Still isolating

The state has told Delaware County, part of the Southern Tier, that we’re holding steady at the yellow-light phase – we’re open, but we’re supposed to continue to be cautious.

We should be knee-deep in the Stage Coach Run Arts Festival this weekend. The Franklin Stage should be in full swing. Both cancelled for this year.

That caution makes sense to me, as we’re still not Covid-free. Just yesterday someone at a restaurant in Binghamton tested positive for Covid 19, and everyone who’s gone there in the recent past is encouraged to get tested. Binghamton isn’t any farther from here than Kingston is, or the Capital District, and lots of locals go there to visit the “big” stores.


Oneonta, my closest city, just got more appealing. Its main street is very handsome, reminiscent of Kingston’s uptown. And the city just announced they’ll make Main Street a pedestrian-only road for several Saturdays to allow the businesses there more room for tables and displays. It sounds charming.

Real estate in Delaware County is white-hot, and houses are selling at or near asking price. Inventory is low and demand is insistent, mostly from people hoping to become New York City expats. I’m a broker. I’m quite busy.

But I feel different, and I don’t think that’s going to change. This goes beyond the masks in stores, social distancing, the addition of gloves and wiping down doorknobs at real-estate showings.

I’m not going out much unless I have to.

I’m not going out to eat, even though my first experience, which I wrote about here, was pure bliss.

Bea’s Cafe, our wonderful little market/coffee shop in Franklin, still has the best scones around, but I’m not going there as much. When I do, I duck in, I say hi, I get what I need, and I go.

Anxiety is certainly a part of it. Caution is another. But there’s something else. I seem to have gotten comfortable with the habit of being home. I don’t need to go. I don’t need as much social contact as I thought I did.

I’ve got an infernally difficult jigsaw puzzle set up on a table in the sunroom. I’m sewing. I’m writing. My vegetable garden is a thing of beauty, and my flowers always need attention. There’s a hammock in the back yard that invites me to watch the clouds. If I want, I can stargaze there, too. It doesn’t feel like there’s anything out in the world I really need. There is, truly, no place like home.

I like being comfortable. I like being in my own space. I don’t need excitement.

Oh. Wait. Is this just another sign I’m getting old?


Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.