Sunday Morning 3/15/2020: Week 7 in Japan

My companion and playmate for the next couple of weeks

It’s Sunday morning in Japan . . . .

At the beginning of this past week we got to change up our daily pattern a bit as K went back to her hoikuen, so there was no need for me to be over at our son’s for a full day. Brett went over in the morning for C’s distance learning, and then I was there by 3:00 in the afternoon, giving me time to take care of things around the apartment in the morning. My back had been giving me some trouble, and it was nice to have the morning somewhat free to get it back into shape before the long walk to our son’s. On Wednesday afternoon though they got a note from the hoikuen asking that if there was someone available to watch the children at home it would be appreciated because of the coronavirus risk, so both Brett and I both headed over Thursday morning, Brett to again help C, and me to watch K. We will be on duty for the next two weeks, but then it will be spring break (our son has vacation that week as well), and schools will reopen nationally the following week, with K beginning preschool. As our son remarked on Thursday as we were getting ready to leave, “It’s not turning out to be the visit you imagined, is it?”

The weather has been warmer this week, except for Tuesday, when it poured all day, and yesterday, when it was cold, rainy – it even snowed! Otherwise, we had some nice walks to and from our son’s place. Brett and I were going to go over to Tokyu yesterday afternoon to do our food shopping, so as not to have a repeat of last week’s situation where I was stuck with a bunch of heavy bags (although there will not be a repeat of last week’s extra five jars of peanut butter!) but seeing snow coming down killed that outing. We may go visit the Maneki Neko temple with our son and family – later today. The sky is blue, but it’s very cold again.

For now, the girls are OK, but changes have been coming fast and furiously. Wellesley announced a hard shutdown of the campus for the remainder of the year; everyone has to be out of the dorms by Tuesday. WenYu plans to move out on Monday and will stay with her boyfriend in Massachusetts while she finishes her courses online. Our hearts just ache for her – she was within less than three months of graduation, and now that is gone, and she will not even be able to go out and find work. She and I shared a few tears as we talked about the changes. The campus and Wellesley community is already reaching out to this class though, and I know they will find ways to still make things special for the young women from the class of 2020. Bryn Mawr is still officially open, although all classes will now be online. Dorms and food service were going to stay open, but YaYu learned on Friday afternoon that all student employment had been canceled, and that evening that she had to be out of the dorm no later than Monday. She was also tearful, and a bit frantic, but we worked out a plan: she will be staying with a friend for a few days that lives nearby, and then moving over to stay with her boyfriend’s family for a few days (he attends Haverford, also lives nearby). The college still hasn’t announced a hard closure, but that is expected by April 3, and if and when that happens, YaYu will most likely go stay with Brett’s sister and BIL, or in Massachusetts with WenYu, and then we will bring her to wherever we are as soon as we possibly can, and she will spend the summer with us. Meiling is now working remotely in NYC and she is well and doing OK. Although the theaters are currently closed, if they reopen in time she and her boyfriend will use our tickets and see Hamilton in May; otherwise, she will get us tickets for a later visit. It is a crazy and upsetting time for the girls – none of them have ever dealt especially well with change, and these quick ones have left them completely upended.

Things are currently in flux with our flight out of Japan and our future plans as well. Although our reservation with Delta appears to still exist with no changes, I noticed this past week that the flight is no longer listed as an option on the airline’s website, and when I’ve searched using the flight number, I saw that it’s still departing but three hours later than what our reservation says. I received a message from them this week asking us not to contact them regarding reservations until 72 hours before the departure date as they are currently overwhelmed with changes and everything else that’s going on. We have another 34 days until we leave Japan, so we will hang tight for now, and if we’ve learned nothing else, it’s to be flexible. We won’t be staying here, but where we go after Japan and how we get there may possibly change. I canceled all of our May and June reservations with Airbnb yesterday afternoon and will contact the airlines as we get closer to those dates to find out about rescheduling so we hopefully don’t have to eat the cost of those flights (about $1000).

