I have been a homebody long before it was “cool”, so staying home isn’t nearly as stressful to me as it is to others. I am, however, discovering the nuance between choosing to stay home and being forced to stay home. Because my kitchen is my happy place, I’ve often enjoyed my usual weekly jaunts to the grocery store, but even those aren’t happening on a regular schedule. And when I DO go, it’s to pick up necessities from a list, not wander the aisles dilly-dallying over what appeals to my eyes at the moment. Unfortunately, my regular store recently underwent an internal remodel, and I spend more time than I’d like simply because things in the center aisles have been moved to new locations, many of which make no sense to me. They no longer seem to put ‘like’ things together. What was once crackers on one side and cookies directly across is now crackers on one side and cat food directly across. The dog food is someplace else, and the cookies might be next to the bottled juices. I know I’ll eventually figure it out again – I mean, it took a while to get used to this store’s system when I moved here – but this is not the time I want to be figuring it out!
My bestie and I cancelled our monthly lunch out for March, which would have been the day before everything closed up, and even though she lives only a mile away, I haven’t seen her in far too long. Our plans for a show and overnight trip for this coming weekend, of course, were cancelled as well. It’s been months since we have made one of our thrift store/foodie shopping day trips to Lancaster County, and I was looking forward to that as well! While the food stores will probably be open, I suspect that pickings will be slim, just as they are here. It doesn’t seem worth the 3-hour round trip just to discover that what we’re coveting can’t be found!
Speaking of that, I don’t really enjoy shopping at Walmart, and I’ve always made Walmart runs only for my coffee pods, paper products, cleaning supplies, etc. As such, I always have had a surplus, as I usually buy everything I buy from there when I go, whether or not my supply of it is running low. As such, when the toilet paper crisis hit, I was in decent shape…. and had plenty of boxes of tissues as a back-up. I was there right after the toilet paper crisis started, and, of course, the shelves were barren. At the time I had 12 rolls, so I didn’t panic. I went back once, and although there was a sign limiting how much you could buy, the shelves were again (or still?) empty. On a whim, I looked on Amazon and found they had quite a few varieties (non brand-names) available and in stock. Crisis diverted and back-up plan in place! Until….. I went looking again the other day and found they still have some – all made in China and shipping from China with an anticipated delivery time of 4 to 6 weeks. Crikey! Plan B failure! Now what?
And, while I still have some boxes of tissues, my chronic sinusitis and the onset of allergy season having me using from my stockpile for my actual nose! Egad! I glanced, as I always do, at the sponsored ads on Facebook, and saw one for Angel Soft toilet paper. I went to it, because I’m good, at best, for about two more weeks. I ended up ordering some. As a brand name (I usually buy the Walmart generic brand), it was a bit more expensive, and I paid for expedited shipping, which means I should receive it within 7 to 12 days, but I ordered enough to easily last me for two more months, if not longer. I’m hoping that things will be better overall in another 60+ days!
Surprisingly, the last time I made the (unsuccessful) trip to Walmart, I noticed that the Dollar Tree, in the same shopping center, was open, so I stopped in. Of course, there were no rolls of toilet paper to be found, but I got my shampoo and soap and stuff I usually get there. I asked the cashier how they could be open, and was told that they are an ‘essential’ store since they sell some food and a bunch of over-the-counter medicine. Go figure!
I don’t eat a lot of fast food or take-out pizza. Our little town’s only option for fast food is McDonalds. It’s drive-thru has been sporadically open, usually on a nice-weather Saturday or Sunday. I only know that because it’s in the same shopping area as my grocery store. There is a Dominos pizza place, but I think their pizza is average at best. Ace Hardware can remain open – you know, in case someone has a plumbing issue or something – but people are shopping there to get out of their houses and starting to buy lawn and garden stuff, including all of the ornamental stuff. I get it, but I don’t get it….
The biggest plus to this stay home policy is that I am making a small dent in my ‘to be read’ pile of books. I am not really a big TV watcher, but I still tend to turn it on to see if anything interests me. Kudos for the Hallmark Channel for re-running Christmas “feel good” movies.
So, what is everybody else doing to keep themselves occupied? It may be a while until we return to normal and I suspect we will all be facing a new normal once this all passes. I hope that people are taking some time to count their blessings, when things we’ve taken so easily for granted are no longer taken for granted. And I remind everyone that we’ll get through this either by laughing or by crying. Me personally? I’m saving my tissues, because you just never know….. Meanwhile, here are a couple of “funnies” that won’t make you cry!