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Life in the Devlin House (Contest)
Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Just a quick note about what this day means to me, and then I’ll move on. One year ago today, my mom passed away. She was at home, being cared for by my dd and myself because she wanted to be home until the end and knew she wasn’t going to beat her pancreatic cancer. I’d just walked away to get a washcloth to clean her face and returned. I began gently cleaning her face, talking to her, telling her that my sister was nearly there, hold on, when I realized she wasn’t breathing. One minute later, my sister arrived, too late to tell her goodbye. It was such a sad, sad day, but the only thing I can be thankful for is that she didn’t live to see what was to come just two months later. She left in peace.

So, here we are…how many months in? We cope. We also find joy. Little things matter more. My 16-year-old granddaughter has become our hairstylist. She watched YouTube videos so she could cut our hair. Here she is giving her 7-year-old sister a trim last night.

And isn’t she lovely? All that lovely strawberry-blond hair. She’s going to be a redhead like her mama.

We mostly stick close to home. Get our groceries delivered curbside, pick up our takeout masked. The one place we frequent, because it’s a big open, well-ventilated warehouse is our local flea market. We make that an event. See the treasures we found yesterday?

My mother had a collection of that old-fashioned, mid-century white Corning Ware with the blue flowers. We’ve been slowly adding pieces (it’s very collectible!). We paid $6 for two pieces, now we’ll have to hunt down lids on eBay (something else we enjoy—the hunt!). My dd got rid of all our plastic storage dishes and mixing bowls, and we’re replacing them with midcentury Pyrex (also, very collectible!). That brown set with the mushrooms we got for $40. If you think that’s insane, see how much it goes for on eBay! See the bent glass serving tray? It’s midcentury as well by George Briard ($10).

I added some odd bits to our haul—the yellow tin ($1) that I intend to cut up for tin jewelry, the small wood inlay picture frame ($1.50) that I’ll fill with a painting, the ceramic disk with raised lettering depicting the Cherokee alphabet ($6), which I will use to set my brush pot on for use on my art table, and I think I’ll press it against a gel plate covered in paint for background marks. See the yellow swan? It arrived in the mail today, so I added it to the display. I used a picture of it for the last jigsaw puzzle I posted.

So, we craft and “hunt” and have family movie nights. We’re fortunate, and we know it, because we aren’t hurting for money or searching for food banks. This situation isn’t normal, but the kids are happy, learning to cook and cut hair, and we have a little farm of animals they care for. We’re busy and not feeling especially stressed out about the restrictions. My police officer SIL got the vaccine this week, which is a huge relief. Hopefully, sometime this year, the rest of us will get it, too. We have lots to look forward to—warmer weather, swimming this summer, working on flower beds. We spend evenings talking about the trips we want to make to familiar haunts once it’s safe—Beale Street in Memphis, New Orleans.

We’re enjoying simple pleasures. Grateful we’ve, so far, dodged the virus while missing my parents and grandmother, who left us just before all this hit. We are finding things to be happy about and grateful for during this long-ass pandemic.

I’d love to hear how y’all are coping and whether the vaccine is headed your way soon. What plans do you have for when we get back to something approaching “normal” again. Comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card.

18 comments to “Life in the Devlin House (Contest)”

  1. Elaine Howell
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 10:31 am · Link

    I was blessed that I have a job that I can work from home if needed and I am back in my office and am usually the only one there. I do not think that the vaccine will be available to just regular people around Texas very soon. If they give it to the police and armed forces that would be great.



  2. Delaine
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 10:46 am · Link

    Wow, 4 years ago we bought a new house so that I could take care of my mom as she got worse. The old house wasn’t working because we lived on separate floors and her bathroom didn’t have room for a wheelchair. The reason I mentioned it is because we cleaned out the whole house and started getting rid of things. We advertised about 9 pieces of the Cornflower Blue Corning Ware with lids. There was an anchor on the news that had a story of a woman that collected them but I tried to get a number but she never got back to me. I gave them to the Idaho Youth Ranch used store. If I would have known I would have just gave them to you.

    We are anxiously awaiting the vaccine. I have a Certified Family Home so I’m now on the list to receive one but my mom has to wait until phase 2. My daughter works for the school system and she is also phase 2. My granddaughter goes to college so I’m not sure when she might get hers. My grandson is too young at 13 to receive it yet. We have our groceries delivered or do a contactless pickup and once a week we purchase dinner from a restaurant and either pick it up or have it delivered.

    I can’t wait until we can just walk around in a store even if we don’t need anything. March 13h is a long time to stay home. We don’t allow anyone in the house that goes to various places because we can’t take the chance with mom.

    Have a great Sunday everyone and know that we might be on the down side of this if we can get enough people getting the vaccine and wearing masks.

    May God bless you and keep everyone safe.



  3. Debbie Brown
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 11:32 am · Link

    Lots of reading not only fun books but preparation for my kids in the religious education program from church. Instead of in class teaching I do an email to the parents outlining the chapters with questions to ask once they’ve read the chapter with their children. I have a Bible study via Google meet once a week and another zoom meeting with another group. Have a zoom Friday morning coffee clash with another group of people. Vaccine is here in Virginia the over 75 folks may be able to start calling DHS to schedule a date, however neither my husband are I that group. We should be in the next as we’re both over 65. I just listened to a piece of music called. Let Us Pray For Peace, think I will order a copy and learn to play and sing it. Blessings to all.



  4. kerry pruett
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 11:56 am · Link

    I love the treasures yall found. especially the casserole dishes. We have actually put Covid as just the way the world is today so we wear our mask and wash our hands and stay in when we can. we have actually started traveling as fulltime rvers as of this past october.