This morning I am:

  • Reading: I bought and was getting started a new book this week, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance during the Blitz, by Erik Larson, as I was beginning to think that my not reading was due to a resistance to returning to American Dirt more than anything else. However, I got a notice Friday evening that two books I had on hold at the library were available, The Dutch House: A Novel, by Anna Patchett, and The Wilder Life, by Wendy McClure, so I’ll be reading those first, and then will get back to the other books (which were purchases).
  • Listening to: Nothing – Brett is reading and there’s not a sound outside. After a crazy week it’s positively blissful. The sky is very blue but I can tell it’s cold because of the condensation on the windows.
  • Watching: No TV watching for Brett and me again this week. It’s not that there’s been nothing to watch; we just haven’t felt like it.
  • Cooking: Tonight I’m making the tofu curry that didn’t get made last week. Also appearing on our dinner menu this week will be chicken and vegetable soup with corn dumplings (using a Jiffy mix I found at Hardy Barracks); CookDo pork and pepper stirfry; tacos; takeout sushi; and macaroni and beef along with steamed broccoli. We haven’t decided where we want to eat out yet.
    Sometimes I am my own worst enemy. But, we have lots of the hard-to-get natural peanut butter to last through the end of our stay.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: My biggest accomplishment for the week was getting those groceries home last Monday. My goodness, that was a chore. It didn’t help that on Wednesday we then carried a case of Diet Coke home from our son’s – he and M went to Hardy Barracks to look for the Diet Coke (we got two more cases). We made it over to our son’s on time (just two mornings for me) this past week, and I got their laundry folded for them every day. I’d like to help in the kitchen but I can’t figure out how anything in there works or where anything goes. We have gotten in a lot of walking this week, at least two miles every day. Just getting through each day with the changes that are occurring for the girls and others in the U.S. has been challenging.
  • Looking forward to next week: We’ll be continuing this past week’s pattern of going over to our son’s every day, so no chances for us to get out until Friday, a national holiday so a day off for our son and family. Brett and I have poured over our maps and found a Shinto shrine complex nearby that, weather permitting, we’ll walk over and visit that day. We also found a nearby river walk that we may try and do if the weather is nice on Saturday.
    I never thought I would be thrilled to have alcohol wipes, but here we are . . . .
  • Thinking of good things that happened: One of the benefits of being at our son’s during the day is that he cooks us lunch when we’re there, and he’s a really good cook! He also springs for takeout now and again, which is fun as well. We had both grandkids over for dinner on Friday evening and another great sleepover with our grandson. Our DIL’s mother got the last package of alcohol wipes available in her town and set them to M, who shared them with us. We’re saving ours and the masks they gave us for when we fly next month.
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We had a couple of no-spend days again this past week and even with stocking up (the peanut butter and extra Diet Coke) our daily spending average is still below our March target (currently we’re at $21.46/day).
  • Grateful for: Although I am so sad for the WenYu and YaYu, Brett and I are thankful that even though their colleges will close for the rest of the year because of the pandemic (and WenYu will not have a graduation ceremony) that they will be able to finish their coursework for the year using distance learning. A college or university setting up something this major would have been impossible not that long ago.
    I love Cadbury Creme Eggs, but I’m also glad they’re only around a few months every year.
  • Bonus question: Easter candy is out now – do you have a favorite? YES!! I love, love, love Cadbury creme eggs, and always look forward to their short season every year. I like chocolate, but can live without it (I prefer savory foods); however, there is something about the creme eggs I can’t resist. Back in the U.S. I usually bought a couple of four-packs and would make them last, but the other day Brett brought me a big bag full of them and I’ve been enjoying one a day – a real treat (they were on sale at Hardy Barracks). A few years ago I was able to get the ones filled with orange creme and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven as I adore orange chocolate, but I’ve heard you can only get those now in the UK (I don’t care for the caramel-filled ones – I like my caramel nice and chewy). Anyway, other than the creme eggs, I can easily pass on Easter candy. 

