and illustrated account of your experiences and feelings. We never stopped during certain things, like grocery shopping or going out on outings which were kept locally for much of 2020-21 and outdoors since many places were shuttered. Thankfully, we do not have any medical issues, but were cognizant of those who did and kept distance and wore masks as necessary/required. Thankfully, some of the precautions have eased, but we still dine home more often than not (except when traveling) and we restricted gatherings to some friends or family. I do hope that things will improve, but the way things are going in other parts of the world, with the economy and other issues, hope seems to be dimming. I like your choice of endure.

Joanne Huffman said...

Wow! Your journal is a treasure!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am playing catch up again, dear. I love your Covid book. The last time I was outside my home for well over a year was March 13, 2020. Two years later and I still don't go out much. You lead a far more enriching life than I and you share it with others far more than I. I love your watercolor drawings and paintings. They are superb and get better with time. I think most of us who live alone have had pity parties and maybe even a meltdown or two. Wise words and gorgeous art, dear friend.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Your covid journal is so amazing, Jeannie. You have perfectly captured all the emotions, struggles and changing attitudes of your own personal life and that of the world. Love the beautiful watercolors. This will be a treasure to pass down to those little ones someday. Definitely a life-changing event that we have all learned from; about our own priorities and also how some people used this time to exploit others for their own agenda. I love the quote by Theognus of Megara. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Your word for the year is perfect. A beautiful post, thank you for sharing. x K

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Your journal is heartfelt and beautifully illustrated, Jeanie. It has been a scary and sad 2 years of living in a pandemic and knowing people who died from this scourge. Thankfully, science has helped us, for the most part, resist with vaccines and boosters and survive infections with treatments. We remain cautious because of our age, but we feel some relief right as infection numbers are low. I am heartbroken for the Ukraine, the land of my maternal grandparents. I've donated to many charities helping the people and praying. The threat of nuclear war frightens me. Praying for a miracle!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Amazing post, you have spoken my thoughts as well. Hard to believe that this has gone on for two years now. I, too, have missed events that were difficult, including the funeral of the person I was closest to in my family. But getting on a plane during covid was not an option. The really scary thing was to have surgery before the vaccine was available. But I survived that too. We are doing more things with friends now, luckily all our friends are vaccinated. Doesn't mean we can't get covid, my husband did after being vaxed and boosted, but his illness was very mild and only lasted three days. We are grateful for the vaccine, certain that it helped him to recover quickly. I, too, am purging the house, but hope that someday I'll be able to have people over and entertain again.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I couldn't have said it better than you did Bravo. Although we are in different age groups, our approach to the pandemic has been so similar since my health is fragile thanks to RA and my cocktail of meds. I don't truly trust that the pandemic is over either. I look forward to my kids being eligible for the vaccine. That will really ease my mind and make it easier to do things as a family.

I wish the state of the world was different but I don't know what will change things. I think that social media has played a very large role in the state of our democracy. There are positives to it, but overall between the spread of misinformation and the license people feel social media gives them to take their gloves off and say absolutely awful things to people, I think overall it has a net negative impact on our society. But how do you put the genie back in the bottle? I just hope and pray we somehow find a way back to working together regardless of our political affiliation but it's hard to see that happening...

thepaintedapron.com said...

Beautiful post Jeanie, and it is hard to believe how much our lives changed instantly with the Covid shut down and now we continue to spiralize downward...I try to keep myself distracted so I am not constantly worrying or fearful. Yes, savor every second...Your journal is wonderful, I love the fearless way you paint yourself, Rick and the boys. I think you are smart to avoid large crowds and plan your socializing carefully. Stay safe and well...
Jenna

Divers and Sundry said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughtful reflection. I tend to be a homebody, so my life wasn't changed as drastically as some, but my husband... He calls it "when the sky fell". I do miss lunches out. I'm still not ready, though when the weather heats up I'll be going out to places with patios. My husband has what they're calling "co-morbidities" so it may well be things will never be for us as they were before. I'd rather be safe, as they say, than sorry.

