The Van is very still.

I have many goals to write more about my travels. For the moment, I will have to stick to extremely modest trips (like to the basement) and writing about my past travels. I imagine just about everybody reading this knows about COVID-19 and the mandatory, widespread social distancing that is taking place. During this time, I plan to write once a week, alternating between tales about the super short distance travels (which often will not involve the van), and past, longer distance adventures.

The words and phrases of the week in the Respect the Van household are as follows:

social distancing, FaceTime, salamanders, anger, grief, knots, jigsaw puzzle, hikes, dishes, “wash your hands”

We’ve are getting close to completing a 2000 piece puzzle, a world map. We started it 5 days ago and it’s coming together nicely. Maybe that’s a good sign for the world? Hope so. Just in case, I have ordered two more puzzles. At least the puzzling is keeping us adults feeling relatively calm.

We are not formally home schooling at this time. Nobody here wants to start this, Especially me. I am grateful it is not required by the kids’ school district. Some learning is happening. My 13 year old is working on some scouting skills and requirements. We practiced tying the taut line hitch this morning. We’ll use it for camping one of these days. I am learning to accept my fate as an online instructor for the next 5 weeks or so. I do not like being recorded at all. Lectures must be recorded for use outside of scheduled class time, so that’s what I’ll do. A wise friend once told me, “it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done.”. It will be done. The 11 year old has discovered a new love of strategy/logic puzzles. This game is very cute and seems to have endless possibilities. I had forgotten about it, and am glad she found it.

We are all trying to remember that video chatting is much better than no time with friends at all. One person was especially stubborn about this and not wanting to try it. On Wednesday(I think), that individual chatted with 4 separate friends. Whew. Friends help with the feeling words listed above.

Walks/hikes are helping. It can get depressing even in a warm safe well stocked house. Walking seems to make it easier for certain young people to talk about how they’re feeling too, and easier for me to respond in a helpful way. At home those converesations feel different sometimes. I’m not sure what we’ll do on an all day rain day. So far the weather has been pretty good.

I’ve been focusing on our food a lot. I guess that is something I can control a little bit, and I like cooking. There are many dishes. I’ve heard that in languages other than English, there are words for jobs that must be done over and over again, like dishes and laundry. We need a word like that in English too.

I am thinking about our outdoor space and saw 3 salamanders when clearing stuff to get the front garden area ready for seeds. I thought I’d get done planting today but everything takes longer than I think.

How are you?

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