Next week is going to be a hard one for both Brett and I. We love being with the grandkids and are glad we can help our son and DIL, but the days are long for us and tiring. Plus, we’re unable to get out and do much of anything else during the week. I’m not sure how much writing I will be able to do, or even if I’ll have any energy to do any, so there may be no posts until next weekend. 

That’s it for this crazy week. Thank you all for hanging in there with us. We are thinking of all of you back in the U.S. and know it’s been an extremely difficult week for all and that things are probably going to get much worse before they get better. I’m still hoping that good things happen for you, both big and small. And, stay healthy! Wash your hands and don’t touch your face – it’s almost impossible, I know. Social isolation is difficult (although a dream come true for us introverts), but I hope you can find ways to still get out and take care of yourself at the same time.


30 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 3/15/2020: Week 7 in Japan

  1. So hard to watch the consequences play out. I feel bad for your daughters, especially WenYu missing her graduation. At least they have each other and relatives nearby. And whatever we can do to avoid the level of infection in Italy will be great. I just hope we’re in time.

    We put our house on the market this week, and have been lucky enough to have quite a bit of interest and a fair number of showings. I hope it sells before the economy gets worse, which appears to be inevitable. We also got an email from our builder this week saying they have no shortages of labor or materials at this time, but they are watching their company closely, etc. I hadn’t even considered that angle. Sheesh. Another thing to keep me awake at 4am. 😳

    Your Delta info is interesting. I keep hoping two months from now I’ll still be able to get to the UK, but the ban they’re putting in place now worries me. It will be devastating if I can’t get there to see my new grandchild. I guess what will be will be. I got the same email from Delta you did, so we’ll just have to roll with it. Crazy times.

    The grocery stores are crazy right now. I haven’t run into any problem finding the things we normally buy, but there are huge empty shelves where bread, TP, canned beans, pasta, normally sit. They do seem to replenish most things daily, but I’m sure their normal inventory algorithms don’t give them the data they need to keep up with the crazy shopping that’s going on.

    I do appreciate you keeping up your blog. It’s a bright spot in these crazy times. 😊 Take care!


    1. I keep reminding the girls that staying healthy right now is the most important thing, as is not becoming a disease vector and possibly exposing someone vulnerable to the virus. They get that, but if course are still grieving for their own losses.

      I hope we’re in time too, but it doesn’t look good.

      And don’t get me started about Delta! They changed my flight and made it so we’re stuck at one of the connecting airports! Also, the layover at our first stop in the U.S. is not long enough to get through customs and make the next connection. Grrrrr. We will get it straightened out, but can’t do anything until 72 hours before our departure. I hope you have better luck!


  2. I really like Cadbury Creme Eggs (which are available here in Canada for months on end, before and after Easter) but my absolute favourites are the marshmallow Peeps in all their flourescent glory.

    Dealing with nonstop change is hard, but it sounds like you and your family have some good contingency plans in place. Canada is going to start limiting inbound flights; a friend mine is arriving back from Costa Rica tonight, so won’t be affected. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Justin Trudeau’s wife has tested positive for the coronavirus upon her return from the UK, and now the entire country is suddenly taking this situation far more seriously.

    Luckily, my parents have gotten their medications refilled for an extra three months and have enough in the house to self-isolate for a couple months. In the UK, they are actually now recommending anyone over the age of 70 self-isolate for FOUR months and will finally be banning mass gatherings.

    You are so right about it being hard not to touch one’s face! I’m getting more aware of doing that, except usually not until after I’ve done it!


