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Let’s hang out.

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I miss this space.

I miss meeting you here to talk about the fun and interesting events of my life.

I miss doing fun and interesting things.

Mostly, I miss you.

I’m ready to start feeling good again. Who is with me? No matter what may be brewing on our doorsteps, it doesn’t change that we need some place to just be with each other. In fact, it may be more important now than ever.

If we weren’t in a pandemic, I would invite you all over to my house tonight for hot tea, Snickerdoodles and a Farkle tournament. (I wouldn’t let Dan play though, because he always wins at Farkle.)

What would you be doing right now if you could?

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown.

You act as if we are fighting a different enemy and that yours will either weaken like a hurricane as time passes or that you are better prepared.

Bad news. The clock hasn’t started on your recovery yet. It won’t until everyone goes in their house and stays there.

Spain has been forced to not use ventilators on patients 80 and over. If that doesn’t lessen the load, the age limit will be lowered. How many people do you love that would be denied medical care?

This will be your reality too.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/06/europe/spain-coronavirus-drive-thru-funerals-madrid-intl/index.html

Believe it or not, Dan and I are so proud of Spain’s response to this. Sure, the government could have acted faster. But, we are surrounded by fellow citizens that have taken this seriously, followed the rules and as a result, our curve might be flattening. Today, we woke up to a glimmer of hope.

This is my last post for awhile. I hate the new tone my happy blog has taken. When I return, we will be traveling again and enjoying life in Europe. We will embrace how this has changed us and how our everyday lives that seemed so mundane in February were actually full of joy and adventure.

If we all do our part, this too shall pass. Please stay safe and stay home.

Love you,

Nan

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What the hell are you doing?

The world hit a million Coronavirus cases today.

The United States is adding 25,000+ cases a day. And hasn’t even hit the horrifying time when these new cases are changing to new deaths.

You know why? Because it takes a long time to die from the Coronavirus. As an asthmatic, I know what it’s like gasping for air. It’s terrifying. Waiting five minutes for my inhaler to work feels like an hour. That’s how these people are dying… gasping for breath FOR WEEKS. Scared and secluded. Unable to be consoled by their loved ones because they are the ones in real isolation. Most are unable to say goodbyes. The death penalty is more humane.

These patients all had plans and bills too. To do lists. Calendars with due dates and appointments, birthday parties, church events, celebrations and obligations. Just like yours.

What are you doing? Get your ass in your house. Stay there until it’s clear society has beat this. And don’t let anyone in your house either. We are all inconvenienced by this. We all are having financial worries. We all are worried about getting food. We are all bored. This isn’t happening to you. It’s happening to us. And you aren’t pulling your weight.

An unfortunate truth is that this virus can not be negotiated with. I’m so sick of hearing… I only do this….I only do that. The excepts, and buts and negotiations are going to kill you or someone else. It’s egocentric, and (I’m just going to say it), American.

Suck it up, America. Your ignorance and down right dangerous selfishness is being watched by the rest of the world and frankly, we are disgusted.

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 19, I think

I lost it yesterday.  The heaviness was too much for my shoulders.  The grief of my dog, my country and the world overwhelmed every cell in my body.  I feel vulnerable all of the time.  There isn’t enough I can do to protect my husband, my daughter and myself.  And on top of it, I am more “home-sick” than I have ever been.  The longer predictions of when life will return to normal, the longer it will be until I see my family.

And then I woke up this morning and felt better.  I hugged my husband and danced with my daughter.  We took the long route when we walked our two pups.  I baked a butternut squash to make into soup.  This evening, Dolly Parton is going to read Squirms her night time story.  The air is crisp and clean.  The sky is just about a blue as you can ever imagine.

I fell apart last night.  Love and gratititude put me back together today.

 

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 12

What’s on my mind…

We are hanging in there. We are healthy and have food. All of our family and friends are healthy, so far, and also have food. This is more than 2800 people and their families can say today.

Everything feels irrelevant compared to this.

If you are healthy and your family is healthy and you all have food… count your blessings. You are ahead of so many…

We will love you and miss you forever, Murgatroid… you made our family whole.

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 6

A letter to my fellow humans…

I would like to see my parents play with my daughter again. Someday soon is preferable. I want to see their shared joy and giggles. I want to watch how uncomfortable Squirms tongue kisses make them. I want to roll my eyes when they think her tantrums are funny and a payback.

I am heart sick that people are treating this so casually. Get your ass in your home and stay there until the numbers start to drop. Things are about to get bad. Really bad. The type of bad that you can’t even imagine. Prepare to be ridiculously uncomfortable and bored. Boredom is a privilege of those who are alive. And if you think it’s boring being quarantined, do you think it’s entertaining in the ICU?

This isn’t going to be over by April 1st. If we are lucky and we all do our part, we might just be able to enjoy the end of the summer outside. It sucks. But literally EVERY SINGLE DAMN PERSON ON THE PLANET IS DEALING WITH THIS TOO! This isn’t happening to you. The 800 people who died in Italy over the last 24 hours did not die to cause you discomfort. Stop being so selfish and get inside.

And stay away from my wonderful, selfless parents who would be devastated if they gave you a cold, let alone a deadly virus.

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 2

Things that are on my mind…

Dan and I are considering signing up for YouTube TV so we can watch the Food Network and HGTV. We have lived in Spain for two and a half years and only had Spanish cable. It took two days of quarantine to break our will :).

