While working in my garden the other day, wondering what to write . . . and feeling rather CRABBY about the entire state of affairs, this lovely note popped into my inbox and was just the tonic I needed to elevate my mood. I'm sharing it here (unedited) because it captures the moment so much better than another real-estate pep talk from me ever could.
This note is TRAGICALLY overdue and frankly should be handwritten . . . but in the interest of time, I've decided to use this medium in order to ensure a swift delivery.
We cannot thank you enough for the help, hand holding, and dedication you showed us last year in helping us find our home. This has turned out to be the best decision we have ever made and we could not be happier. . .
Years ago when we were young and courting, Cliff would ask, "You're on a small desert island and there's only one person you can share it with; who would that be?" (What's this? A test?) He'd then give me a group of outrageous candidates from which to choose: "the Reverend Al Sharpton, Idi Amin, Genghis Khan, or Don King?" At which point we'd have an emphatic, but hilarious exchange about why I wouldn't/couldn't choose ANY of them, with Cliff ultimately declaring, "If you don't pick one, it means you want Idi Amin." (Why I agreed to marry Cliff, I'll never know.)
Now comes the 2020 inverted version of that name game, by way of my good friend and colleague, Mavis Delacroix, which is "If you have to 'Shelter in Place,' which four people would you choose to shelter with?"
Happy Passover. Like many families, Cliff, the boys and I had a "virtual Seder" sharing the holiday online with family in Marin, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Oakland, and Santa Monica. Having spent the last four weeks "sheltering in place," it was great to see everyone's face, even if remotely (although it's tough to share macaroons virtually. Their loss.)
And while giving thanks around our respective tables, one of the big takeaways was how fortunate we are to be in a position where we CAN still share the holiday, due primarily to advanced technology. (Thank you Zoom.) So if we, as a society, are now forced to add Covid-19 to the list of "plagues" humanity has endured, how fortunate that, despite the Coronavirus, many of us can still stay fairly well connected to our family and friends and share what's truly important, both culturally and personally (but please don't put me on your chain-letter list; that's oversharing!)
So another week of mostly bad news and admittedly, it's tough to process . . . I've been reaching out when and where I can, catching up on a few phone calls with friends and clients, continuing to bake and deliver cookies, taking meetings on Zoom, hopping onto Facebook chats when available (Thank you Kelly Corrigan) and hitting the Peloton in the mornings just to keep my sanity and my weight in check. One friend called it "the Covid-30. Ha Ha. (Too soon?) But when the BIG accomplishment for the day is getting out of your sweats, that can be rather discouraging, to say the least. "Social distancing" (a misnomer if there ever was one) is putting a cramp in all of our styles and a few pounds on our thighs. (Or is that just me?)
"What's happening with the market?" Is the inquiry from many friends, followed by, "So how are you doing?" I'm grateful, thank you. My family, so far, is safe, and Cliff and I are both relatively healthy. (And I mean it, we're better off than most and we have a lovely home in which to shelter. My garden has never looked better.)
Still, it's tricky navigating the emerging facts and increasing hysteria around Covid-19, both professionally and personally, when our immediate world has essentially come to a screeching halt, when everyone looks at each other as a potential vector, and when a sneeze or a cough gives way to irrational fear.
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 17 years and has published more than 650 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.