My Pandemic Year: February 2020

February 1, 2020 – First journal entry

Divorcing myself from the emotional impact of Mom’s demise is clearly not working. It was a very hard day at work yesterday after staying home in bed for 2 days with the cold I’ve had since January 6. So I went full-bore Victorian today, filling my patio planters with black feathers and draping black lace over my patio chairs — my equivalent of a black wreath or black drapes on my front door.

I’m angry that every time I gain momentum with my hat business, s*** happens. After a ridiculously busy fall, receipts total more than the previous year but I didn’t recoup advertising costs. Sales from my website more than doubled, but gallery sales are very low. I don’t think I will ever make more than supplementary income from my craft.

So I do simple tasks today. Laundry, and shredding mounds of paper that Mom’s medical providers produced, and organizing things that I usually attend to over the holiday break. And I wait for Trump to disband Congress and declare himself King at the State of the Union address on Tuesday, after the GOP failed to even pretend to hold an impeachment trial. I did not expect him to be removed from office, but the absence of any form of censure is startling. They have just given him license to do whatever he wants.

Palindrome Day – 02/02/2020

It feels weird not having to be anywhere today. So, since I didn’t get to celebrate my birthday this year with a movie, today is that day. 1917 at the Oak Tree Plaza. (In retrospect, this would be my first and last movie for the year…)

February 5, 2020 – Mom’s Life Celebration at Foss Nursing Home

Congratulations Mom, you finally got your roommate to leave her room. Everyone on your floor attended your Life Celebration today. I cried the entire time and couldn’t talk to any of the people who knew you. The chaplain did a really nice job though, incorporating almost everything that I gave him from your journals. You made people laugh and feel happy. You lived as full a life as you were able to.

Afterwards, I got a massage at Umalina Spa, and dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. I’m still exhausted. We scatter your ashes tomorrow in Kelso.

February 6, 2020 – Ashes to Ashes

On this grey and rainy day, Kevin and Heather, and Payne and I set out for Kelso, to scatter ashes at a spot where the Cowlitz River meeds the Columbia, which in turn runs out to the sea. It’s not Ocean Park but its the closest we could come in respecting your final wishes. Kevin thought to bring mud boots, so after Payne dropped Clara’s ashes into the water (Mom’s dog), Kevin waded out so he could drop Mom’s ashes into the current. Most of Clara’s ash sunk but some stayed on the surface. Mom’s ashes floated back towards us and touched Clara’s ash, before drifting back out again…

February 10, 2020

It’s Monday. I literally spent the entire weekend rearranging knick-knacks and sorting photos for this family history blog. I cannot tell if this continuing soul-crushing fatigue is grief, the lingering head cold, or SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Whatever the cause, I hope it resolves soon. It’s pretty damn irritating to be so unproductive.

February 22, 2020 – First notes about coronavirus

I finally picked up a hat 2 days ago and am back in full production mode today. I think I’m mostly recovered from this cold that I have had for nearly 2 months. I’m still super fatigued and my temperature is still pretty low (95-96) but my coughing has finally stopped and I’m back to sleeping 6-8 hours a night instead of 10-12.

  • Coronavirus is now at 77,000+ cases worldwide and is on its way to being declared a pandemic…

Published by August-Phoenix-Mercantile

I'm a self taught textile artisan, working in rescued materials and found objects. My designs are often inspired by my travels and historical studies. Learn more about me at

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