One of my favorite lines from Downton Abbey comes from Maggie Smith, as Lady Grantham. When the former lawyer, newly made lord, Matthew Crawley says that he’ll be able to manage both his career and the job of running an estate by working over weekends, Lady Grantham looks askance and asks the rest of the dinner party, “What’s a weekend?”
I feel very much like Lady Grantham these days. Our former division of time between work and life are gone.
I have enough entrepreneurial projects going on right now that I am working seven days a week. The new chores — feeding boys and amusing the younger one — will stretch into the weekend without respite; there are no trips to the restaurant or visits to grandparents to ease that burden.
And our usual fun weekend activities are gone, too. We can’t tromp through state parks, because they are closed. We can’t attend dinner parties with friends. We can’t go to the movies or malls or museums.
So, we’re in the process of reinventing weekends for ourselves. I’ll quit my writing and book projects after noon. Then we’ll make the most of a nice day in a backyard. I’ll take Ian for a jog and play HORSE at the basketball hoop, which is finally getting used again.
I’ve decided that Fridays are Steve’s grilling day, Saturdays are a new special meal, and Sundays are for cooking something that takes a long time and can be eaten for three days.
I’m tackling some home decorating tasks, like hanging up artwork and organizing the basement. (More on artwork and office decor later in the week.)
I’ve been doing a lot more experimenting with food lately. I have to write up my discoveries. I might start a new Pandemic Cookbook.
We might stream mass from St. Patrick’s cathedral on the television.
With the weather getting nicer, we’ll be able to use the back patio a little more, so we’re hosing down the furniture. Maybe we can hook up some speakers and put out comfortable chairs for backyard reading. Maybe we can start learning to make and appreciate fancy cocktails. I’m not sure.
What are you doing?
7 thoughts on “What’s a Weekend? (Plague, Day 47, April 19, 2020)”
We had planned to go walking in a nature preserve today, but temps are lower than predicted ~ a high of 43 with wind. Ugh. However, to combat going stir-crazy, we’ll probably drive there (20 minutes), walk around a bit, decide it’s too cold, then drive home. That will kill about two hours hopefully.
We’re planning on ordering a pizza for supper. So far we haven’t done any take-out or delivery. We want to help our small town restaurants, but is the risk of the virus worth it?
I will spend some time planning for another amazing week of distance learning teaching 6th graders-Ha!
I will try really, really hard not to respond to the craziness on social media about how the gov’t is taking away our rights, we need to go back to work now, etc. Friday’s Liberate Minnesota was aggravating.
I didn’t vote for Gov. Walz, but I have to say he’s doing an amazing job leading us.
I’m hoping to organize some recipes and plan out the menu for the week. Like you, having a college-aged son home has drastically changed our shopping and eating habits.
I have driven out somewhere with my spouse on each of the last weekends. It gets us out of the house and gives us some togehter time.
I had the odd thought to start a pandemic cookbook, mostly thinking maybe we’ll remember to cook the few odds and ends we recently have cooked. Kiddo made crepes the other day and I have finally made egg drop soup. On Thursday, I used the green onions I’d regrown from the bulb, which made it extra special. I’ve been taking lots and lots of pictures and then being too distracted to sort through them and process them.
The weekends are really precious around here, because they are school-free. School days are really demanding, so it’s really nice to have two days where I don’t owe anything to anybody outside of the house. I’m really, really looking forward to the end of school in 5 (?) weeks. (I honestly have no idea what the end of school schedule looks like.)
Monday and Tuesday: school, laundry, dishes, dinner, kitchen cleanup, walk, extra reading practice for 1st grader
Wednesday: school, laundry, dishes, CLEAN ALL BATHROOMS, dinner, kitchen cleanup, walk, extra reading practice for 1st grader
Thursday: school, laundry, dishes, dinner, kitchen cleanup, walk, extra reading practice for 1st grader
Friday: Aldi delivery, school, laundry, dishes, dinner, kitchen cleanup, walk, extra reading practice, DECLUTTER/DUST AND DO DEEPER JOB IN ONE ROOM OR AREA
Saturday: HEB expedition early in the morning (especially hard-to-get stuff and produce), Kumon handwriting and math for 1st grader, AM reading practice for 1st grader, CLEAN ALL FLOORS (except baths), social distancing tennis for 9th grader, laundry dishes, dinner, kitchen cleanup, walk, evening reading practice for 1st grader
Sunday: AM reading practice for 1st grader, 11 AM televised Mass from college chaplaincy, laundry, dinner, kitchen cleanup, walk, evening reading practice for 1st grader.
I try to fit in extra Kumon math on the days when the 1st grader doesn’t have a lot of school math.
Here’s what makes this at all doable: a) I have two big teenagers b) husband and the two teenagers are doing a fair amount of kitchen and cleaning stuff c) I don’t have a “real” job (my very part-time job took a coronavirus hit) d) I’m not doing all of the dusting on a weekly basis. We don’t do pizza or takeout more than maybe once a week, as we can’t really afford it. I think that on a day to day basis, the house has never been so clean since we moved in. (We normally have twice a month cleaning help, but a weekly schedule works better when it’s us. I’m making the teens do a lot of the heavy cleaning, but I am paying them.)
Husband and I have done occasional mini-dates by ourselves to either Aldi or curbside pickup at the public library.
We haven’t done anything else but urgent home projects since March. I am really looking forward to the end of the school year, both so I can go back to a more relaxed home work schedule for the 1st grader (handwriting/math/reading) and so we can get to some home projects, like washing curtains and washing chair cushion covers. At the moment, the combination of school/cooking/dishes/heavy cleaning is just to much for me to ask anything more of the family than they are currently doing.
” am really looking forward to the end of the school year, both so I can go back to a more relaxed home work schedule for the 1st grader (handwriting/math/reading) and so we can get to some home projects, like washing curtains and washing chair cushion covers.”
Everything is kind of terrible when one is looking forward to washing the curtains. But, I do know the satisfaction of being able to get something done that has been poking at your brain for a long time. I felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction the first time all the clothes in the laundry room were washed (which hadn’t happened for about 10 years).
bj said, “Everything is kind of terrible when one is looking forward to washing the curtains.”
I can’t argue with you there!
Looking at my weekly schedule, it’s suddenly easy to understand why there’s still a big stack of craft kits in my pantry that we haven’t gotten around to doing with the 1st grader.
The weekend, well, Friday night until Sunday afternoon, is free. I don’t respond to students. I don’t work on course reviews. I don’t grade. So I still have a very strong division between work/not work.
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