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6 Months in the “Hermitage” and 6 days back on Spark

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

It has been 6 months since DH & I returned from a month in South America and I posted this photo of 2 Spark Friends (Phebess and me) meeting up in Puerto Chacabuco, Chile as our 2 cruise ships docked there on the same day sailing in opposite directions around Cape Horn.

DH & I are now “hermits”
We do not go to the gym. We no longer swim in the pool
I no longer sing with my chorale. We don’t attend church in person
Obviously, we no longer travel.

6 months ago I updated our website “Where in the World are Eileen and Joe”

Our last 18 world treks over the past 2 ½ years was ambitious even for us, but we expected to stay home for a “FEW MONTHS” in the Spring of 2020 since we had grandchildrens’ graduations & related festivities on the schedule (3 college, 1 high school).

The plan was to attend summer courses in both Slovakia and Lithuania (Language and Culture) and drive around on our own. Then 2 months in the Fall cruising Hawaii, South Pacific islands, Australia and New Zealand. I really wanted to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.

Note, this is not a complaint. I am well aware that we are better off than many others.

Life in the hermitage:

“Lithuanian Language and Culture” was offered online by the University in Kaunas and Joe and I earned our certificates along with students from over 40 countries. It was very comprehensive and well organized. We are continuing to study on our own anticipating a follow up course beginning in January.

Joe swims in the lake as much as possible & I run/walk outside in the early morning and walk intervals in the house throughout the day in what DH calls “the route of the confused squirrel”
My set of hand weights get a workout too. Stretching and basic yoga – YES.

Joe gardens and for the first time in years we are home to cook & eat the results of his efforts

We pretty much stay in our home “bubble” with only a trip to the grocery store every 10 days or so. I also go into the office of our local charity once a week. As treasurer I am responsible for paying the bills. In both cases we wear our N95 masks and carry hand sanitizer.

If our hermit life seems excessive to anyone, I should explain.

We live in an area when many people do not take the virus seriously.
Some believe in “survival of the fittest”

My cousin died in April at home alone.
She was 83 and likely infected by someone who “refused to live their lives in fear” without concern for how their actions affect others.
Sadly, she doesn’t get to live a life at all. The attitude “she was old, how many more years did she have anyway?” was not at all comforting. We are 73 & 75 and also considered expendable by some.

While I am able to maintain my weight and general fitness level on my own, I remember the support and friendship of the Spark community. I believe a daily check in will be a welcome addition to my hermit life.

Stay safe. Stay well.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm so sorry Eileen. You have a lot of life left I believe! My Mom is 81 and still trucking in her own home without assistance. I like your bubble. It sounds awesome. You and Joe have a great weekend! emoticon
    3 days ago
    It’s sad how selfish people are.
    4 days ago
    Thank you for that happier time photo
    5 days ago
    Hi Eileen,
    I am sorry for your loss of your cousin.

    Stay safe with Joe.
    Have a blessed week.
    Take care,
    5 days ago
    We are sticking with our bubble too, I think it is so important since we care for my mother. Great to catch up with you once more. emoticon
    6 days ago
    So fun to see the pic of you and Phebess!! Glad you have been able to travel as well as stay safe now!
    6 days ago
  • ELSCO55
    Stay safe. Too many in our area haven't taken it seriously.
    6 days ago
  • VISION2021
    I was supposed to be in Chile right now conducting dissertation research--I understand! One of my goals motivating me right now is planning my graduation trip pending 1) dissertation completion and 2) easing of travel restrictions...a girl can dream! Good luck on your journey, one hermit to another!

    7 days ago
  • THINCPL2004
    Continue to be safe!
    7 days ago
  • THOMS1
    I agree with Susie! It so wonderful to hear from you again and we have missed your blogs. So sorry about your sister. The people that think this is all a hoax should be ashamed of themselves. We all have to do our part to keep everyone as well as ourselves safe. emoticon emoticon
    7 days ago
    So sorry for your loss.