    1. My kids all like Peeps, but one has never crossed my lips and never will! Just can’t do it – too sweet!

      The changes keep coming, nonstop it seems at times. YaYu appealed getting kicked out of the dorm and won her appeal, so she will stay there until we land somewhere after we leave Japan, then she will join us, at least for the summer. And, as I mentioned in a previous comment, our departure flight has been screwed up by Delta, so we have that to straighten out as well.

      We’re just taking things a day at a time. We can’t leave Japan yet as we’re needed here.


  3. I feel terrible for WenYu and YaYu. You are all quick thinkers to have lined up contingency plans for them so quickly. I am sorry your time in japan is not working out as planned, but at the same time, it’s good for you and Brett to support your son’s family and for them to support both of you. I have enjoyed your posts about exploring the local area. Wishing you all the best.


    1. We are deeply sad for both of the girls, WenYu especially. She will make, but her life has been turned upside down.

      We’re glad we can be here to help out; once the kids go back to school in April things will settle back down.

      I’m glad we can still get out and explore a bit! We had a great day of exploration yesterday – more about that later this week! And, thank you for your great list of things to do if you’re staying home!


  4. I feel terrible for WenYu who will miss all the senior activities and graduation. That just really stinks. I have a nephew who is a senior in high school and he is concerned the prom and graduation will be cancelled. The schools are closed here and all activities cancelled, but let’s hope things turn around quickly and this will be a bad memory soon. It’s good that YaYu has a lot of options as far as places to stay, but I’m sure it’s very stressful and upsetting to be uprooted so suddenly.

    It is something to be thankful for that at least they can finish the semester online. My college nephew is doing the same thing, although he has some labs and the college has not figured out what to do about those yet.

    The town I live in just confirmed there are two cases of COVID-19 here now. Not surprising. I am self-isolating and am not going to work either. The company I work for has still not closed the building for some unknown reason, but I’m telling my boss on Monday that I’m working from home for the foreseeable future. I doubt she’ll mind because the school her kids go to is closed and she’s working from home too. I agree about this being an introvert’s dream! Thanks for the laugh. I was thinking today that I really don’t mind that part of this, although I wish we weren’t going through a global pandemic. Stores are crazy and people are fighting over items, so I have no desire to go out, but I may go for a walk tomorrow.

    I love Cadbury Creme Eggs! I’ve had the orange creme ones and I agree they’re yummy.

    Thank you for posting about what is going on there. Japan was weeks ahead of us here and reading your blog served as a warning of what was to come, so I went out and did my prepping a couple of weeks before everyone started panicking, so thank you! Enjoy your time with your family there and keep us posted!


    1. This continues to be a very emotional time for WenYu and YaYu. WenYu will leave her dorm and the Wellesley campus for the last time today – her boyfriend will be with her to help, but I know i’s going to be a tough day for her.

      I read an article that said that was appear to be overreacting to the virus are what appear to be what slows its spread. People were upset here when the schools closed, but in hindsight it’s probably what kept the virus from spiking here – it kept the kids from becoming vectors and spreading the virus to parents, grandparents and beyond. I hope people in the U.S. settle down and take this thing seriously, but I’m afraid it may be too late.

      The orange creme eggs are amazing, but I only found them one year. I heard they’re available every year in the UK. I can only dream of them now.


  5. My youngest son will graduate from college in May and it is all on line now. Commencement was cancelled for my son-in-law and most likely will be cancelled for my son also. My church denomination cancelled church worldwide and I think that is good so as to help in not spreading this terrible disease. Jury trials were also cancelled for a month in my state. I still have to go to work, have emergency court hearings, and deal with the general public but we will take precautions such as talking through the glass window in the office as much as possible. I hope you are able to get a flight out and safely and are able to meet up with your girls.


    1. So many cancellations seem like overkill right now, but they are hopefully what is going to keep the disease from spreading faster than it already is, although it feels a little like we’re closing the barn door after all the horses have already escaped.

      It sounds like you’re doing what needs to be done at work to stay safe. I’ve heard though in some places that courts are closing for the time being, and one judge released a whole courtroom full of misdemeanor cases – he said the public was better served by not having them all gathered in a courtroom. We’re sure in some strange and frightening times.