  5. Denise
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 12:00 pm · Link

    I’m cooking more. Last spring my husband built me a huge garden. So I’ve canned salsa, spaghetti sauce, dried herbs, made pesto, made peach BBQ sauce, canned pickle relish, made apple/blueberry/peach jam. It has kept me busy and trying new things. I gave a lot away as gifts. I’ve also kept the TV watching to a minimum. I’ve read a TON more.



  6. Missi Adams-Metz
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 12:18 pm · Link

    We have had a mixed bag. COVID took my MIL in August and a few family friends but the hubby was able to work from home for awhile which was nice. Since he is in communications for DHS and on the emergency management team, he is in the next group to get vaccinated. I stay at home and only really get out to go to a dog park or for a long drive. We’ve been doing that alot. We get our groceries online. I have crafted alot. Diamond painting, cross stitch, cutting vinyl and making decorations. I also read alot. We can’t wait to get out and be able to go to a restaurant (we have done take-out. Last night was Soul Fish Cafe in LR), I am beyond ready for some ribs at the Rendezvous in Memphis. Our 20th wedding anniversary is in March. We wanted to go to Chicago or back to New Orleans but it will probably be delayed. I need a hurricane from Pat’s and some oysters from Katie’s.



  7. Colleen C.
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 12:47 pm · Link

    Still doing some projects around the house… going out once or twice a week… my tomatoes are growing nicely… waited too long to get my peppers started though… reading a bit more….



  8. Jeanine Lesperance
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 1:13 pm · Link

    I am lucky enough to have worked from home, and at last notice they don’t want us back in the office until after they reassess in April. I do go to the store when needed and get take out some, always wearing a mask. I also take the dog and walk at the park when weather permits. But I stay away from people. I also go for long car rides when I feel closed in. This is for no apparent reason, except getting out and seeing things helps to clear my head.



  9. Cheryl
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 2:25 pm · Link

    I’ve been able to work through this whole mess. Being in accounting, I am considered an essential employee. I also work part time at a grocery store. That pretty much takes care of wanting to be out. I’m constantly masked, and due to get the vaccine in a couple of weeks. Fortunately my folks have also dodged this so far too. My stepmother just had her knee replaced right before Christmas, so I’ve tried to stay away and communicate thru text and calls, just because I don’t want to risk it. My downtime is usually spent snuggled with my cats with a book in hand!



  10. bn100
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 4:10 pm · Link

    trying new recipes



  11. Sandy Ebel
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 4:53 pm · Link

    I’m blessed I was already working from home when covid hit, so it wasn’t a big adjustment. We had started using grocery pickup for convenience. When they decided to close the schools and for the students to remote learn, the kids were already on Spring break, so we thought a couple more weeks wouldn’t be a big deal… little did we know.

    We were directly affected when my husband tested positive for the virus, but we got through it.

    My work, editing, and my clients, authors, have kept me on this side of sanity.



  12. Jennifer Beyer
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 4:58 pm · Link

    I am learning new things. I have learned new recipes, new sewing techniques, how to can, Portuguese, how to write a resume, and the list goes on. I love learning new things!



  13. Mary Preston
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 7:42 pm · Link

    I love hunting for treasures in thrift shops.

    There is talk of the vaccine here, but still in the trial stages.



  14. flchen1
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    · January 10th, 2021 at 11:16 pm · Link

    I might have a lid that fits that blue cornflower corningware, Delilah! My mom had that set, and we’ve unfortunately broken some of it, LOL! As for what we’ve been doing, reading a TON, and DD’s picking up watercolor, journaling, and knitting… we’re all looking forward to getting past this pandemic, but are low on the priority list for the vaccine. Which is honestly, fine–we’re blessed to be relatively young and healthy, and are eager for others to be able to get the protection soon. In the meantime, we’ll continue staying in and masking up!



  15. ButtonsMom2003
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    · January 11th, 2021 at 12:38 am · Link

    I love to see the things you are collecting. I still use the Corelle Dinnerware that I got 48 years ago. I have the little green flower pattern and several of the Spice ‘O Life Corning Ware pieces. I’ve added to my dishes from thrift shops and flea markets over the years and now have many of the optional pieces that didn’t come with the original set of plates and cups.

    We’ve started going out some over the last few months and have dinner once a weeks with my brother and sister and two close friends. We are cautious but not staying in as much as we did in the beginning.

    My sister-in-law is in a nursing home and has received the vaccine. My brother hasn’t been allowed to see her for over 5 weeks now. She has dementia from a stroke two years ago and we are slightly comforted by the fact that she lives in her own little world with her imaginary boyfriend. The worst part of not getting to see her is not being able to make sure she is cared for properly (which was a problem before COVID stopped visitation at the nursing home where she lives.)

    I love seeing pictures of your family!



  16. Debra Guyette
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    · January 11th, 2021 at 7:04 am · Link

    My daughter and her husband are considered essential and so I go to babysit. I got an appointment for the covid vaccine and am hoping things change soon



  17. Joy
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    · January 11th, 2021 at 8:53 pm · Link

    We have something in common – 20 years ago today my son died, the pain never goes away.
    I don’t know when the vaccine will be around and don’t really care. I am not getting it. Also it is for the first strand and now there are more so it won’t help against them.
    I usually go to Boston Lobster Feast for my Birthday but last year they was closed and because of Covid I probably won’t get to go this year either. It is tourist town USA, so I’ll stay in my swamp until it is safe.



  18. Charlotte
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    · January 11th, 2021 at 9:15 pm · Link

    Love seeing your collections and your family update. Trying to stay strong here in NYC. It’s been a long haul.Take care. Stay safe during these troubled times. May your mother and father and grammy’s memories be a blessing.



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