March 2020 

Homestays – I remember having phone conversations with friends about how we were so glad for spring weather. The weather! This was the thing we could all be thankful for and focus on, those first few confusing weeks-turned-months. As our calendars emptied, schools closed, jobs shifted, studio time became difficult, and people we knew got sick. Our homes became refuge. Our daily routines drastically changed. 

I cleaned off a table in front of a window that gets the best light and started growing plants from seed. I started to regularly incorporate meals with dried beans, pickled vegetables, and other time-consuming, process-oriented meal-prep tasks. “Christmas Lima Beans are so beautiful,” I would think to myself with my elbows propped on the counter so I could lean closer and stare at the bowl of beans soaking in water.  And yes, of course I made sourdough. I have lost count of the number of batches of sourdough English muffins I’ve made. I have experimented with seasonings and flours to the extent that I am developing my own "original" recipe. I daydreamingly use it in my future sourdough English muffin business. 

May, 2020 

Mother’s Day – it was finally time to plant those seedlings I had been paying too much attention to. My family and I spent the day fertilizing, watering, labeling, and organizing the garden. A week later – all those starter plants had died, apparently too fragile for the heavy rains of Virginia. Round two – I planted directly outside and began my next phase of homestay, which I jokingly referred to as, “When a tomato plant becomes family.”

He was knocked over more than once by a ball-loving toddler or covered in yard debris by my well-intentioned-but-not-so-observant partner. The love and care and anguish I put into Junior, our small-but-mighty cherry-tomato plant, was real. He had a very rough go in the beginning; but, once he finally settled into the large coil pot I spent several weeks making for him, I knew he would be ok.