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Update from Indigo Hill

Monday, March 30, 2020

Refuge--a place to get away from it all. And there's so much "it all" out there right now. I cannot tell you how good it is to have both my kids here in Ohio with me, safe. To not be alone and worrying about them someplace other than here. To finish up Phoebe's two-week quarantine, mandatory because she flew not only through Madrid but also through JFK Airport in NYC to get home--and to finish it up with flying colors, all of us still healthy. We haven't had a proper hug and certainly not a kiss in almost two weeks, and she's been doing her own dishes and laundry, but we are beginning to relax, 13 days into it. Hoping we're in the clear. There has been some stress baking going on.

I initially wanted her to stay put in the Canary Islands, feeling it was safer than subjecting her to all that travel, but Fulbright insisted all its students come home. It was a very, very bad few days for Phoebe and Oscar and all concerned. It was a very bad time for students abroad all over the globe. Dreams shattered, plans scuttled...but what else is new? It was such agony. What was the right thing to do? Brave the airports and airplanes? Defy the order and hunker down? No course of action seemed to make sense. But to their credit, Fulbright got on it early and kicked all their students back across the Atlantic. Now I'm so very glad she did come home. And so is she. I've little doubt she'd have slowly lost her mind in her third-floor apartment, with Spain's strict shelter in place restrictions--and fines if anyone's caught on the street without a good reason to be there. Oscar is toughing it out with his beloved dog, Arafo, and he and Phoebe talk several times a day. Another miracle--being able to talk for free with a boyfriend who lives on a hunk of basalt in the middle of the Atlantic. All hail What's App.
It got warm for a couple days. We all ran around in our summer skivvies. Then it got really windy!

Here, she can go outside, hunt wildflowers, garden, watch birds, run, play with Curtis and Liam. We tried to fly a kite off the tower today and got it good and stuck in a treetop instead. Saw that coming.

As long as we don't go to town more than we need to, which is about every 7-9 days for food, we can go wherever we want. We never run into anyone out here anyway. It is a surreal feeling, to know that all this space is ours to inhabit, knowing how many people are confined to small apartments, even to cruise ship berths akkkkk!  afraid to leave for the contagion all around. Knowing this, and empathizing with people all around the globe, makes for a very unsettled state of mind, an agitation that never leaves you. I can feel the disturbance in the force. I can feel the panic, the unhappiness, the deprivation, the fear. It's a drumbeat under every breath we draw.

I keep having to pull back my frenzied close focus and remember these deep, deep blessings, this airspace we get to inhabit, cleaner now than ever before now that there are no jets going over; water everywhere clearing up, air getting sweeter. We must all look at this. We must be grateful for those suddenly thrust into the front lines of war---the health professionals. And the grocery stockers, cashiers, managers, whose jobs were always vital, but are now high-risk. People everywhere, keeping us supplied and fed, risking their own health and lives to do it. It's inconceivable, but it all happened in a matter of days. We must all reach within and dig deep for strength. We have it so easy out here right now. But everything could change in an instant, and that is the drumbeat we listen to, the one we can't not hear.

I ache for John Prine, who as of Monday, Mar. 30 is hospitalized, in critical condition. This incredible man fought his way back from cancer, twice. Got his voice back. Never lost his lyrical and music genius. Kept performing, kept writing, kept singing! And now this. His music is part of the fabric of our lives. His lyrics run through my head as I go through my days. Gonna be a long Monday.

One great and unexpected joy is the ability, with the Zoom app,for us to yak with my sisters and nieces and nephew from our respective bunkers around the country. It's an e-melee, a free for all, with us talking over each other and laughing a lot. We'll figure out how to better moderate the chaos when we meet again. After all that has happened to our little threesome in the last year and a half, to have this--our family!! is so sweet, like rainwater when you're parched. Here's a dopey little video with those of us who could attend signing off from our last cocktail hour. So much love, and so many blessings.

I wish the same to you. I wish you health, love and peace. All we can do is watch it roll out and take care of ourselves and our loved ones.


Very wise words and much needed. I too was really sad to hear that John Prine is in a bad way. I love him. Virtual hugs to you and yours.

I am here alone in my nest, nesting. I clean, I sort, I rake and exclaim over all the rising plants. I put off shopping as I have a freezer full of good food. And plenty of toilet paper. I read and spend too much time with the screens. Tho I am not fearful I think of making lists for my son in the event of my demise. He knows what to do anyway, just part of my organizing personality. So you can Zoom with your internet eh? must learn.

Well said. I have come to find waking up in the morning terribly painful after forgetting for a few hours. With you on John Prine, a family icon here too, as my brother has been playing his music for many years. My father always asks for Paradise when Mike plays. Thanks for writing such strong and comforting words in these harsh times.

Yes, thank you for putting into words the unsettled feelings we are all experiencing. You are so lucky to have your kids at home. Mine are miles away, but healthy and still employed. Grateful.

John Prine coming back!!!

Lovely post and great family. We also hunker down in our piece of desert, with walks with dogs and sunshine. Modern technology is what keeps me alive and connected, though. Counting our blessings

Once again you wax eloquent and give words to my feelings. Unsettled; not because my life has changed much at all (like you, out in the country), but because of that inaudible drumbeat. To have your fledglings home, though; you and Curtis have to be so happy!

So glad for you that your kiddos are home with you.

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