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The Joy of Sheltering in Place and the Domain

Updated on April 10, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

I like to come at things from a different angle. Usually if we take some words and apply them to ourselves we can then apply to the world.

Give Me Back My Hat

An Umbrella?
An Umbrella? | Source

The Shelves are Empty?

Here is an interesting note about Sheltering in Place. You cannot stomp out the door in anger. Sheltering in place makes us face it all the way through. Three family members sheltering in place together forces us to at least try and get along. Even just husband and wife sheltering in place changes dynamics. Change is normally resisted. So we must embrace the lock down of sheltering in place.

I am a stay at home dad who “works” from home. This is my domain. Then this gal (my wife) shows up uninvited to spend day and night in my domain. Of course she is more used to ordering people around. It is what she does working for a contractor. Please and thank you are not normal courtesies in the burly world of hard labor. So who is she going to boss around and demand that she get her way to?

On the other hand I set my own schedules. I insist on quiet and well planned and do not get bossed by anyone – well maybe except my 10 year old. No one gives orders in my domain, everything is contemplated and very seldom reacted to, but rather part of the flow.

My poor wife normally takes about an hour to get ready for work, insists on taking the boy to school and commutes. She also usually works a second part time job. We all admit she is a workaholic. Now somebody just took that all away. That should be a good thing right?

Here is the problem. Ask someone “what do you do?” And your answer will be the job that person does. It is their identity. Sorry but you cannot be a door to door salesman so then what are you? (a rather weird exampleJ)

Over two weeks my wife has become a mom instead and again. I have no issue. I am a writer and staying at home only lessens the experiences of norm and provides a new adventure.

However with all that said; I am just about sick of all the giggling and laughter and watching the stress melt away. My son still has a healthy exercise routine and does his assigned homework and extra like VSL and Bible study but now gets a full two hours of IPad stuff a day. Bummer for him ;-) Meals are eaten at the same time as a family. I miss the cooking but my wife just loves having the time and is starting to really get on her game. Anyone else gaining weight?

Great Beat

Half Full

Overflowing? | Source


Toilet paper is being rationed. We just decided not to go poop as much. Seriously we buy toilet paper by the two or more month supply. And it just hit us at the right time. That food stalking up deal was real fun for me. I was amazed at how many things I eat that no one else wanted. Hey you can make beets taste good and their greens are great. Kale lasts forever and is supper healthy, hoarders avoid health food like the plague itself. No one was buying onions, carrots or potatoes. Ong Choy is a treasure trove of good stuff. Maybe too much garlic and ginger, but so far that call has been right on. (garlic is good for the 6ft rule hihihi)

You combine rice, beans, corn and cheese in a burrito and you have God’s finest protein. Next to a good PB&J in taste.

One of the cool things about this deal is water and gas/electricity remaining on. A disaster with all the comforts of home. And if you really need something you can run to the store. That is not a disaster that is a holiday.

And just as I now am drinking the chlorinated tap water I also put a moratorium on worrying about au naturale. What we normally eat, I used to go to the store 3 times a week for the food because of no shelf life. No chemies no shelf life. With few exceptions.

Some of that fully processed chuck full of names you cannot pronounce readymade stuff is really good.

Gardening is a problem ;-) I have my “Little General” wife telling me which blade of grass to pull and which to leave. About a week ago it irritated me, now we both just laugh and I follow direction even though she has never grown a thing in her life – she actually is good at ordering and has a fine eye. “Hey do you want to do this!?” “No I just want you to do it how I want it done.” Resulting in false bravado and a good laugh from the boy.

Showering. No lack of running hot water? Really, this is getting just too darn easy. We have the same schedules now. Hmm. You got it, no problem, we have two bathrooms and a hot water heater that could heat for 3 homes. Hey on stuff like water heaters I say go big. First mom, then boy and me whenever I feel like it. I demand on independence. (OK so I demand – who cares?)

Like a Rock

The Buffalo

Just how strong are we?
Just how strong are we? | Source

Vacation Time

One time hiking we got isolated for two days. Whoops. A flash flood cut us off. Immediate food distribution conversation. Rationing of camp stove gas. But laughs all around because it could only last for a couple of days – so drink plenty of water and fast. But we could not drive to the store or take a shower, Lol.

When my elder son and I were past 14 days we could have crushed a marble between us with the prolonged bear hug. The absence of a mere 6ft makes the heart grow fonder.

