alchemy

Less is more for changes to my quarantine routine

Column by Andrea W. Doray
Posted 6/16/20

I have gray hair. There, I admit it. I didn’t always … in fact, I’ve not admitted it because every four weeks for the last 20 years or so, my hair miraculously returned to its (mostly) original …

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alchemy

Less is more for changes to my quarantine routine

Posted

I have gray hair. There, I admit it. I didn’t always … in fact, I’ve not admitted it because every four weeks for the last 20 years or so, my hair miraculously returned to its (mostly) original shade. Now, however, after more missing more than three months of this miracle’s magic, the mirror tells me otherwise.

And I’m okay with that. Both my parents were gray early … my mother’s hair was a snowy white that I eventually hope for myself, and story in the mirror isn’t all that bad. Seems appropriate for a 60-something. So, for the moment (until my stylist and I can confer), it’s less color and more natural.

Which got me thinking – lots of us share what we’re doing and not doing, particularly when observing stay-at-home and safer-at home directives, and it occurred to me that I haven’t added much … unless I also took something away. And I haven’t really taken anything away unless I have something to replace it. For example –

LESS: My beloved cookbooks, with their oil-spattered pages, hand-scribbles, and curling sticky notes. I much prefer the heft of books scattered around me as I happily select a perfect meal and note the recommended ingredients (recipes, like most speed limits, are merely suggestions to me).

MORE: Downloaded recipes from the Internet. I turn to online sites now because I can search for a recipe that includes, literally, the exact two – or three, or even four – fixings I already have on hand … three different kinds of cheese, for example, a refrigerated crust, canned mushrooms, eggs (finally!), and brown-and-serve sausages from the freezer. Let me know if you want this quiche recipe.

LESS: Mainstream (including cable) television, especially news. I am bombarded by the news from every direction, daily, so I have broken my long-standing routine of taking in the evening broadcasts.

MORE: Movies, concert videos, documentaries. We don’t subscribe to most of the streaming services, but we’ve had success accessing some of what we enjoy with my laptop and a large monitor. We recommend “The History of the Eagles,” Parts 1 and 2.

LESS: Jeopardy! My favorite quiz show – and source of new knowledge – is a victim of my TV news boycott, because it occurs during the same before-prime-time dinner hour. I do have 37-and-counting episodes to enjoy before my DVR is full, though, so maybe I’ll be shouting answers/questions from my living room chair again soon.

MORE: Gin Rummy. I grew up playing cards with my family, although we would drive Dad to distraction with my mom’s “Romanian rules.” Family game nights – when we have them again – always include cards. With the TV off, and in my current situation of only two players at home, Gin is the game of choice. If you know of other one-on-one card games, please drop me a line.

LESS: Makeup. ’Nuff said.

MORE: Sunscreen. It’s summer in Colorado … ’nuff said.

I also find that, instead of commercial radio, I turn to my own curated playlist. Instead of my slow-cooker, I relish using my years-long collection chef-grade pots and pans. Instead of a travel mug and a rushed goodbye in the morning, we enjoy coffee together on the patio.

It’s been said before, and I’m saying it again now with my most hearty appreciation: less really is more.

Andrea Doray is a writer who really, really likes to play cards. Any Texas Hold’em games out there? Contact Andrea at a.doray@andreadoray.com.

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