The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Vicki Sternfeld-Rossi
The Times 

Love in the time of COVID-19 (not cholera)


September 24, 2020

I am not, nor have I ever been accused of being a “romantic.” Even as a young girl, I didn’t fantasize about wearing a big white poufy wedding dress, or a white knight charming and romancing me. It had nothing to do with being levelheaded; I was just more enthralled with action, adventure, and getting dirty.

My sister, brother, and I have all been married twice, and none of us opted for big parties or over-the-top events. We had small weddings at home, except my last one to Daniel; we eloped to Las Vegas one Easter Sunday. We drove there in the morning, with a quick stop for a pizza lunch. We were married at City Hall and then went to the Venetian Hotel (as close to Italy as we could make it), had a great dinner, and drove home. I went to work the next morning. No muss, no fuss.

A few weeks ago, (September 1 to be exact), Daniel and I were sitting on the deck having breakfast, when he noted: “It’s exactly six months that I’ve been here.” To which I, Ms. non-romantic, replied, “Well, we haven’t killed each other.” His response, “—yet!” (Hmm, does he mean there’s still time?) Have we matured? Doubtful, but our idea of love and romance have become more practical than flowers or mushy cards. It’s agreeing on a TV show to binge watch (Away, Bosch, Space Force—all winners), and he even succumbed to watching the U.S. Open Tennis matches with me. He cooks, I eat—a perfect match.

During the pandemic and now especially because of the smoky air, we have been forced to spend more time together. Fortunately, we have space; he has an office/weaving/music studio, and I have the upstairs library-office, indoor tennis courts, and I can run on a treadmill. Love and togetherness are wonderful, but so is our own space, listening to our own music, and sometimes I even get to use the kitchen.

Since his first visit here over July 4th weekend 2019, he fell back in love with playing the banjo and guitar.

I think I love knitting again, but I just ripped out an entire scarf for the third time, so I’m still deciding.

Since moving here, I have learned to love gardening (sometimes). Yesterday I decided it was time to review the current garden situation. My new fall mantra is fashioned after academia’s mandate to publish or perish: produce or you're out! If I don’t see a bean on you, yank! I love taking control over something, even if it’s just a bean or tomato plant. The zucchini, cucumbers, and peppers are safe for a while. They make the Energizer bunny look lazy.

I love that since May, every salad I have eaten has been from our garden.

I love that most of our vegetarian dinners have been with vegetables from our garden, including potatoes!

I love fresh farm eggs!

I love our new kitchen! We finally had the last two glass panels delivered Friday morning. They were the wrong glass; they came back in the afternoon with two different panels, and again, it was the wrong glass. I like consistency, but I’d rather have the right glass. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

I love Zoom and Houseparty apps. I can “see” my Los Angeles friends, my relatives all over the world, and clients. My L.A. tennis friends have even initiated a cocktail hour via Zoom. It’s germ-free socializing (and drinking), what a great combination.

I don’t love pandemics, but I now know I can survive and still find some fun and joy.


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