COVID19 via Halcottsville, NY 12438

If you said to me one month ago that I would be sitting at the dining room table in the middle of the Catskills “Quarantine Time - Social Distancing”, I would have asked what is that and how well do you know me?!

It seems like that was light years ago and I want to share our journey with you.

It is April 7nd, my 53rd birthday,  almost 4 weeks of “QTSD” away from our home in the Big Apple and the routine that I craved every day. I am a creature of habit, and I thrive on routine. I learned this about myself last year when I was sick, but let me stay on track.

So in this new life, the emotions run me over most days. I am someone who I think brings positive energy into the room, and these days I wake up with this new weight that I long to get rid of.

So life before COVID19 was jam-packed, starting early in the AM.

  • Wake at 5:15 am- minimum 1 cup of coffee.
  • Bar Method at 6:00 am is religiously in my specific spot with my “Bar Mafia Friends” that have become dear to me.
  • Tell my kids every day – “Be safe in the street. I love you so much”.
  • Off to Nourison (work)  and a day that is never as planned, which I love and thrive on 20 years later.
  • Dinner – TBD anywhere from 6:30 to 8:30 and what are we eating? Your guess is as good as mine.

Fast forward to today…

Our decision to leave NYC was quick, though Jeff knew this was coming before it sank in for me. After hearing there were two positive cases in our building the week of March 9th, which has over 400 apartments, we were off the next morning. I had been stockpiling food to cover us at home, but now we were on our way to our first stop of COVID19. We only had room for each of us to pack a carry-on and we were off in the Subaru. My carry-on included my pillows, a suitcase, and many MZ WALLACE bags overstuff. I barely had room for my feet in the front seat, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t worried about my clothes nearly as much as I was worried about my cosmetics. It has always been so important to me to take good care of my skin, as my skin and hair have been a ritual that I am not willing to give up no matter what.

Let me stay on this subject, as I have a habit of mixing 20 thoughts into one sentence.

We started this adventure renting a house from a family and past generations that had lived in Phoenicia, New York for over 100 years. You could feel in their house the love and memories that were made there.  Family photos in the foyer greeted us as we walked in the door.

Two of their grown children and three grandchildren live on the acres of land they own. The house was what we needed to start this new normal. Behind the house is their family stable.

One of their grandchildren is an accomplished Western-style horseback rider, and she would take good care of the horses daily. At the age of 13, she was incredibly responsible for 3 horses and it showed how her love for the animals and sport.

We stayed there a week and then settled into our home, which we hope will be the last stop before going back to the City.

Today we reside in a duplex in Halcottsville, NY. It is virtually impossible to pronounce correctly.

Phonetically is pronounced “HAWKETVILLE”. Population 48.  I have more first cousins than the number of people in this town. I am sure you are asking yourself, why did we pick this town and this place?

Our children went to a school from the age of 4 to 8th grade and it had a farm. This farm is 10 minutes from where we are now, and we are somewhat familiar with the area.  I also wanted to give my children their own rooms and space during this time as we are in uncharted territory for life. There is a lot to process at any given moment so giving the kids room to breathe as part of the criteria.

In the City, we live in 1100 sq ft and they share a room. Space isn’t a luxury.

The routine that I crave in NYC is totally different here.  Life is slower. I am not sure it is relaxed, because I am a worrier but, it is calmer.

What’s different?… I am so glad you asked me.

Dinner is eaten as a family. Oh… now I cook dinner. Please don’t faint. For those that are close to me, they know I am not a fan of cooking dinner after a day at work. It’s just not my thing. Now I find myself excited about the menu and getting the comments, “Mom this is really good.” They are always worried they will hurt my feelings. HA!  There are all kinds of I eat this, but I don’t eat that but I am getting the knack of it. Jeff makes dinner too. His dinner is 30 minutes or less – mine is 1 – 1.5 hours, and they are so different that I love seeing what he does for us.

My Halcottsville Routine:

Wake at 6:30 to 7:00 am

  • My day starts with my ritual cup of coffee, or 3 and then I go directly outside to put birdseed out for our daily visitors. I love watching them from the window.
  • Try to do my Bar class remotely – it’s a nightmare. I have to use the counter as a bar, my legs are too long, I kick everything, the class skips and it is just annoying. I make up my own class to get the fix. Plus, what I love most about the class is my morning chat and social interaction.
  • We have a stationary bike that I ride most days. Its works to get the endorphins going and do something for my mental health.
  • Many have suggested meditation but I am not there yet. My commute is very far… less than 10 steps.
  • Login to work by 9:00 am and start the day.  Face to face interaction is so key now.

By the way, there are way too many ways to communicate now. Have you found yourself texting one conversation, emailing another, and chatting in Microsoft Teams a different one all to the same person – or better yet – jumping between all three on the same topic? Makes me NUTTY

So, for now, I am trying to stay positive. I am grateful that we are healthy.  I am also grateful that I learned to color my hair, shhhh don’t tell Jeff. I still want to go to the hair salon when I can.

Until next time, be well and loving.


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