18 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not


Dear Diary,

I couldn’t write to you over the weekend. Too crazy with Normal Life — almost at a schedule and pace like the Before Times. 

Picked up the Cutest Puppy Friday.

Did not sleep much Friday night (see also: Cutest Puppy and synonyms Peeing Puppy, Barking Puppy, Bitey Puppy, I’ll Eat Your Hair Puppy, and I’m Only Happy on Your Face Puppy… aka, BABY CREATURE). 

Woke up Saturday to an Actual Alarm I Set the Night Before. It felt nostalgic. But not in an “I Desperately Missed It” kind of way like Radio Flyer wagons or stale Brach’s Caramels from my great-grandma’s hutch drawer or Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Creme Pies. More like in an “Oh, I Remember Alarms Fondly But I Also Don’t Need Them Back” way like avocado colored appliances and wide flare bell bottoms in chartreuse and burnt umber and Farrah Fawcett feathered side-wings hair styles. (Except I’ve kinda been digging avocado colored appliances lately, so I’m not necessarily to be trusted. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

I set the Alarm because my ADULT CHILDREN CAME HOME and I picked them up from the airport and now they’re going to live with me forever. Minus the part about living with me forever because they haven’t technically promised the remainder of their lives will revolve around me, but we’re living in the After Times now, and no one knows anything concrete, and it’s all wonky and weird, so I’m just going to go with whatever fantasy suits me in the moment. Tomorrow’s fantasy may be Running Screaming from the House and Living as a Hermit in an Enchanted Forest with Pringles Trees and Chocolate Rivers and a Beer Waterfall (or Nacho Cheese — I need to give this more thought) and a Constantly Regenerating Library Who Intuits What I Want to Read Next and Magically Materializes It. And yes, the Library is a “who” and not a “that.” Obviously the Library is sentient. But for now, while we’ve lived together for three whole days and it’s still going swimmingly and they’re in charge of the Cutest Puppy/Peeing Puppy/Barking Puppy/Bitey Puppy /I’ll Eat Your Hair Puppy/I’m Only Happy on Your Face Puppy during the nighttime hours, the fantasy is still We Live Together Forever.

The airport was weird. It was fully abandoned. The most apocalyptic scene of the current apocalypse. Just… nothing. No cars. No security humans moving the stragglers along. No vying for curbside spots. No looking in twenty directions so as not to run over pedestrians. No bearing witness to parting embraces or joyous reunions. No one chain smoking under Pillar One because flying sans nicotine for Many Hours requires swift re-saturation. Just my Adult Children waiting outside baggage claim with all their worldly possessions and my pressing need to bundle them up and drive them home where I get to pretend they’re Safer than they are in the Real World. Another fantasy I like. 

Saturday afternoon was the Great Pandemic Bake-off — my first ever attempt at scratch puff pastry, complete with the promised technical difficulties (we eventually connected to sound) and tripping over the Cutest Dog — an event that was SO MUCH FUN and is also now available online for rewatching:

{{SPECIAL THANKS TO BETHANY LEE and her humans, Bryan and Hannah, who pulled off an amazing escape and much needed bit o’ fun. ❤️ }}

And Sunday was the Great Shopping Extravaganza during which I shopped for the seven of us for three weeks of supplies because we’re going into lockdown as of today a) in case the Adult Children brought the plague home with them, and b) because we’re planning to be the Moving Crew for my parents and I’m a freaking freaker who freaks so I need to be ABSOLUTELY 100% SURE we’re not infecting them while we’re mucking about in their space at the start of June. 

It was, in other (fewer) words, a busy weekend, and we accomplished a lot — mostly pulling our people back into one state, HOORAY! — and now we’re hunkering down. 

I’m sitting at my kitchen table drinking a Widmer Brothers Russell Street IPA. The Adult Children are playing MarioCart on the Wii, putting their business degrees to excellent use. Gregory just told them they need to be role models because they were fighting over who’s gonna win. Chandler said, “I thought Beth was the role model.” And now we’re all dead from laughing because ON NO PLANET EVER HAS ANYONE THOUGHT I SHOULD BE THE ROLE MODEL. Bless his heart. That was an adorable thing to say.

And I’m signing off, Diary. It’s 6pm, and in the After Times I actually cook dinner for my family. Which proves we’re living in the Weirdest Timeline. 

More soon.

With love,





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4 responses to “18 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not”

  1. I read this comforting article (in the middle of the night, of course, ’cause when else am I ALONE??) and immediately thought of you, and (y)our journeys, and the message rocks. Dr. Ahmad makes some great points about why we definitely need to chill out and be gentle with ourselves, and speaks also from her personal experience with trauma.


    Hooray for the kiddos getting home safely, and congrats to everyone on the sweet snuggly grandpuppy!! 😀

  2. Absolutely LOVE this. All of it. Even bitey puppy. You are so awesome, of COURSE you’re the role model! You’re my hero.

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