WordPress has been nudging me for weeks to come back to this space, but I haven’t had the desire to spend many more minutes in front of a computer lately. I just watched a documentary about fungi, and in a strange way it inspired me to come here to this network and community of readers I’ve cultivated.
We’ve been streaming Tiger King like the rest of the Netflix Nation, but tonight we rented and watched “Fantastic Fungi: The Magic Beneath Us” and let me tell you, learning about mycelium made me the most hopeful I’ve felt in awhile. It also gave us a mission to be on the lookout for mushrooms on our next family hike.
We were lucky enough to get out on a property that Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation owns just outside of Ankeny – a farm with an incredible oak savanna – and Joe wrote this nice little post for work about getting outside in nature during the pandemic.
I’ve been reading, slowly taking in the poetic and raw On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong which I picked up at a bookshop in Dubuque when we went for a weekend getaway at the beginning of March and now Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite writers.
I’ve been running, as I was training for what I hoped to be my first (and probably last) marathon — Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth this summer. It was officially cancelled this week, and I feel lucky to say that it was the first of my plans to have really been ruined by the virus. (Well, if you don’t count the whole work-from-home-while-parenting-two-small-children thing. School here is also now cancelled through the end of the year.)
Grandma’s told us that we have the option to do the race “virtually” and so I’ve decided to continue my training. Despite the fact that work feels busier than ever for me, #wfhlife does offer a bit of flexibility for squeezing in runs when the timing of a shower isn’t as essential. So, quitting now feels like an excuse to not follow through on a goal.
As June draws near, I will map out a route around Des Moines and invite my friends to help me along the journey by setting up checkpoints for hydration and cheers. Maybe (fingers crossed) if we can host big events again in the fall, I will be able to join another marathon and have the true experience. I’m hoping Joe and I can still have our 10-year anniversary trip to Lutsen that we’d planned as a post-marathon getaway, but right now it feels like the only thing we should be planning is a weekend project.
Which, speaking of — Joe and I are having a date night in tomorrow, via Winfest. They’re hosting virtual wine flights where you can order takeout fancy dinner for two and a bottle of wine from a local restaurant and pick it up curbside. Then you hop online for a Facebook live with the sommolier. We’re going to make a frozen pizza for the kids and plop them in front of a movie and attempt some some social distancing from our offspring.
Then the rest of the weekend I will probably be sewing (baby bibs for a maker exchange with a friend, and masks because that’s a thing we’re doing now), and making bread (inspired by this NYT article by a college friend and all of the carb-licious bakes I’ve been seeing on instagram!)
A few other things I’ve been liking:
- I’m obsessed (my birthday is June 8) with all of the bandanas on the Hemlock site, and if you’re not into sewing I’ve seen a hack for making a bandana mask
- My sweet friends at Ephemera are shipping all sorts of love and we got their kids edition “happy at home” box this week. I’ve been saving it for a desparate rainy day, which might be tomorrow!
- One of my favorite bands, David Wax Museum, has been doing live concert streamings from their living room. They need 1,000 subscribers on their Youtube to make that easier so go like them! Des Moines-based band The Well Pennies have been doing sweet daily videos on their Instagram, too.
So, my life-sustaining network: What is bringing you joy during this time? Keeping your flame lit? Tell me!