The Indoor Report: Week 1(ish)

Welcome to our first edition of The Indoor Report. As our first week (or so) of lockdown comes to a close, there’s only one thing we know for sure: things escalated quickly.

What began as a social (distancing) experiment quickly turned into a global dumpster fire complete with record-breaking job loss and unprecedented shelter-in-place mandates. Indeed, the use of the word “unprecedented” has become decidedly, well…. precedented. For those of us here on RAF Lakenheath, we experienced our first confirmed cases of COVID-19. People we know. People who, thankfully, are now doing okay.

I debated whether to write a blog at all. What kind of communication is needed in a time like this, in a time where I, myself, am vacillating between staycation vibes and doomsday scenarios? So, I offer this: The Indoor Report, as a simple way for us to ride the wave together.

We Are Liberty

At the top of this week’s highlight reel, we have some good news. Liberty Villagers kept spirits high with an array of “door drops” ranging from board game exchanges to fresh flowers and baked goods. When news that the virus could live on surfaces was circulated, LVers were undeterred. They chalked the walks, spurred treasure hunts, and put artwork in their windows. Heck, there was even some dancing in the street! In the face of a lockdown, let’s remember that these simple acts are fundamental to our collective resiliency. Keep it up!

The Case for Going Green(er)

During my latest shopping adventure, I made an astonishing discovery. While many of my socially distanced counterparts were bemoaning the out-of-stock essentials, I found almost everything on my list – an achievement I credit to being “veganish.” Yup, I’m veganish and I think you should be too. Just hear me out!

You know the physical, moral, and environmental perks of eating less animal product. Even if you continue to indulge in the occasional burger or cheesy pizza (and I definitely do!), why not experiment with some new recipes now that meat and eggs are in short supply?

This week’s vegan banana bread was totally my style – a one-bowl, 15-minute affair covered in chocolate chips. Some of the ingredients sound bougie, but just swap them for the regular versions in your kitchen. Remember, this is a global emergency, and flexibility is key! We also enjoyed some tasty African Peanut Stew. Both of these recipes are from Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows (blog and cookbook).

Note: Strange, boring times are upon us and there is no greater evidence of this than my writing about food. Spending time in the kitchen is decidedly not my jam… But here we are.

Holding Space, Holding Mary

No one has emerged unscathed from this cataclysmic, arguably eschatological series of events – not even my beloved Mary. Earlier this month she broke her baby toe while playing with (human) friends in the forest. Sure, she was showing off, but no one deserves a broken baby toe.

Sidled with six weeks of mandatory bed rest and a bandaged foot, Mary has been sulking around the house just like the rest of us. While most of her recovery has been uneventful, the other night she woke us up – something was off. She paced and panted, repeatedly kicking her injured leg. I called the vet’s emergency line while Billy sat with her on the bedroom floor.

“Mary is likely experiencing discomfort due to the bone’s regrowth,” Dr. Bentley explained. “She’s in an uncomfortable phase of the healing process, unfortunately.”

“Okay. What should I do?”

“There’s not much you can do.” There is a pause and then, “You can be with her.”

Mary and I retreat to the couch, because that’s the routine when baby girl isn’t feeling well. Finally, I get her to curl up to me, assuming her usual spot as The Littlest Spoon. She’s still hurting, restlessly kicking and stretching her injured leg. I stroke her gently while singing the kind of totally-off-key-making-this-up-on-the-fly song that moms use to coax their babies to sleep. Eventually, she snores.

Mary isn’t the only one experiencing a fracture, I think. Our social networks, professional lives, and plans for the future are splintering by the day, and the collective call for inaction is maddening. Can I really hope to combat this with book recommendations and banana bread recipes? Maybe. Maybe this is a way to be with each other in our shared discomfort, to hold space for one another, to fortify ourselves for the equally taxing task ahead… regrowth.

But for now, I listen to Mary’s slow, steady breath and lull myself to sleep with thoughts of gratitude. I’m thankful for my family. I’m thankful for our safe, comfortable home. I’m thankful for….

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