Watching the news tonight I learned that the Farmers Market in St. Thomas is not going to open this season. Apparently it had to get approval from city council and the mayor didn’t think it was safe to open. I’ve been a few times because a friend of mine used to have a table there. It’s bigger than the one in my city but it has the same vibe. It’s much more kid friendly with more activities. The vendors get to know their regulars. It makes me sad because farmers markets are a great way to support local businesses. I know for the one that I attend many seniors go because it’s a great place to shop for single people. People who live downtown can walk there. While many of the businesses have online ordering they sell out quick.
Yesterday our PM finally announced that its “recommended” that people wear a mask when things start opening up again. It’s a relief because some people do and some people don’t and it’s confusing. I wore one when I went to get bloodwork a few weeks ago and people look at you wondering why you have a mask on. Tonight on the news the medical officer of health also announced that hospitals will start getting ready to reschedule surgeries. Not right away but preparing. It made me think what will it look like when we start having Dr appointments in person? Will they have to put up a screen at the reception desk? Will we all have to wear masks? I’ve had 2 appointments over the phone this month and it was ok but it’s definitely not the same as going in person.
It’s now approximately a month until our birthday. Since it’s on the weekend I probably would have gone to the cemetery with a friend. Last year I had a lovely lunch and manicure. I’ll go out for coffee with a former neighbour. I actually bought myself something recently because it reminded me of the quilt that I bought at the Twinless Twins conference. Right now I’m just following the news hoping that we are allowed to have people in. Having a birthday without my twin is hard enough but not being able to see my friends makes it that much harder.
A couple of friends posted a meme on Facebook of Ernie from Sesame Street. “The year 2020 has been brought to you by the letters W,T and F” That about sums it up.
It’s interesting how photographs have evolved through the years. Growing up my Dad didn’t have many except when they had big family celebrations and someone would take a group photo. There is only one photo of Dad as a child and I think he’s around 8 or 9. He’s lying down on the grass and his son is the spitting image of him down to the slightly cheeky grin. My Dad had a family album and had photos of each of his siblings when they got married. All professional except for his sister and he is minus one for another sister. Mom told me she’s pretty sure they had a professional one done at the studio but she has never seen one. My parents only had a photographer for their wedding ceremony but didn’t have the person stay for the reception and she regretted that later. Nowadays we have people take pictures on their cellphones and post in real time. My Mom and I are both the type that prefer more candid shots to professional. Many people get the naked baby shots of their newborns…Mom was not a fan.
Photographs capture a moment in time. I have pictures on facebook of people that are no longer in my life but those moments were still special. I posted a picture of our grade 5 class and there are a lot of wonderful comments. I think we all look back and think where has the time gone? When I moved I found an envelope of photos that were never put in an album. We had a picnic at Harris Park with Mom and Grandma. It was kind of a full circle moment since I now live across the street from the park. It’s funny how memories fade with time because I can remember going but I don’t remember much about the day. When I look at the photograph I see love.
Lately I have been taking photos with my cellphone when I go for a walk. The forsythia bush as it was flowering. A couple weeks later I took a picture of the magnolia tree in front of Eldon House. It’s an incentive to go for a walk and it makes me feel a little less alone on my walk. I’ve taken a couple selfies but I’m not that good at it yet! Just imagine the kids growing up now wouldn’t even know what film was. Taking photos with their cellphone will be their way of life.
The word for today makes me think of cooking with Janet. There were times when we wouldn’t even have to say what we needed the other person just knew. Mom would be in the kitchen and Janet would say can you pass me the doo-hickey and Mom would ask “what’s a doo-hickey”. “It’s ok, Jennifer knows”. When she died I lost my rhythm. I burnt food. For almost 20 years we cooked side by side. It’s the thing that I miss the most is having a connection with someone where I didn’t have to speak.
A couple of weeks ago I made quinoa for supper. While I’ve had it at restaurants I’ve never made it for myself and it turned out pretty well. Janet was a more adventurous cook. A twin friend of mine made polenta recently and I thought Janet probably would have liked that. I ran out of bread the other day so I made biscuits for breakfast. I threw in some blueberries and they were good. Janet made way better biscuits than I do. Although a friend from bible study used to say it was love that we put in the cookies that we brought.
I know that I don’t bake as much as I used to because growing up it was such a shared experience. Our grandmother taught us how to make pies (something I did better than Janet). I have ripe bananas and will probably make some muffins. My Mom preferred banana loaf but it’s so much more work. For my Mom it was comfort food. So many memories sitting at the counter stirring something in a big mixing bowl. Getting to lick the beaters.
I don’t know about you but I could certainly use some!
This morning I went to the Facebook page of the coffee shop that is around the corner from me. When I typed in the name in the search bar I saw that they are now open for take out! I think it’s basically like ordering delivery only you pick it up so it’s all contactless. For someone who doesn’t drive so can’t use curbside pick up this is so great. I told a friend in an email that it’s almost like a little sense of normalcy. I can go and grab a treat in the summer and enjoy it on my balcony. And on days when I don’t feel like cooking I can have a salad bowl or chicken curry. It’s nice to see a small business re-opening even if it’s in a limited capacity. It’s mostly walk ins anyway as the only people that know about it are people that live in the neighbourhood.
A few minutes ago I logged into Facebook and learned that the outdoor Farmers Market is opening May 16. There will be security and screening and they prefer you to do pre-orders if possible. There are more vendors using square (tap machines) but there are still vendors that use cash for purchases. I guess they will have to figure it out as they go along. This is my weekly routine so it’s exciting to see that they are allowing it to re-open. It’s nice to be able to support local business and farmers. I will admit that it’s definitely not going to be the same. Going to the market is a social experience and they are telling people “get in and get out”. A friend dropped off a mask for me so at least I will be able to have that protection when I go.
My friend called them small victories. It’s holding on to that little bit of hope.