Published on May 12, 2020

What I miss about the way things used to be

Quarantining from family is not easy

By Edward A. Forbes / The Bulletin

How are you spending your time these days?

I’m not doing any home improvement or lawn-care projects. I’m doing some cooking and a lot of eating. I order food to be picked up at varying local eateries three or four times a week. I watch the local and national coronavirus reports. I watch the news programming. I read the medical articles.

I stay informed, but what I miss is the regular coffee group meetings, family meetings and other social activities that are on hold during this time of quarantine and social distancing.

As I confer with friends, I find that a large number are spending quarantine time watching TV programming, such as “Ozarks”, “Waco”, “Schitts Creek”, “Longmire”, “Dexter”, “Bosch”, “Jack Ryan”, to name a few of the series that they confess to binge-watching. We may have a toilet paper shortage, but not of entertainment programming, nor the time to watch them.

I, however, have a different addiction. it is similar to my friends’, but also involves binge-watching - with an accent.

I watch a lot of “PBS Mystery” series and detective/crime programming. The majority of these are British productions with some Australian programs thrown in for good measure, “Midsomer Murders”, “Death in Paradise”, “Murdoch”, “Ms. Fischer”, “Poirot”, “Ms. Marple”, to name a few.

These differ from the American programs in many ways, primarily pacing. They move at a more leisurely pace, and many are period pieces with wonderful antique cars and buildings to admire. Don’t get me wrong, I switch over and watch “Bosch” or “Jack Ryan” on occasion for that different feel and pacing, but I always wind up back in my comfort zone.

I read much the same way. I am a big fan of J.A. Jance, J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts), James Patterson, but I read a lot of self-published and small-time authors on Kindle Unlimited’s list. I have read all of Bill Crider’s books. He taught at Alvin Community College before his retirement and eventual passing. I like his descriptions of local vistas in his initial books, and later, the West Texas locales.

I’ve read all of Agatha Christie’s books many years ago, and at one time, had them all stored in my climate-controlled storage building. I am slowly letting them go (not without anguish).

But, I find, with all this in mind, that what I miss is our little family getting together, cooking and playing games.

Zoom meetings, group texts and phone calls can’t replace that family chaos that our frequent family gatherings encompassed. I delivered some food, newspapers and other items to my son’s family (appropriately masked). The youngest granddaughter had her feelings hurt and came to me plaintively saying “hold me.” I did for a few minutes.

I can hardly wait for this quarantine to end.

(Edward Forbes wants to hear from you. Email him at eforbes1946@gmail.com or send comments by snail mail to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX. 77516.)