Social distancing is a term that now means a certain amount of feet away, no touching and stay in your place. Makes sense, but I have been using that term for over a decade, well over. To me social distancing is giving someone their space. “Leave me alone.” Actually I can be alone in a room filled with people so I need to be on the giving space side. Sometimes hard for me. Chances are someone on their phone or reading a book should be left alone. Chances are even better that someone in a cantankerous mood should be left alone. Don’t stick your finger in a beehive and don’t stick it in other people’s business.

The kitchen smoke alarm has gone off twice in 4 days. The lady of the house is pushing her cooking to the limit. That balance of heat to type of cooking oil is tricky. She would never have learned that concept by me telling her.

Dinner is served and the first course is a romaine lettuce dish. I remark at the freshness. My wife and boy snicker at me. It is the first romaine salad for this year from our garden. I grow it, the boy picks it and mom prepares it. And we ask it be blessed and we share it. Tell me does it get any better than that?

10 laps around our property is a mile. My neighbor and I have settled on about 15ft. We are both loud and talk with our hands so it works fine.

There are a million articles reminded us to send good intentions to those who suffer. There are as many telling us how to be safe. Sometimes I think we just need to kick back and have some fun.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Flourish it is kind of like a popularity contest with herd mentality. If Joe is buying it so should I.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      15 months ago from USA

      I’m glad you are eating well and staying healthy. It is curious how certain foods were untouched by the panic buying.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Devika, no problems around here so far. My yard has never looked so good.

    • profile image

      Devika Primic 

      15 months ago

      Eric this is a lovely hub showing us the experience of your isolation.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey Bill I noticed you are on 14 of "the Marisol Deception". I have been saving up and will read it on this break. Oh boy!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      15 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You always get me thinking, and you always know how to turn a bad situation around. Good for you, Buddy! I really enjoyed this one.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mitara we are kind of building an album. "They were the best of times and they were the worst of times" Dickens was speaking more of social upheaval I belief but it holds true in any crisis.

      I worry for folks who get no closure or comfort upon a loss of one close. Along with pre-existing disorders I think many will see no way out.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      15 months ago from South Africa

      This time has brought a lot of quality time with the family, certain routines. That I must say have gotten use to. The upside is keeping your family close by and making sure they are safe. Eric, you will miss these routines and the days of closeness once all goes back to normal, make the most of it all.

      The sad part is if one has lost someone near and dear one can only mourn from afar without being able to attend their funeral. Being able to be there for anyone in the case of an emergency without a permit.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What no drone delivery? Speaking of which, will they form a union or just be members of yours? How will they do certified mail? Did you use a canoe to deliver yesterday and does the USPS have lifeguards?

      (Just some local issues)

      Mel I decided to declare I had the virus so I could go into isolation mode. 3 meals plus snacks delivered, no chores, and peace ;-)

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      15 months ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      Since you wrote this there is now a run on beets. You can't find any in San Diego County, I had to order some on Amazon. They will be arriving June 19, 2021.

      Seriously, you can keep your gopher eats, I'll stick to good old comfort food.

      Sheltering in place is not a hardship for me, I am a "essential." I get to go out legally.

      Fun read at 3 AM when you can't sleep.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Donna my heart goes out to you. I did about 5 days all alone. Totally different. We just got orders that no one from one house can visit another house. I am not joking. They better undo that one.

      But thanks for the reminder -- I better call my sister.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John what my wife knows about fluviology, hydrology and irrigation you could fit on a bumble bee's wing and it would not notice. After a string of orders that would have defied gravity I just went up to her and asked "REALLY?". What a sheepish look. I asked if she wanted me to explain it to her -- "NO!" not another lesson do it your way.

      I must say that all this is done with smiles as we are getting to know our domains. I still am not all into being kicked out of the kitchen, but the service is worth a large tip.

      Oops I forgot this was about stay at home orders.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for reading and commenting Ruby. I think your anecdote is right on the spot. That "domain" deal is hard to share. In your particular example I have Gabe. He still loves teaching me.

      He just switched on something on my phone to video with his sister in DC. Today is international siblings day. One more sibling to go.

      Much love

    • manatita44 profile image


      15 months ago from london

      Haha. I hate it too!

      Did it post bath this evening.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Denise. I must admit that we are somewhat spoiled as this is the first second hand account of death I have heard. How sad.

      I worry for those who have suffered a loss without closure and an inability to grieve with family and friends or celebrate a life.

      Might sound strange but I am glad you cried. You owned it and moved on. Kudos to you.

      I made a social distancing rule; If you are upset then 20ft is the distance. Just the act of doing it cools things off.

      Best to yours from ours.


    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, it is good to hear from friends like you so I know you are well. Everyday we are more relaxed here. Seems like home stress is a whole lot better than working in the real world.

