Frozen in Time

9 Jun

Lucy and I were a little ways down the street when my neighbor came down the front steps of the Normandy Court Condominiums where we both live.

I waved.  She waved. It was that strange moment when, before, we would have moved closer to each other to chat. This day, as we do now,, we chatted from afar.

“Can I ask you a strange favor?” she asked me nervously.

I assumed she’d ask me to water her plants. It’s not a strange request – we’ve watered each other’s plants before, but so many things seem strange these days.

“Sure,” I said. “What do you need?”

She went on to tell me that, despite walking to work instead of taking the bus, she’d gained almost 17 pounds. That led us to a discussion of self-medicating with carbs and the need for second breakfast. Then came The Ask.

“I’ve signed up for Nutrisystem,” she began, “and they are sending me a month’s worth of food. Some of it is frozen and I don’t know if it will all fit in my freezer. If it doesn’t, and if you have room, would you be able to store some for me?”

I smiled. It was a strange request, but I said yes. I went on to tell her how, in the first two weeks of shutdown, when toilet paper had disappeared off the shelves, and we all felt as if time had frozen and every day was the same, I stocked up on food in my freezer. I made batches of soup and chili and stew and packed the freezer. For weeks, I didn’t touch the frozen food, unsure about what was going to happen. Over the last few weeks, I’ve begun eating them. So, I have some freezer space I can share and told her so.

We chatted a little more, then Lucy and I carried on down the street to take care of business.

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6 Responses to “Frozen in Time”

  1. arjeha June 9, 2020 at 12:00 pm #

    Had to laugh. Kathy and I cooked and froze and didn’t eat just in case. Now we are enjoying what we prepared.

  2. Terje June 9, 2020 at 12:01 pm #

    How good that you can help out. Brave of your neighbour to ask for help even though it felt odd.

  3. jumpofffindwings June 9, 2020 at 12:19 pm #

    I love your title. I am a sucker for a clever opening gambit. Yours has everything I could ask for. I have followed lamenting from several friends about the corona virus elastic waistband phenomenon. You are a good neighbor!

  4. Lisa Corbett June 9, 2020 at 2:23 pm #

    That’s a very neighbourly thing to do!

  5. Marina Rodriguez June 9, 2020 at 7:52 pm #

    While I read your story, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of neighborly kindness… the kind we often had before the pandemic. It was nice to read about you connecting again with your neighbor and so kind of you to help.

  6. Fran Haley June 10, 2020 at 5:03 am #

    There’s a lot packed into your little story here – endurance, overcoming, relationships, survival, hope. It is an unusual request but what an interesting way to support a neighbor. Makes me wonder what stories lie ahead – surely they’re in the making! I believe Nutrisystem bought out Nestle Sweet Success years ago and their daily plan of meals really worked – after my second son was born I used NSS in hopes of dropping 10 pounds; I lost 16. I wish Lucy well in this venture. We’ve all paid such prices in this pandemic … such a correlation there, your mentioning “frozen time” with your frozen food. I am glad you are finally eating your chili, soups, and stews. The thaw is beginning, restoration on its way … yesterday I saw, for the first time since March, Clorox brand bleach on the grocery shelves.

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