I am loving all of the free museum tours and online classes that are being offered. I’m also making a list of companies that are going out of their way to help keep us (the world) from going a little crazy. I will post it in the next couple of days, in case there is something you might enjoy too.

Squirms starts online classes tomorrow from 11-1. She is 14 months old and her preschool thinks she is going to sit in front of a laptop and learn for two hours. I’m anxious to see if she will.

Of all things, our cheese supply is running incredibly low already. We didn’t realize we ate as much cheese as we do. Quarantine does lead to self-discovery.

I’m still very worried about the world.

Wishing you health tonight.

Love you.

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Surviving the Spanish Shutdown: Day 1

Here is what’s on my mind today…

Squirms doctor reached out this evening, without any prompt from us, to make sure our family is feeling well. The Spanish healthcare system is second to none.

We are all still great. But we think Squirms is cutting SIX teeth. SIX! During a global pandemic… What timing.

Every evening at 8pm, Spanish residents go to their windows or balconies and give a round of applause to the healthcare workers. There is whooping and hollaring and genuine gratitude. It’s simply moving. I choked up watching my sweet daughter participate in a lovely act of humanity. (She is a very good clapper).

I introduced Squirms to baby yoga this morning. We went on a bear hunt. I can tell you that she was enthusiastic and energetic and had no idea we were doing baby yoga or that we were on a bear hunt. 🙂

I’m worried about our world.

Finally…

Here’s hoping…

Love you all.

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The Spanish Shutdown Day 0

Hello my fellow humans!

Never before have I felt so connected to you. No matter what corner of the world you are reading this in, we are battling the same enemy. This is heavy, guys. But know, I am doing my part and got your backs.

Here in Spain, the government has declared a State of Alarm and as of tomorrow, Monday morning at 8am, we are movement restricted. Unless we are going to the grocery, pharmacy or hospital, we have to stay home.

Dan and I have been anticipating this for several weeks now. No other measures seemed extreme enough to stop the spread, except quarantine.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the term social distancing. I feel it gives too much freedom to interpretation and by default, won’t be successful. We are quarantined. Government mandated quarantined. We can’t negotiate the terms because they are black and white. Stay home unless you need medical attention or provisions. Period.

A great article about social distancing, in case you are interested, is Here.

So… how are we doing on Day 0?

The moment feels surreal to me. I have inundated myself with facts and figures, articles and protocols for over two weeks now. At any given moment, I could have told you exactly how many people worldwide were in serious or critical condition with the virus. I have been an obsessive statistic-junkie hoarding figures, trying to figure out exactly when this moment was going to arrive. Now it’s here and I feel prepared, but nervous.

Dan’s teaching has been moved online indefinitely. Squirms has been out of school for a week already. An abundance of new toys were purchased on Amazon last week and we will try and stagger their reveal :). We have completed our Costco run and placed our grocery order for delivery next week. All in all, our ducks are in a row. We all feel great except Squirms is cutting some teeth.

It’s unclear to us what is allowed when walking the dogs. Can we take them on their normal long walks or are we restricted to the end of the block? By the end of the week, we should have a rhythm with that too.

I will make sure to write regularly so you don’t worry. Could you do the same? Down there… in the comment section… let me know how your mental state is. Need any words of encouragement? Any mamas of newly mobile one year olds reading? How do I contain this energy?

You can trust that the Clarks in Madrid, Spain are thinking about you, your health and your family’s health too. Please think about ours. We are in this together.

Love you all. Wash your hands and Don’t touch your face!!! ❤️

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So many sheep!

Time sure does fly when you have a newborn. It seems like yesterday when I promised you pictures from our trip to Copenhagen and here we are… four months later and the amount I want to share piles up weekly.

Since we last chatted, we visited Marrakech, Yellowstone, Canada and England. Squirms has successfully traveled through three continents and believe it or not, is more of a joy in the air than in a car.

We have briefly paused to catch our breath until the holidays kick into gear. Our next international trip is back to England in a couple of weeks and then a long winters break back home in North America.

In the meantime, we continue to love Spain and all she offers. We are frequently teased and tempted by cheap airfare to exotic lands, but have committed to traveling Spain in 2020. We have only seen bits and pieces of this gorgeous place and it’s a sin that needs rectified.

There are traditions in Spain that we just simply don’t have back home.  A festival to celebrate migration is one of those things.  After verifying in several different places that we would not be watching a parade to the slaughterhouse, we boarded a bus to the center of town to watch Fiesta de la Trashumancia. The annual parade of 2000+ sheep and various other livestock through the center of Madrid. The festival is the kickoff of the north to south migration and a reminder of the importance of animal husbandry.

There just aren’t proper words to describe watching 2000+ sheep and goats walk by you. There were a few goats that wanted to go back where they came from, there were some sheep who were as suspicious as I was about their destination,  a few sheep dogs that didn’t have much to do and there were people! Man, did Madrid come out to watch a parade of sheep!

We even had the pleasure to meet a Norwegian man who had coincidentally drove sheep down a mountain in Norway just two months prior. He couldn’t believe that he stumbled on a sheep parade and stayed to watch it with us, all the while showing us the beautiful pictures of his own sheep drive.

This country and her traditions amaze me when I let it. It’s very easy to allow modern conveniences and the hectic life with an infant to distract us from remembering that we live in SPAIN!  Today was one of those days where we are pinching ourselves and breathing our gratitude (even though the air is a little stinky with the smell of sheep).

Love you,

Nan