Social Distancing Staycation

Yep, that’s me. Beautiful morning on the patio.

I’m retired. Why do I need a staycation during quarantine?

I didn’t need a staycation. I just wanted one.

The vacation began when I knew I needed a change of pace after weeks of lockdown. I asked myself what I would do if I were going on a real vacation.

I don’t travel often. When I do, I pack tote bags (yes that’s plural) of things that I enjoy doing but might not make time to do at home. I sit and stare at mountains or a lake and pull things from my bag. I walk a little and enjoy the scenery. I may visit a botanical garden, a museum, or some other touristy site.

So, follow along if you like and learn a little about what I enjoy doing and have been doing on my staycation.

I thought my break would last about a week, but, since I didn’t make note of the starting date it just lasted and lasted. I think it’s been almost a month but I’m not sure.

The things I vacationed from were:

Blogs (Following and writing) – sorry blogger friends, I did peek at titles but didn’t read blogs. Now I have some catching up to do!! Missed you guys.

Facebook pages – blog pages, special needs organizations, FB blogs. Normally I go through these and do a substantial amount of sharing to my Facebook author page for autism parents to follow. Mostly the activities were postponed or cancelled anyway so my shares weren’t missed.

Instagram – I’m not on here often but was told that, as an author, I should be. I haven’t figured it out yet. I find it an unenjoyable challenge.

Hmm. Interesting that most of the things I vacationed from are social media related. As an author of a book about autism written last fall, I intended to “hit the road running” for autism awareness month. Along came a new world and all my plans were on lockdown. I wanted to re-evaluate what I want to accomplish as an author, an autism advocate, a person. That’s the subject of another blog, however. Spoiler alert – I might not have figured it all out yet. 

What did I do on my social distancing staycation?

Here are three things. Only one of these activities even required me to reach into my virtual tote bag. The other totebag activities might be for another post.

I picked up my crochet hook and yarn.

For me, crocheting is a great car activity. I haven’t had had a knitting or crocheting project in the works since February, when I finished a shawl for myself. On my staycation I began a pink basket-weave afghan for my new granddaughter arriving in August. Crocheting has been done in front of the television since there haven’t been long car rides.

Baby afghan in progress

When I walk the neighborhood with my husband, it’s mostly about accomplishing the walk. The sweetgum trees that must have been on a special sale when our subdivision was built about forty-five years ago now create a minefield for walkers to navigate. Not only do they litter the walks with nature’s equivalent of marbles, but the roots create unanticipated two-inch steps in the sidewalk. When I walk fast, my whole intent is to get in my steps while managing to stay upright. That’s a mighty feat for someone who has balance issues and fragile bones.

I have taken walks to just enjoy the scenery, just like I would on vacation.

I have left my husband at home and taken some leisurely strolls lately. Our subdivision has wooded areas and an extensive creek system that winds under streets and through the woods and areas of common ground. With just my dog as a companion, I stop every few steps to look around. I search the wooded areas for wildlife. I take time to listen to the creek which is gurgling constantly with all of the rain we have had.

One of the connecting creeks in the neighborhood.

When I hear a hawk, I take the time to search the trees and sky to locate it. I’ve discovered one that hangs out near a particular area of creek. I now stop and look for him. I have not yet searched my bird books or apps to determine what kind he is.

My hawk in the tree which is probably fifty feet away and thirty feet high.
My hawk in flight. I enlarged it quite a bit on the phone.

With spring erupting in the neighborhood, I pause and look at yards, watching the blooms that have changed through the month. My eyes feast on azaleas, tulips, daffodils, iris, pulmonaria, perennial salvia, and now, peonies.

I have also been working on my photography skills with my phone.

I purchased a new phone last fall. I ventured away from my familiar Samsung phone and purchased a less expensive Motorola. The information on the camera indicates that it should be a better camera than the one on my previous phone but I have been unhappy with photos I have taken. It turns out the problems were mostly user error. Reading the camera directions have helped me realize that. My phone photography skills are still a work in progress but have improved. I am also still trying to figure out how to enlarge photos like the hawk when I didn’t have time to zoom the camera before taking the pic. As quickly as he landed he was gone. I felt that I did well to capture him at all.

One dark rainy night, I found this camouflaged tree frog when I heard it chirping loudly an inch from my back screen door.

If you don’t hear from me for a bit, assume I am still on my staycation. Maybe writing this post will motivate me to start a gradual return just as the St. Louis area begins a gradual reopening this week. We will see. I still have fun things to do.

Have you been doing any staycation-like activities lately?

5 thoughts on “Social Distancing Staycation

  1. When Wuhan locked down, I said if that happens here, I’m going to assemble a book from my favorite blog posts. But then my job didn’t really slow down very much and because my kids are home all day, they’re itching to do stuff when I get home. I’m getting a lot of family time, which is similar to vacation. But no book in the making. Personally, I’m spending way too much time on wordpress. I’m having a hard time concentrating on books, so blogs are working well for me. Not very vacationish.

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  2. I thought I was going to read a ton during the lockdown, but like Jeff, I can focus on blogs but not a book. The kid’s online schooling is really taking up a big chunk of my day. Then when Bob is done work at 5, we turn into family time. I like your idea though. In just about a week school will be done and I would like to fill the time doing more things I enjoy.

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