      Well time to get going and all "spruced up" for my family. I do not like shaving daily. But we must maintain appearance for our spouse. :-)

    • Donna-Rayne profile image

      Donna Rayne 

      15 months ago from Greenwood, Indiana

      I love your togetherness, its a song to my ears why? Because I am in isolation alone right now, so no one bothers me when I am writing well, the exception is my cat that is in heat, other than that it is quiet. I think she is taking a nap is why she is quiet and not bothering me :)

      Great article that I truly enjoyed reading!


      Donna Rayne

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      15 months ago from Gondwana Land

      This is all very relatable, Eric. It sounds like the hardest adjustment for your family is having your wife at home and the slight change in the “pecking order” so to speak. My wife and I have been actually spending more time together gardening...her supervising and me the labour. She always knows exactly what needs to be done and how it needs to be done (not always the same way I would do it, but who am I to argue?)

      I do admit the garden look amazing, not a stem of mellow left..replaced by sweet potato, ginger, turmeric, even cotton (she grows and spins her own yarn). Today we planted seeds, beans, kale, shallots, beetroot etc. I read that some places have actually banned the sale of seeds and that Canada has even excluded agriculture from the list of essential services.....crazy stuff, especially with food shortages etc we should be encouraged to grow our own food,

      Anyway, well done, and keep having fun. I hope that flash flooding doesn’t do too much damage.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Boy oh boy can I relate. Too much togetherness is a hard pill to swallow. He just now said, " The page on my computer is too small, I can't print it. " I said, " Remember the little block at the top of the page? well click it and the page becomes bigger, if you want it smaller, hit the minus. Now any other time that wouldn't bother me, but he's getting on my nerves when I don't jump when he wants something. Please lift this sheltering so I can get out of this house and scream! Oh BTW I enjoyed reading how well you're doing?

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pamela, I take things personally. My wife can holler and yell at 10:05 and at 10:15 it is evaporated. Boy am I learning alot about doing that.

      Love to you home from ours.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, we are experiencing rain that is so heavy it is harmful, flash floods, roads washed out and some of the garden not so good. So we headed out to irrigate in the downpour. Quite exciting for Gabe and I. But mom thinks laughing and working cannot go together. Oh well to bad for her. I caught her laughing. Lol.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      15 months ago from Fresno CA

      It is hard. My husband just chewed me out yesterday for the first time in 2 years. We usually get along so well, but this isolation is starting to get to even us. I just cried over it and went on. We need to be kind to each other and we'll get through it. My sister's inlaws both died this week from the COVID 19. Their cruse to New Zealand was cut short in February because of the pandemic and they came home and quarantined but then felt the symptoms in mid-March, went to the hospital together. They died within hours of each other. I guess when it is my time, I want to go with my honey too.



    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chitrangada, I asked my son who the boss was, fully expecting him to say his mom. He got me and said it was himself. That made it very clear what my position is. At least I can say with no uncertain terms "I have no stress". Not my job.

    • manatita44 profile image


      15 months ago from london

      Sounds like you need Linda again, with her Hub on how to make food last, or how to re-use food. Can't remember.

      Being at home with anyone, including spouses, can be difficult for many. We just need that 'space' sometimes. I empathize. You will have noticed that Trump and Co, are also talking to the Psychiatric Authorities.

      We are doing this here too. Many are hard hit emotionally. A huge deal, Bro. A huge deal!

      Ten laps are cool. Way to go!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      15 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Eric, I found this article to be very interesting and the way everyone works according to a type of schedule is good. Everyong would like to be the boss I guess but like our house you probably talk things over with your wife.

      i am glad you successfully grew romaine lettuce. That is an achievement to be pround of. At least I would be pround if I did that successfully. Anyway, sometimes the converstions go better than other times. LOL.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      15 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric Mr. Carb and I are both retired so this sheltering in place has not altered our lives very much other that we aren't driving and we are walking more. Horrible stuff, right?

      I love that your wife is becoming a mom again. There's happiness and love in your house. You've given me a smile that will last most of the day.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      15 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Such an interesting narration of the joy of sheltering in place.

      All through the read, I was smiling. This is so relatable. The wives sometimes behave like the bosses at home, and I am no exception. But they know that their husbands love them, and won’t mind even if they are a bit strict, when it comes to the activities at home.

      Thanks for sharing this refreshing article. Take care.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill I am looking forward to some new project today. Boy o boy can Hang come up with them.

      In order for spacing I am sheltering in my spaces.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Your description sounded like our home. I normally work from home, but now Bev is here daily, and nightly, doing things HER way, dammit, and expecting me to adjust. The gall of that woman! Doesn't she know I love her and would do just about anything for her....including adjusting. :)


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