Living With Adjusted Family Sizes Because Of COVID

For many one result of COVID isolation has been housing reorganization and behavioral adjustment.  Some households have seniors who have been moved home by the kids while others have adjusted their family situation by having kids move home with us seniors.  Pro and con, adjustment is the best descriptor of what we all must do in such situations.

When the virus hit Quebec and we shut down our activities, the first thing we did was a rapid drive to Montreal to pick up of our daughter. Given that Montreal is the hot spot in Canada for COVID right now, we’re feeling pretty smug about our decision.

The result has been a social adjustment to having a 22-year old living with us.  Truthfully, it’s mostly positive but it means spending more time talking, cooking, baking, and generally doing family stuff… and fewer alone activities like art.

My daughter wasn’t the only thing we brought back from Montreal though.  We crammed the car full of her plants and together with our plants they turned our house into a jungle.  Every flat surface is covered with plants and we rarely eat dinner at our dining table because it’s just too darn much trouble moving all the plants (grin).

I see this as a good thing because I have new sketching subjects.  One of her plants was a sad little Fiddle Leaf Fig.  It only had two leaves, hanging onto a single short stem.  But, we’ve been in isolation now for nearly forever and so it’s grown.  It now has four leaves and a fifth is beginning to sprout.  I decided I should draw it.  I probably did it too quickly but heck, it only has four leaves.  Here she is, in all her youthful glory.

Aside from isolation, how has your family life changed?  We don’t talk about that enough.  Has it affected your art in any way?

10 Responses to “Living With Adjusted Family Sizes Because Of COVID”

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  1. Kate B says:

    Family life – no change. Himself hardly left the house anyway so this is just more of the same for him.

    I no longer to on USk outings or to my Drink and Draw group. So I sketch while physically distancing in my immediate neighborhood or from inside the car if I drive around a little. But I’m sketching from photos more.

    I’m expecting this to remain the same for the foreseeable future until there is a vaccine. We’re retired with the luxury of a stable income, so I can do this for a long time. Himself has significant risk factors so I wouldn’t want to bring it home to him.

    Hope you all stay safe and well…and keep making art!

    • It has been so cold here that location sketching with friends wouldn’t have been part of the agenda for me in any case. This week, however, temps have reached the 60F mark so it’s harder not to miss it. I’m starting to get used to sketching from photos but I find it boring relative to location drawing. Like you, though, we’re fortunate that the isolation isn’t a horrible strain on our daily life.

  2. As retirees nothing’s changed much for my husband and I (no more weekly or so strolls trough the mall). We’re happy to be at home all day every day, enjoying our individual and collective interests.

    My daily art sessions have not stopped but the joy factor has definitely increased as my youngest granddaughter, who is 4 going on 40, lives in our annex with her parents and older siblings, and in our former “normal lives” used to paint a couple days a week before school, has been coming over almost every morning, since March 16th, to paint with me.

    She loves painting ladies in pretty clothes and high-heeled shoes, so every weekend I spend some time doing multiple pen and ink sketches to keep her busy during the week.

    • That’s a happy tale. When I’m sketching on the street my favorite visitors are the young kids. They don’t see that what I’m doing is special. They draw all the time. It’s so refreshing to talk to them. Stay safe.

  3. Ted A says:

    Larry I need to apologize a little to you. I have been following you and have been encouraged by you for many years and haven’t said anything.

    I really enjoy following your posts and progress. Thank you so much

    • No apologies necessary. The art world is very much a pay it forward world. If I can help you or encourage you, maybe you can do the same for someone else. I do thank you for taking the time to drop me a note, however.

  4. Great sketch and story! I didn’t know a plant could subsist on just 2 wee leaves — looks like it’s thriving in its new situation. Our family situation has changed, though we can’t blame it all on COVID-19. More like an unexpected cat bite — Bill’s hand is still inflamed so two sons and a son-in-law, who would normally be at work, drive out to the farm to help Bill work on our barn-turning-into-house project. And our 17 year old granddaughter comes here for her now-on-internet classes so she can spend time with the farm animals. We actually see them more often now. Barndominium building and visiting kids distract me from art — in a fun way.

    • Don’t most plants start life with one or two leaves? I think that’s universal.

      Sorry to hear about Bill’s cat bite, particularly given he major projects you guys have going on. Sounds like you’ve got a gang coming and going at your place. Here there is no coming and going as we’re not allowed to visit between households right now. It’s funny that as I write to you all I can think of is Tater and Tot 🙂

      • Tater and Tot are leading very happy lives watching over their tribe of goats, though not much closer to letting me put bridles on them. They prefer to stay half-wild, letting me touch only so far and no more. I love them dearly — donkeys have been special to me since reading Brighty of the Grand Canyon in early grade school!

        For the most part, our kids are working from home and have continued to stay isolated, so they are only in their own homes, their vehicles and the farmhouse. They stay away from the carpenters in the barn, only working when the work crews are gone. Our daughter sewed a pile of face masks, which is amusing because she has no interest in learning to sew and had to borrow my machine!

        • I guess it sounds like quite a gang but it isn’t — they each trade off who’s coming on what day, bringing us groceries as needed. Bill and I, being in our 60s, pretty much stay put. Home construction is considered an essential business and Bill is the plumber on the job; he just has to depend on his “helpers”.
          (And I meant the 2 leaves for a plant that developed. ; P)

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