The first week of quarantine I felt trapped and claustrophobic. During the second week I realized that I was safer at home rather than being, out-there-with-the-virus. By the third week of quarantine I began to think about changes I wanted to make to my office, which I was now sharing with a quarantine buddy, my daughter Tammie.
The futon in the office needed to go away. I wanted to replace it with a recliner. Supplies on wire shelving in the room were dusty and needed to be cleaned, organized and put into labeled boxes. A heater had to be installed. The room’s only heat vent was the furthest one away from the furnace, too far to warm the room above 59 degrees during six months of the year. It’s hard to be creative while freezing.
I wondered, “How am I to accomplish what I want? After all, I’m quarantined!” Once again, the sensation of being trapped and claustrophobic swept over me. When I told Tammie what was bothering me, her eyes lit up. She pulled out her phone with an enthusiastic invitation, “Let’s go shopping online!”
I ordered a heater and then called a local business man for installation, “after-this-is-all-over.” An order for a brown recliner we liked went out next. While we were at it, we made a big online grocery order. Following that my daughter purchased a yoga stool, clothing and craft supplies. I wanted garden supplies, a grandchild’s birthday gift and shoes. Tammie asked, “Did you know we can order our favorite restaurant meals uncooked and in bulk?”
Feeling like James T. Kirk, a science fiction spaceship captain, I pointed to her phone and ordered, “Make it so.” We both knew what we wanted.
A few days later the things we ordered began arriving in waves. One day the mailman drove into our yard and carried a box to the backdoor. We looked out of the office window and wondered about its contents. I guessed, “Maybe that’s the stationery and coffee mugs you ordered from Firefly Farm, the scrapbook store.”
As soon as the mailman left, I pulled the box off the back deck and took it into the office. Ripping the box open, Tammie enthused, “This is so much fun! I feel like I’m opening Christmas presents!”
After the excitement of opening the box, I sat down at my desk and went back to looking at Facebook. I began to laugh as I read a meme that one of my Facebook friends had posted on her wall. Looking up from her work, Tammie inquired, “What’s funny?”
I answered with a snicker, “Someone posted this: ‘At this point, I have ordered so much stuff, I don’t even know what’s happening anymore. If UPS shows up with a llama tomorrow, it is what it is!’”
Tammie laughed before informing me, “Did you know a person can buy the participation of a llama for a virtual online meeting? They’re very popular.”
My mouth dropped open and after a few seconds asked, “Why would people do that?”
“Stress relief.” Tammie suggested. “Besides, llamas are very cute and petting farms need to make money while they’re quarantined.” Then, looking over at her newly delivered treasures, Tammie mused, “We have been ordering a lot of stuff lately and it is hard to remember what is yet to come.”
Feeling free and unencumbered, I agreed, “We have. But do you know what? Even with all the stuff we’ve ordered, I haven’t spent as much money as I did when I was eating out a few times a week with friends and buying gas to drive all over the countryside to visit people!”
Each week, new boxes show up at our back door. Sometimes they are delivered by the mailman, other times by a brown uniformed UPS man. Before retrieving the box from the back door either Tammie or myself are sure to ask the other, “Do you think this time it’ll be a llama?”