It's a shame we can't enjoy (or at least tolerate) spirited discussions on politics and other issues, but -and it may just be in my mind- people seem to have gotten less willing to listen. My FB world is mainly peopled by liberals, but it's not because I don't welcome disagreement in my comment threads. I can't _make_ them stay and talk to me lol

I'll join you in hope.

gigi-hawaii said...

So true! Oh, I couldn't have said it better. Hope is the only God worth believing in. Amen to that. Nice illustrations!

Pam said...

Wow....great job. I tried journaling several times but can keep up with it. I can't even seem to keep up with one I am doing for my fibro. Love the art work. Awesome. I do have a COVID album of pics on FB. I try to keep up with events through my pics. Like the floods in our area in 2010, tornados...etc. Awesome job on the journal.

Linda P said...

Your beautifully illustrated journal puts into words so much of what I've yet to process in my mind about these challenging times living through the pandemic - still not over. Now our heart aches for the suffering of the Ukrainians. We try to live in the present moment giving thanks for our quiet life.

Tammie Lee said...

Lovely that you did something positive, your art with Covid.

I couldn't read your words, a bit too much of reliving it, too soon for me.

I enjoyed your art and love that you did that. Such a healing thing to do. And so charming.

Red Rose Alley said...

I like the journal painting of the wreath on the fireplace. There's so much detail in that painting. You did a good job on that, Jeanie. The one of the kids playing in the dirt is sweet too. Typical of two boys. The cottage in England is so charming. And the last one is my favorite.....holding hands and walking with a little one. There's nothing like it.

There is one God, and He hasn't left this world. He was, is, and always will be here watching over His children. I just saw on a friend's blog, and she was saying that there is a reason why.....and listed many things. I believe what she said was true. And I think there is a reason for all that we have to endure. You chose a good word, 'Endure,' Jeanie.

Have a lovely week.


~Sheri

R's Rue said...

Beautiful.

Jenny Woolf said...

I love your journal. What a treasure. I always admire your gift for expressing yourself in a way that is so easy to identify with. So you might find it interesting to publish your book - I'm guessing many will find ideas that make sense in its pages!

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Jeanie
Your covid journal is truly exceptional, your words and illustrations touched my heart. Reading this makes me truly appreciate the moments in life that are good, and know that we are all stronger than we think, and can make it through the most difficult times.
Thank you so much for visiting again and your kind words. I am glad you enjoyed.

The French Hutch said...

Oh I do love your journal Jeanie! I love how you've documented this time with your thoughts and paintings. I can say, like you said, I wish you could write "The End" on the last page but this virus is not over yet. I can say I did most of what you were doing, cooking and being very careful who we spent time with. We are still not traveling but we do get out a little more, going early and avoiding crowds. I smiled when I read you had prepared my salsa soup. I feel honored to be mentioned in your journal so thank you. So thank you Jeanie for sharing your journal.

Carola Bartz said...

This journal is a piece of history, and your watercolor paintings are beautiful works of art. Many of your words resonated with me. Six million deaths still sounds so much, that means many more millions who grieve and miss someone, children who have to grow up without a parent or even both, parents without their children, men and women without their spouses. I am grateful that I haven't lost anyone. For me personally Covid hasn't changed that much - sure, we had to cancel our trip to Australia, but that is a small price to pay compared to what others did lose. I am not a crowd person, we didn't go much to restaurants before the pandemic, so we didn't miss that. What I actually did miss was a sense of spontaneity that was totally gone. But I treasure the good and deep conversations we have had with good friends that we still saw regularly. Those connections are more important to me than many other things. I also don't think this will be over and I will continue to be cautious, wear my mask in indoor settings etc. These two years made clear for me what is really important for me, and I will focus on that in the future as well. Thank you for this lovely post, Jeanie.

handmade by amalia said...

Wow, Jeanie, your art is gorgeous! A journal is a great way to deal with the craziness.
Amalia
xo

Rain said...