    We too lost my Uncle due to someone being sick but not taking it seriously. They survived. Uncle did not though his two children were hospitalized for weeks.
    7 days ago
    Sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin. emoticon
    Things seem so crazy in our world right now! emoticon
    Stay safe! emoticon
    7 days ago
    Good to hear from you! I'm interested in your "run/walk" fitness. The surgeon told me that running is the ONE thing I should not do after the hip replacement. I'm so sorry for the loss of your cousin.
    7 days ago
    cI enjoyed hearing your adventures. Since I am 75, I can related to much of what you say. I do go to mass once a week during the week when there are fewer people. I over see a thrift store and everyone wears a mask. We have many older sisters in their 90's and we are quite protective of them. I have no desire to head back to the gym as I do not think it will be safe. Everyone needs to make choices that work for them. I do wish everyone would wear their mask!
    7 days ago
    That is so sad to hear but I also see people like that around here. "It's all about me and I'm not going to do anything that might help you not catch anything." "You are being controlled by fear. I'm Not!"

    Dearly Beloved and I wear masks, use sanitizer in the car and was when we get home.

    Glad your hermatige is working.
    7 days ago
    Sorry for the loss of your cousin. emoticon

    We have experienced several losses during the pandemic as well. Another in the family remains unwell following an infection (covid-19?) earlier in the year, before testing of non-travelers was available. A nephew (a sailor aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt) was stricken by the virus. I hear that he has recovered; although, it took far longer than expected.

    A number of friends have tested positive for the virus as well. So, this virus is not ephemeral thing that's 'out there'. It has directly affected family, friends and co-workers.

    Like you, there are many in our environs that do not share our concern or experience.

    Also living life from the hermitage and grateful that we've not been evacuated due to wildfire and still have a home in which to hunker down.

    Good to hear that both you and Joe are well. emoticon
    7 days ago
    We were in Peru for a couple of weeks and then cruised South America. We were on 'one of those cruise ships', when South America went into lock down which extended our cruise by 18 days, the last days in lockdown. Sadly at least 6 of the 100 people we know, got COVID-19, and one in our area passed away.

    Challenge yourself to make the rest of the year the best of the year.
    7 days ago
    Sorry about your cousin. We are lucky in Canada. People take it seriously and the infection rates are much lower. Masks are mandatory here and we carry sanitizer wherever we go. Kids are back to school here and I think it is going to get much worse. We have stocked up on everything and are ready to go into full lock down mode again. Best wishes!
    7 days ago
    I am so happy that you are taking precautions. I am so sorry on the loss of your cousin. You just keep wearing a mask and maintain social distancing. We will all get through this. I am praying for a vaccine soon. I will be the first in line to get one.
    7 days ago
    sorry about others that have no concern for themselves or others I am sorry about the loss of any life it is good to know that you are safe and healthy

    have a wonderful time at home
    7 days ago
    So glad to see you ‘back in the fold’. How awful to lose your cousin in such a way!
    7 days ago
    Hi there! Good to hear from you here on Spark!
    I enjoyed catching up! Great travel memories for sure! Interesting lifestyle! Happy you shared!
    I so miss traveling!
    I am fortunate to live in a rural area where Covid is not rampant but ever-present. Lots of outdoor space to enjoy. Also fortunate to be blessed with a good life. Living it day by day!

    Sympathies for your loss.
    Keep living life to its fullest, whatever that is during these trying times.
    And emoticon

    8 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
    8 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    So sorry for your loss. I know what you mean about careless people. Our county has not imposed a mask rule, and the cases are going crazy. My wife and I are in our late 60's and she is a nurse. I don't do much more than picking food and medicine. I do go to church as our church allows 50% occupation, however if we get 50 people to come for Mass, that is a lot. I hope this will end soon and life can go back to normal. whatever that is.
    8 days ago
    Sorry for your loss....yes, some are very foolish. My travel is on hold & that is ok. Fortunately, I live in an area that hasn't been highly infected tho we have visitors & that should slow down. New challenges usually lead to changes that are good for us...glad you're enjoying the garden produce. Good to hear from you....
    emoticon emoticon
    8 days ago
    Sorry to hear that your aunt passed and furious about the attitude of so many that won't take this virus seriously. We are doing what we can to stay safe. We do go out to work, and to shop but always with a mask and with hand sanitizer. Thank you for sharing. Your travels sound amazing and I pray that our world gets back to some sort of normal soon.
    8 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your story, I enjoyed it very much. How wonderful to have all those travel memories to think about during this time of isolation! And thank you for being careful and caring about others.
    8 days ago
    That mentality has caused so much grief and anguish.
    We recently lost a 48 year old mother to the virus and she
    became ill and died in less than 4 days. It seems that no one
    is safe. Use all the precautions you can.
    8 days ago
    So sorry for the loss of your cousin.