  6. I know how you all feel. Our
    oldest granddaughter got the same news Thurs., followed by our grandson on Friday. Our granddaughter is a Senior and so, so upset.
    Everything here, except stores, is closed so lots of time for reading-I loved The Dutch House-and art.
    I’m sure your family appreciates your help, and though tiring, you will have great memories of your time together. Take Care!


    1. While I am grieving with our girls, I’m also grateful they’re being kept safe and that they will be able to finish the year. I hope your granddaughter is getting through this OK, or that she will.

      So far I am enjoying The Dutch House – but also having trouble finding time to read! The days at our son’s are long, and it’s not an environment conducive to reading! I feel lucky to be able to answer comments today, but K is currently playing quietly on her own.


  7. Echoing what JJ said…. I am grateful you posted about Japan’s experiences with the virus. It helped me think through some prepping before insanity hit the USA. I drink lemon water and have juiced and frozen 24 lemons for example 🙂

    All public schools in CT are closed and I think all public libraries are closed too. I was fortunate to get to the library Friday late afternoon, about an hour before they closed, and loaded up on books.

    Many, many churches in my area have closed their buildings. I am not a religious person but it is interesting to think about Easter approaching and sacrificing as well as reaching out to those in need.

    I read this morning that 25 million Americans have no health insurance. I walked last week with a good friend who is a nurse. She said that countries rarely want to invest in public health until it is too late – be that insurance, enough testing labs, epidemiologists, etc. Bill Gates has an interesting TedTalk about epidemics.

    You must want to bottle up your three year old granddaughter’s energy! I love the photo of her whizzing on her scooter! There is something about being with young children that keeps the focus totally in the present.

    WenYu and YaYu’s lives have just been uprooted with very little notice. They are living through history, but so hard when there is very little time to prepare. They are a sort of refugee – having to suddenly leave where they live with little notice. So glad they have each other and good support options.

    I keep thinking how grateful I am that this pandemic is not ebola or polio. How totally terrifying the plague must have been in the middle ages.

    The flower photos are absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful and also signs of hope.

    My favorite Easter candy is Reese’s eggs!! Yum-o.

    Sending you lots of good wishes for staying healthy and keeping your serenity.


    1. I honestly feel that this pandemic is going to reveal so many deep cracks and broken parts of our American social structure. I believe we’re going to pay a high price for not making sure everyone has health insurance, for example. Or paid sick days. Or have to take on massive debt to go to college.

      The girls will be OK, and we’ll get through this. It’s going to be confusing, upsetting, and constantly changing time for a while though, but hopefully we’ll all come out of it stronger and more united.


  8. I am sorry for your daughters as well. My daughter is a senior in high school but does not really care if her prom and graduation are affected(her school is now closed). She mostly misses her after school job working with kids. But as a college student I imagine after all of her hard work and discipline this was very important to Wen Yu. I am hopeful Wellesley will look out for these kids in the long run.

    Right now I am trying to figure out how to help my 100 year old grandfather who still lives on his own….without raising his potential of getting sick!
    Anon in mass


    1. I will be thinking good thoughts for your grandfather! I hope you’ll let me know how he’s doing, and that he’s staying well.

      I don’t think I would have been too upset if this had happened in high school either, but college . . . Yes, especially after all the work put in over four years. One of WenYu’s classes is a hand-on course (Printmaking) – not sure how she’s going to finish that one. Thankfully she has enough credits to graduate without it I am concerned for her and other seniors’ ability to find work. Wellesley has an amazing alumni support system, and I’m confident they and the faculty will be making an extra effort to help these young women find jobs and get their careers started.


      1. That’s very kind of you. I spoke to him today and he said not to come down because it’s too far. It’s not really. Im in Massachusetts and he is in Connecticut. But I am going to hold off longer because I know he was stocked up. The only concern is medication and I will see if they deliver or I will drive down.

