Forty Days and Forty Nights

For someone who is supposed to be in isolation, I have a rather active social life, at least I did today. I got one phone call from a friend, made a call to wish another friend happy birthday, got a few emails, and spoke to a few people out in the wilds of my neighborhood. Whew! That’s more socializing than I do when I’m not isolating myself!

It was such a nice afternoon, still and warm, that several people were out and about when I went for a short walk. When I stopped to talk, I made sure I was far away from them, at least twenty feet, so both parties were protected. Tomorrow will be a bit chillier, then the next two days will be warm again. After that, I’ll be out of isolation, but I’m sure it will feel more isolating than these past days because the temperature will drop, and we’ll all be isolating ourselves in the coziness of our homes.

It is interesting, though, that in the computer age, isolation feels a lot less like isolation than it did when quarantines were first created in the 14th century. I paused here to check the internet, and actually, I’m wrong about the isolating factor of quarantines. The practice of quarantine started during plague times. To keep the plague from spreading to Venice and other coastal cities, ships were required to sit at anchor for forty days before landing. So back then, people were quarantined en masse. No isolation for them. They certainly didn’t need computers and such to make them feel less alone.

Quarantine today is a matter of fourteen days, not forty, so I’m not sure the practice can still be called a quarantine since the word comes from the Italian phrase quaranta giorni, which means 40 days. I wonder if they knew that’s how long it would take the plaque to remove itself from the ships, or if it was a biblical thing since Noah endured 40 days and 40 nights of rain, and Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights. (So why weren’t the ships kept at anchor for quaranta giorni e quaranta notti? Or maybe they were, and like everything else, over time the phrase was shortened to make it less unwieldy.)

Whatever the meaning of quarantine, and despite my rather social time of isolation, I’m glad I don’t have to be alone for forty days and forty nights. Not that the addition of “nights” matters — I’m always alone at night. And anyway, technically I’m self-isolating rather than quarantining since no one is keeping me at home but me, and I can go and do wherever I want as long I stay far away from people. Which tends to be my inclination anyway.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Dark Too Soon

I don’t mind being alone, don’t mind the reason behind the isolation (a huge upsurge of Bob activity in this area), but having to do it in the dark seems a bit much. I’m not really in the dark, since I can turn on lights, but the sun sets at 4:44 pm. It seems as if the day is no sooner getting started than it’s ending.

Even that, I suppose, isn’t such big a deal, but when it gets dark too soon and I haven’t done my daily blog post, then I panic. Where did the day go? What did I do all day? How can I write if I can’t remember?

I’m glad, of course, that my days are so uneventful. I’ve had enough trauma to last me a lifetime, and even though some friends are going through disastrous experiences, I am at one remove from their situations. A lesson I learned from my grief days (days? No. Years!) is to let people have their own sorrows. I empathize, of course, but I can’t take on their sadness — it belongs to them. Come to think of it, I’m even at one remove — or several removes — from my own grief. In four months, it will be twelve years, and that is a long time. (To put it into perspective, that’s the time it takes for nine-year-old children go through puberty then the teenage storms and finally to reach adulthood.)

The only thing of note I did today was turn my Suspense/Thriller Writers Group on Facebook from public to private. FB is changing the way they do groups, so now if you have a public group, anyone can join immediately without being vetted. Considering how many spammers find the group (not just robots but also authors who only want to promote their books), it would turn a rather innocuous and inert group into a nightmare. Besides, since my blog URL is still blocked, I have little interest in spending any time on FB. For now, I reblog this blog to another blog and post that URL on FB, but when they discover my ruse, and block the reblog, then I’m finished with them.

Although it’s not particularly noteworthy, since it’s something I do every day, I did go out and water my lawn. It still astonishes me that I did that — add a bit of lawn. I wanted just a small corner of grass in my yard (else what’s the point of having a lawnmower), but since I didn’t know how big of an area a pallet of sod would cover, I agreed to buy the two pallets a local landscaping company had left over from another job. I worried that it wouldn’t be enough to cover the 400-square-foot corner; instead it covered 1,000 square feet, if not more, especially since they had a partial pallet left over they threw in at no cost.

I suppose 1,000 square feet isn’t all that much lawn, though it seems huge when it needs to be watered.

Oh, and I did manage to blow most of the leaves off my rock, but a big wind will simply blow them back. So here’s hoping the winds remain fairly calm until the leaves settle in.

I hope you’re doing better with the early dark than I am. And to think it will continue getting darker for the next six weeks! Hmmm. Perhaps I shouldn’t think about that.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.