This DIY kit has been on my Amazon wishlist forever and when it became clear that we were going to be housebound for who knows how long I went ahead and ordered it, so that is my little ongoing project right now. I keep the materials on our kitchen table (we are savages who mostly eat at the counter in shifts rather than regularly sitting down to a family meal, I used to feel slightly guilty about that but is family togetherness something we’re short on right now IT SURE ISN’T) and when I’m not swatting the cat off of my various piles of impossibly tiny things I’m hunched over them cursing my middle-aged eyesight and wondering what kind of witchcraft a person has to be capable of to produce a final product that truly resembles the photos because holy shit.

Every single blessed item in the model has to be meticulously cut out and hand-assembled using tweezers and glue and needle-nosed pliers and a level of hand-eye coordination that’s pretty much beyond me and I’m sure if I ever do finish it the overall vibe will be very Pinterest Fail but, well, it’s something to periodically obsess over, and is generally a decent break from doing the web browsing equivalent of chain-smoking one terrifying infection/economy projection after another.

I gave the kids a shorter schedule of “school” for this week since we are technically on spring break (my calendar keeps prompting me with Disneyland reservation reminders, whomp) and that keeps them occupied at least until lunch, which lets John and I focus on work. Overall they have been quite resilient about all of this, if they are anxious in any way it’s not apparent to me. Riley in particular is well-suited for the indoor life because he can happily play infinite amounts of video games, and Dylan will shoot hoops in the driveway for actual hours on end.

They’ve always had plenty of friends in school and in sports but have been hardcore homebodies rather than wanting playdates or sleepovers. I’ve never quite understood that — spending time with friends was such a huge part of my younger years — but nothing about either of them has ever sent up a red flag in terms of being lonely or wishing to hang out more but being unable to do so for whatever reason. At any rate, their solo traits are serving them well right now, because while I’m sure they are missing their peers, they, like me, are not exactly having to press pause on a wildly overscheduled dance card.

The rains have returned and that feels a bit like Isolation: Hard Mode. Much gloomier and of course much less fun to walk in, and maybe that’s just the current headspace I’m in but there’s also this sort of national mood shift that seems to be underway, don’t you think? Like we’re all obviously going through our individual experiences and cycling through various emotions but there’s this gathering storm cloud of frustration with leadership and of course worry and fear about what each passing day means for the world as we know it.

There is a lot of good happening out there, too, and I suppose the best we can all do is try and focus on that. Sometimes I feel like there is so much that goes on between the brief hellos and waves that I exchange on my walks, that tiny little passing human connection where we try to express more than a greeting, we’re saying a million silent things with our faces. I see you, isn’t this crazy, I hope you’re doing okay, I hope we all make it through.


10 Responses to “Passing connections”

  1. Nix on March 24th, 2020 7:40 am

    I am hardcore obsessed with all things miniature so your project makes my heart happy. I feel like I’m seeing the world in shades of grey at the moment and while that’s not necessarily new, I’d like some color. Between the overcast skies of Spring to the lost option to leave the house (even though I’m largely a homebody), it just feels like we need a spark of something. I try to count my blessings: I have a job I can work from home, I’m healthy and my sons are healthy, things can be worse…BUT. It’s that “but”. I hope the sun shines for you and that we can find some color in our days while we wait this out. I see YOU. And I am sending all the good vibes I can.

  2. Kim on March 24th, 2020 7:58 am

    One of my mom’s hobbies when I was growing up was building this insanely intricate miniature house. It was something out of a New England style fever dream and she worked on it for YEARS. It’s one of the very few material possessions of hers I really wish I’d made room for after she passed away. The best part for me as a kid was the fact she made the curtains out of a pair of women’s underwear because she liked the material. Comedy gold when you’re 12.

  3. Katie on March 24th, 2020 8:26 am

    Your more frequent posts recently are lovely and a nice way to feel more connected. I’m amazed at how much more frequently people are saying hello when passing on a walk outside–we all are needing a bit more connection these days.

  4. Morgan on March 24th, 2020 8:57 am

    This is lovely, thank you. That last paragraph is a perfect encapsulation of that interaction! I’m not one for crafts that often, but focusing on a idyllic, miniature, world sounds like it might be perfect for right now…

  5. Judith on March 24th, 2020 9:00 am

    I am happy to report that thanks to yesterday’s post today I made my bed, got dressed, even brushed my hair into a neat ponytail. And it’s noon and I have not checked the dead count in my city.
    I do know that our fearless leader expects me to risk and even lose my life for the big corporations. I am grateful that governor Cuomo values our lives a bit more.

  6. TinaNZ on March 24th, 2020 1:36 pm

    I hear you on the middle-aged eyesight thing, especially when craft time is usually the evenings and when did light bulbs get so dim?

    On a holiday in Japan I bought this kit and when I opened it back home, the instructions were in Japanese. A youtube video plus Google Translate got me through eventually, and though it’s far from perfect, at least even the mistakes are tiny and hard to see.

  7. Courtney on March 24th, 2020 5:12 pm

    I’ve been amazed at our 7-year old daughter’s ability to entertain herself, with only a mild increase in screen time. I think the ability to hang by oneself is a critical skill!

    It’s great to see you writing again, Linda!

  8. shari zychinski on March 24th, 2020 6:14 pm

    The wave of the guy driving the recycling truck as my son and I traipsed the neighborhood this week was enough to make me bawl. I’m so happy i looked up in time from my own self-misery to see his grin, flopping hand, and return that wave. I didn’t realize how much I needed that from a stranger.

  9. sara on March 25th, 2020 5:08 am

    thank you for posting more during this!! they are a bright spot in my day :)

  10. Annie on March 25th, 2020 9:17 am

    Also popping in to say I’m digging the more frequent posts and to say “Hi Linda” from an internet stranger who has been reading forever. Take good care everybody.

    Judith-Thanks for the update, nice work. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other!

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