        Sometimes I cannot believe I am related to him. He really is remarkable physically and mentally. He just doesn’t act like someone who you might imagine as 100.

        He was born in 1919 so his parents had just survived the Spanish flu!

        He also flew airplanes during WWII and was shot down by the Germans and a POW for 6 months. I think about meeting him then and asking him to imagine the year 2020…and being alive and experiencing what is happening now. I dont think the young version of him would have believed it!
        I hope so hard the US will just get on board and slow this down. It will really be tremendous if we can do this.


      2. I love hearing about your Dad! My grandmother was born in 1990, and we used to marvel that there were no cars, TV, etc. and by the time she died she had flown in airplanes and a man had walked on the moon! It must be the same in many ways for your dad; so many experiences. I wonder how he feels about the current rise of facism or facist tendencies after fighting the Germans in WWII and being a POW. Anyway, I am so glad to hear is OK and well – keep him safe! He is a treasure.


  9. Beautiful flowers, spring is such a lovely season! I love to see people trying to live their lives with a sense of normalcy despite the challenges that this situation have created.
    I wish we’d hear more on the news about how people who got infected recovered, what helped them and how they got their life back. Or what people can do to boost their immune system.Things that would support the public’s morale and tame the panic that has taken over so many people.Unfortunately, the conversation is stuck on number of cases, how many people died and the shut downs both for individuals and businesses, which only conveys a sense of doom.Oh well, there is nothing new under the sun!
    It is a difficult time for your daughters, they both are at that age when a set back like this feels like they’ve lost their wings. But for now they just need to focus on doing the best they can giving the situation and stay safe. I have a feeling that although it may be heartbreaking, they understand that these decisions were made to protect their safety. Good thing they have a place to go. As for you, I believe you are doing great and with all the hardship involved, you are creating lasting memories for your family in Japan. Spending more time with your grandkids is truly special as they tend to grow up so fast ( ours are now in high school already my goodness!). We’re however expecting a granddaughter at the beginning of April and that is becoming more complicated than I thought with going to the hospital and everything. But we stay vigilant, follow the guidelines and hope for the best.
    Stay safe and keep your cool judgement and calm. Tomorrow is another day!


    1. Spring in Japan is glorious, especially the cherry blossoms, and they will be arriving soon!

      One of the reasons I’m on Twitter right now is that I’m getting LOTS of information/links to track and follow the pandemic, including recovery and tips for staying healthy. A good person to follow is Laurie Garrett – epidemics/pandemics are her speciality. She has been banging the drum on COVID-19 since news of the first cases trickled out of China. (Disclaimer – I am partial to Laurie because we went to high school together. She was sharper than a tack back then and a superb writer from the start., Also the Johns Hopkins daily chart tracks the virus around the world including recoveries. It’s a great source.

      The girls are settling in; WenYu is now at her boyfriend’s (he Iives on 10 acres in the woods, so she’s definitely socially distanced), and YaYu is happy to be in the dorm for the time being. It’s Brett and I who are in turmoil. Our departure from here is currently a disaster thanks to Delta (although fixable), and we have no idea if we’ll be able to make it to our next destination. We’re putting together a Plan B just in case. We’re glad we’re here in the meantime – our help is needed here!


      1. Oh, dealing with airlines…it feels like a Sisyphus battle. Once, after unsuccessfully trying to straighten up things on the phone, I went to the airport on the day of the flight and I said ” I’m here and I don’t care how you’re going to do it, but I need to be at my destination in 2 days. I don’t want to hear any excuses or apologies, I paid my ticket way in advance and you’ll just need to make it happen”. I suppose that my face and my stern voice were quite compelling because that woman’s face turned red but she didn’t say a peep, she just found flights and connections. I had to change 4 planes instead of 3 but I made it home.

