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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

It is raining the cold rain of winter. The weather changed last week, before that it was warm days, cool nights but now the nights are really cold. Yesterday afternoon I spent two hours looking for my hot water bottle. I knew it was in a blue, green and yellow cover I had knitted myself. When I finally found it it was in a bright pink cover on which the words "I'm a Hottie" were written in a bold black. This was a jokey gift from my son-in-law for my birthday last year. Now how did I miss that? I think this is typical of this period in my life, I see what I want to see. And my mind often is locked in a trip down  memory lane rather than focussed on the present. But that is okay for now. Memories make me smile and I need that.

I am still self isolating, waiting for what is described as the second wave of Covid-19. The Health Department is still warning us oldies to stay home and see what happens as our community starts up again. School officially goes back today in New South Wales. Each state decides what they open up and when. The children will be stuck inside their classrooms staring out if the windows today as it is pouring outside, one of our East Coast lows being the cause.There is also torrential rain pounding the west coast of Australia as a really late tropical cyclone drenches the land. At least some of the drought and bushfire affected lands will get some welcome rain as it crosses State after State. Maybe Trev will even get some at Broken Hill.

From the first of June some more regulations imposed in the Pandemic will be relaxed, some of the restaurants will be able to have 20 people, up to the number social distancing will allow. That means I may be able to go out three days later  for my birthday. I might even get a visit from my daughter and family the following weekend, travel restrictions are to be lifted to travel anywhere in this state too so Trev and Alice can come down from Broken Hill in July to visit me  for the first week of the winter school holidays. Yay!!! I am hoping the Adelaide kids will come up to their mother too, at the moment South Australia's borders are still closed.  I have missed my family so much through these months of isolation.

If someone asks me what I did on the 16th of April I will say: "Had my lunch" because that is the highlight of every day. I try to have a good lunch every day instead of that hastily snatched meal I usually have in my busy life. With the extra time at home I am able to cook if I want to. That means it is something warm for lunch and soup or a casserole prepared during the afternoon for dinner at night. Nothing special but have come  back to some of the country cooking of my youth. Ray and I lived in two inland country towns in his time with Fisheries. I learned country cooking by observation with wonderful country cooks in both towns. I was amazed to go to parties where tables groaned under a feast of astonishing variety. No store bought food tasting all the same but dishes cooked from fresh ingredients some grown in the gardens behind the houses we visited. That is where I learned to cook and freeze.

 I am constantly watching cooking shows during this isolation period. They provide a background noise and make me feel less lonely. I am going to cook food I like and very few of the dishes are expensive but some are a reminder that I can have a greater variety in my meals. When  Ray died I didn't really prepare good  food for some years.What is the point of cooking for one I thought? Now I know that I need to eat well to stay healthy and I deserve to have a meal I can enjoy. Whether I sit in front of the TV or at the dining table I should have the freshest fruit and veg I can  source. So I am eating a more varied diet. Does this sound self indulgent? It isn't, it is common sense. Come on anyone who is reading this and shaking their head, if we did it for our families we can do it for ourselves.

So life is not perfect Chez Sue, but it is probably better now than when this isolation period started, when I really wasn't prepared for a long time in. Why I suddenly changed my mind about being a forced shut-in I don't know, it just suddenly made sense to treat myself better, to put more thought into how I used my time. I am still crocheting, doing Just Dance three times a week for exercise, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry etc but I am doing it more intentionally now. When I looked after Ray and the going got tough I used to swing my feet out of bed and say:"Today I choose to look after Ray." Now I get up in the morning and say: "What will I do with today?"  and somehow that makes  me feel back in control of my life again.

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Comment by only1sue on June 1, 2020 at 4:31pm

Had a few days of like warm sunshine and now bitter rain I know it is only about twelve weeks till Spring but I think it is going to be hard to get through. Ironically the lockdown is opening up and we can go to BEACHES and OUTDOOR CAFES I presume in our ski jackets. How contrary life is in 2020.

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