What a wonderful post Jeanie! Thank you for sharing your lovely paintings and sketches and your thoughts and memories. Honestly, it's just me and Alex and the furries...I don't miss life before. I've grown very accustomed to going out once a month (barring vet emergencies), wearing a mask (double mask now that people aren't wearing them anymore), and spending time at home with my family. I am very grateful for internet of course, that's how I connect with friends, but overall Covid has taught me the value of being a responsible citizen (health-wise) and also that time at home is truly what makes me the most happy! ♥♥♥

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

This is the most beautiful post, Jeanie! You have captured the realities and the emotions of the last two years perfectly. As for your journal, I think it should be published!

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Jeanie... what a beautiful, heartfelt post. I am in awe of your artistic talents as well as your writing. Congrats on 24 years - I wish you many more happy, healthy ones! Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life with us.

Sally Wessely said...

Jeanie, thank you for every word, every photo, every visual, you included in this post. I hardly know where to start in response. You have created such a wonderful reflection for me to ponder. How I wish I had your artistic skills. My journal seems so boring in comparison to “The Covid Journal” you created. Your’s is a treasure! You captured so much with art that are hard to capture with mere words.

I did a double take when I saw your word for 2022 - Endure. That is my word too. I think we will find that as time progresses we will find that we are dealing with the fallout of this time for many, many years to come. I hope to flourish, but I also know that there are things to endure. As you say, there is much insanity in the world that are tiring, disturbing, and must be endured. Still, we flourish. You do with your art, your deepening relationships, your treasured moments. You’ve learned what is essential to live well.

Like you, I found these past two years to have been good in so many ways. I too have pared down. It is all good.

Thank you again for this marvelous post. Hugs.

Lowcarb team member said...

What an amazing post this is.
I love your journal and your watercolours.
I found myself nodding in agreement at so much of what you have written.
Thank you so much for sharing this.

If I had a glass of wine in my hand I would be raising it to you and saying cheers ... so let's pretend that is what I am doing! In fact I have a cup of tea in front of me :)

My very good wishes.

All the best Jan

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Ah, beautifully said. Thank you for these lovely thoughts, my friend.

DeniseinVA said...

Hi Jeanie, it is wonderful how you have documented everything through art and words. They will be such a treasure to look back on these last two years. I remember seeing the Italian people singing from their balconies during their lockdown in the beginning of this awful thing, it was all very moving, as have been many things since. I can relate fully on many of what you have mentioned. All so beautifully put together in art and words. Thank you for sharing them!

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, this post is priceless. Your Covid Journal is wonderful and as always, your artwork is amazing. I actually opened this post 3 times before I had the chance to truly read it. And, I am glad I waited for this morning when I had a few moments. Your words are so touching, they brought the tears and the quote at the end is one I will treasure.

This was like a dose of medicine for me Jeanie, as I am having cataract surgery tomorrow. It is not a big deal, but doing all the things the hospital wants before my surgery was.

Enjoy your spring days - lake time will be here soon!

Marie Rayner said...

Beautiful journal Jeanie and precious indeed. I can remember how frightening this was all at the beginning. Of course, being in the UK at the time, things locked down a bit sooner, and having seen what was going on my husband & I locked ourselves down even sooner than the country did as a whole. I can still remember how frightened I was the last time I had been out and about. I did not leave my house with the exception of medical appointments until November when I flew back to Canada. (They were very good with home deliveries of groceries, Prescriptions, etc. in the UK) I got in just under the wire with my flight back to Canada, just a few days later I would never have gotten out of the UK, but traversing three airports in the middle of a Pandemic was incredibly stressful as you can imagine. Two weeks in quarantine and then to my sisters. Like you, I still don't feel entirely safe. Our lives changed forever with this Pandemic I think. I have enjoyed the solitude in many ways, I have always been a homebody, but generally speaking there some people have become meaner I think and less tolerant of others. And who would think two years and some later we would still be feeling afraid, and masked. And now the Ukraine. What is coming next I wonder. But I do love your journal Jeanie and think it was a wonderful way to catalogue the last two years of life. It is bound to become a family treasure. xoxo

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