By: Ken Boone
They wanted us to stay inside. That was long before the state instituted the order (or should I say policy). The message was delivered to us by the nice doctor as she was telling us that we were negative for the flu. She also gave us a handout as she wished us "good luck".
On the drive back home, Celia started reading the document out loud. Buried within were clear instructions that this self-quarantine was to happen with us in separate rooms, even using separate bathrooms. No wonder the document was rolled up when the doctor handed it to us.
How can we quarantine in separate rooms? How can we not sleep in the same bed? Except for a few nights when one of us was in the hospital, we always slept in the same bed. Even during those hospitalizations, the one who wasn't the patient always slept in a recliner next to the patient's bed.
Although we both work from home, we spend a lot of time in different parts of the house. Celia works from the master bedroom with her laptop placed on her, well, lap. I spend most of my day in the bonus room above the garage. That's where I set up my recording studio, as well as my home office.
I record Celia's podcast from our downstairs music room. It began life as a sitting room, which I've been told was typical in the South. Nowadays we all just flop down in the family room. In our house, that room is too comfortable to call by it's proper name -- the Great Room.
When we would go out on our daily adventure, typically to the grocery store, we'd be together. Being originally from a city of over 8 million people, I am still amazed that I'm easily recognized when I walk into both of my neighborhood Publix supermarkets. I almost feel like Norm from Cheers!
During Celia's recoveries from both hip surgeries, I had to do the shopping by myself. It never failed that a number of store employees would ask how she was doing and for me to send her their love and well wishes. And when she made her triumphant return to the produce aisle (as you know, she's a vegetarian) those employees would drop what they were doing to give her a welcome back bear hug!
Against this backdrop of togetherness I just painted, we had to make the decision whether we should quarantine separately or not. I'll admit, the drive home became pretty sobering. Being a couple of accountants, we created an imaginary ledger. The left column were reasons to quarantine apart, while the right were reasons to stay together. It quickly became obvious that we would stay together!
During the deliberations, we started exchanging stories about adventures past. We talked about dozens of trips we took to Asheville to play at our favorite church. You see, driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains was breathtaking for a city guy like me. I would savor the moments by "only" driving about 10 mph over the speed limit.
Since Celia was from that neck of the woods, she wasn't impressed. I finally wised up and handed her the keys. That way, my lead foot wife would make the 125 mile trip in well under 2 hours. That doesn't seem impressive until I remind you that she's driving through a mountain range, and the trip in mostly uphill.
We reminded each other that it was just the two of us on that huge stage at those performances. Although I'd spent most of my life on stage, with much of it leading a band, choir, and/or small vocal ensemble, here I felt most comfortable playing my bass while sitting on a stool behind Celia, who was at the piano.
There were many more stories that we recalled, and many more that we forgot during that ride home. We ten reminded ourselves that, since we both had recovered from our year of medical hell, we had a comeback to plan and execute. A lot more drives to make. A few hotel rooms to crash at. And many, many more adventures to the grocery store to pick up provisions as well as be recognized and greeted warmly.
Friends sometimes feel sorry for us. They tell us all the time that we've been through a lot and the worry and pray for us. Well, thanks for the concerns and especially the prayers. We then tell them that we are doing great. That our "troubles" are just another adventure. And we LOVE those adventures, big and small!
About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.