Thursday, April 02, 2020

My Mother Would Be Proud

My mother and her parents, 1945

Like everyone else in the world (who has any sense), I, Donis, am hunkering down, seeing no one in person except for my husband, and feeling very thankful that: 1)we get along so well 2) we have no small/medium-sized/teenaged children to entertain 3)we don't have to worry about losing our jobs or being forced to work and expose ourselves and our loved ones to this rampant illness.

I just finished the final rewrite of Valentino Will Die, the new Bianca Dangereuse novel, a few days before the shut-down, and am currently awaiting the arrival of an electronic copy of the pre-ARC (advance reading copy), which will entail my having to spend a couple of days proofreading and approving the final version of the book. So I'm not doing much writing at the moment. I am doing some preliminary research for the next novel in the Bianca Dangereuse series, but mostly I'm kind of in limbo.

One thing that has occurred to me in the past couple of weeks is that I am suddenly applying all the lessons I learned at my Depression-era mother's knee about how to save, reuse, and cut waste. My mother was an absolute recycling genius. She grew a huge garden and canned/froze/dried enough produce to get her family of six through the entire winter. She never threw out left-overs. She cleaned left-overs out of the fridge every Friday and made a stew. She composted coffee ground and other inedibles. When clothing was outgrown or worn out, she repurposed it by making something – a pillow, a vest, an apron, doll clothes, a mop, even button covers – out of it. I remember her washing out the plastic produce bags she brought home from the grocery store so she could re-use them. I thought of her when I pulled out the cloth napkins to use instead of paper napkins and cloth dishtowels instead of paper towels.

We haven't yet had to apply my grandparents' habit of using magazines and the Sears catalog in the outhouse yet, but we do have a mulberry tree in the back yard that has pretty large leaves in case worse comes to worst.

One wonderful advantage we have over those who had to live through other plagues, wars, and economic upheavals is that we are so electronically connected. At least we can see our loved-ones' faces through Skype or Zoom of FaceTime. At least we can download movies or games or books to entertain us. This is a perfect time to read. Which leads me to a little Blatant Self Promotion, Dear Reader. My publisher informs me that my first Adventures of Bianca Dangereuse mystery, The Wrong Girl, is currently available as an ebook for $1.99 (that's 80% off!) through all online vendors through April 9. If you're looking for a great escape, this is it.

Please be safe out there, my friends. Read the lovely entries on isolation and creativity that my blogmates have written over the past few days. If you are in a position to do so, please support your local small businesses, your bookstores and artists, the best way you can.


ewelty said...

When my grandmother passed away and we cleaned out her house, we found a ball of string composed of many remnants of various colors and textures because she would never throw anything away that might be used later.

Susan D said...

Got it, Donis. Thanks. Something new to curl up with.

Donis Casey said...

The string ball! I forgot about that. Also, the button jar. And Susan, thanks, I hope you enjoy it.