        Of course, now this is different and I wonder if the American Embassy may be able to help. Sometimes they have charter planes to bring Americans home. I would contact them and see what they say, at least they’ll know that you’re there and want to return home.


      2. I am probably going to have to be firm with them, but what’s the point of not getting us to our destination when we have another flight the next day on the same airline?

        The only silver lining to this is that we might have to change our itinerary anyway, and this will make it easier (I think) if that happens.


  10. First time responder, long time reader. I understand your frustration and concern with your upcoming airline flights, but I wish you would temper your comments concerning Delta. I can only imagine how tired, frustrated and scared airline employees are right now. This pandemic is not their fault and they have to continue to do their jobs, care for themselves and their families and deal with an irate public. I have 2 relatives who work for delta at the airport, they are concerned for their jobs due to the economic fallout as well as their own health! Wishing you and your family the best.


    1. We LOVE Delta – sorry that came across as sour grapes. We are mileage members, and always choose Delta first and always will. We were sort of suprised and frustrated though that this change was made to our flight schedule more than 30 days out (and we think a machine did it, not an individual which is why it’s so screwed up) but there’s nothing we can do about it until three days before we leave. We get weekly emails from Delta telling us we can go online and make changes only to find that we’re blocked. It’s is especially concerning for us because we are in a position where we HAVE TO leave Japan as our visa will run out, and Japan is unforgiving if you overstay your visa – it could jeaprodize future visits to see our son and family. Again, I don’t hold any individual responsible for this, and I’m sure it will be worked out. I expect to spend a long time on the phone once we’re in the window for changes (and being overseas, every minute will cost us – our calls are not free).

      BTW, Brett worked in aerospace for years, and we well know the panic that’s taking place in the aviation industry right now. Delta’s CEO is a hero for forgoing his salary so that workers don’t have to be immediately laid off.


    2. I don’t think it is only Delta whose staff we should be patient and avoid demanding and harsh words with. They are all doing it tough. So many of the Australian airlines have been laid off. Flights cut back. And the chaos and madness is not their fault. Yet they solider on. A thanks and a KitKat, maybe?


      1. No harsh words here for those working for Delta – for their computers and those making executive decisions about flight costs, I might have a few things to say, but we got it all worked out (although it cost us) and we will be on our way on Monday. I was asked to review each person who helped me yesterday – each got five stars. The ones of the front line were great.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel for you both. That will be the tightest ‘hang in there’ until departure day.

    This morning the news reported that new cases are going down, so I’ll take that as a positive. Having my husband work at home is a relief for us, but I need to be constantly aware when he’s video-conferencing and not casually walk behind in my bathrobe!


    1. So, so happy to hear from you Rowena, and that you’re all well. Hopefully the virus will be slowing down in Italy in the very near future and life can begin to return to normal, or at least a new normal.

      Have to laugh about not showing up in your bathrobe – one of my chores when I’m at our son’s these days is keeping our granddaughter away when our grandson is video-conferencing with his class!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love camellias! Not a Cadbury Cream egg fan. Too gooey.

    Must be so hard for your daughters without you and Brett close by. And hard for you, as you do the worry-mum thing.

    As to the lack of universal health care in the US, it’s just unfathomable that the wealthiest country can’t do it. Greed and rampant capitalism seems to exclude compassion. It’s really ideological not economics that has prevented a national and universal health care for all. Maybe one day?


    1. We try to stay in contact with the girls as much as possible. WenYu is very quiet and always has been – we’re happy if we hear from her once a week. We know though she is safe where she is.

      Camellias were my grandmother’s favorite flower. I like them too except for the mess they make when the blossoms start dropping off.

      I think the U.S. is going to be a changed place once we get through this, and I hope that health care is one of the first things that gets changed. Brett and I have always had excellent care at low cost because of his military service, but EVERYONE deserves the same as we have. Lots of other things are going to change as well – we’ll see.

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