    Glad you and your husband are well.
    8 days ago
    we hope to travel soon as well. Stay safe.
    8 days ago
  • MAREE1953
    Welcome back!! I'm Grateful to live in an area relatively unaffected by the virus, and able to find acceptable substitutes for the daily routines I'd established to keep myself happy and healthy. This, too, shall pass. Condolences to those who have lost loved ones, whether from COVID, riots, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes or other causes
    8 days ago
  • UPTOIT59
    Welcome back! emoticon
    8 days ago
    Glad to hear you are safe and at home. I bet Joe's garden turned out well and it sure was I bet good to eat. Sorry to hear about your Aunt. Be careful and safe.
    8 days ago
    Thank you for the update! Stay the course! Be safe and well!!
    8 days ago
  • no profile photo GRAMPIAN
    Glad to hear you're doing well. emoticon
    8 days ago
    So sad that so many people don't seem to care about others.
    8 days ago
    I'm glad you and Joe are OK and finding things to keep your minds and bodies healthy. Do you like opera? Some young people are doing a very cute and funny (and beautifully sung) version of The Magic Flute online. None of them are ever in the same room, but you wouldn't know it.
    8 days ago
    so happy you got to travel the world on so many adventures, me and hubby are home unless to the grocery store and I walk daily Hugs so sorry for the loss of your aunt, stay safe and well
    8 days ago
    Hubby and I are hermits too - we have to be in order to be safe but we are doing it without qualms. We also live in an area where people are careless and it is a hotspot with more deaths than the surrounding areas and a positivity rate of 6.5%. I am very sorry to hear about your cousin. It could have been me but I was lucky and only ended up as a long hauler. I got it early when the strains were not as virulent before any restrictions were applied. My doctor got me through it but he died last Thursday. Hubby has prostate cancer and is starting radiation soon. We intent to do our best to survive.
    8 days ago
    I would love to travel the world someday. What a great experience!

    I am sorry for your loss. There are many selfish people out there. Hugs for you.

    Stay safe.

    8 days ago
    I'm always so happy to hear from you! I cannot wrap my head around people that exhibit the "I refuse to live my life in fear” attitude. i'm so very sorry about your cousin!

    My husband recently left me abruptly, didn't know what he wanted out of life, and moved out of state, near a relative and friends who believe the virus is a hoax. I'm so mad at him for upending our life and yet so very worried about him there. This year is certainly putting us through our paces!

    I'm so glad you guys are doing well and taking good care of yourselves! I look forward to your checkins again!


    8 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    So nice to see you back and checking in. This virus has turned our world upside down. I hope you and your hubby continue to stay safe. So sorry to hear about the passing of your cousin. So many lives have been lost as this virus has ravaged our world.
    Great job on keeping up with your exercise and doing what you can to be healthy.
    8 days ago
    Thanks for the catch up on all your doings!! I retired April 30 (long planned) and DH is joining me in retirement December 30 but in the meantime is working from home. We're both pretty much in full Phase 1, masking and sanitizing and social distancing . . . although golf is possible with all of those protocols. By and large, Canadians are pretty compliant and our numbers have been reasonably good: but back to school is posing challenges now.

    As you say: many are "worse off" and we're not complaining. But yes: not what we had wished at ages 69 and 71 when we too were hoping for more travel and bird watching. . . oh well oh well.

    Staying fit with daily home body weight exercise (push ups, sit ups, mountaineers, squats) +yoga stretching and walking our golden retriever, Henry!! Eating healthy to build our immune systems!!
    8 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    We are doing the same. I keep waiting for this to pass. If life is to be like this for while, I shall endure it. For the first time in over 10 years we are doing our bowling season. Just isn't worth the chance of getting it.

    Very serious health threat to everyone. I like you, do most of my exercises either in or outside. We go for bike rides and we do a lot of gardening. Our yard hasn't looked this good in years. LOL!

    Stay safe as that is all you can do.
    8 days ago
    Sounds like a good plan.
    Sorry for your loss. emoticon
    8 days ago
  • NANCY-
    You have a nice bubble!
    8 days ago
    Good to hear from you, amd so sorry about your cousin. Hard to believe it's been 6 months since the COVID lockdowns started.
    8 days ago
    Good to hear from you on the Hermitage...sometimes we have to make our adventures in a bubble.
    8 days ago
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