Shelter in Place

We live in a pocket of a hollow between two arms of Mt. Pisgah, the ridge that runs behind Wrightsville and up to the Susquehanna River. The Hollow is aptly names Skunk Hollow, and down the road from us a quarter of a mile is a farm lane by the name of Skunk Hollow Lane. We are in York County, but some of us used to travel down the ridge and over the River into Lancaster County for work and school.

For two weeks, the schoolfolk among us have been sheltering in place, and all of us have been here for the past week, making errands only to buy groceries or to make panicky trips back to the classroom to get things we thought we had forgotten. (Yes, that last was me, and it was only once, and it turns out that the papers I thought I had left in my room were actually slide shows my students had shared with me online.)

Yesterday our two counties were added to Pennsylvania’s list of counties under mandatory Shelter in Place rules. While there’s a direness to stricter restrictions, it also feels comforting, in a way, because we think people should have been voluntarily sheltering in place already, and this makes it mandatory. We’re all safer in the end for this new order.

On the other hand, we have an ideal place to shelter in, so I shouldn’t be too hard on the people who kept going out, who ignored the distance guidelines. Today we shelter in the house and watch the rain, coffee in one hand and a cat or two on the lap. Were it not for the plaguing anxiety about the spread of this virus, this would be my ideal day. I know it is not so for everyone.

What does shelter mean to you?


Gratitude List:
1. Warm cat,
2. and blanket,
3. and recliner,
4. and windows with a view
5. to the rain in the woods.

Take care of each other.


“Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination.” —Jeanette Winterson


“Writing is a very emotional experience for me. Once, when I was writing the film adaptation of Charlotte’s Web, the phone rang and the caller said, ‘You sound all choked up.’ I said, ‘A spider just died.'” —Earl Hamner


“But the wood is tired, and the wood is old
And we’ll make it fine, if the weather holds
But if the weather holds, we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go” —Indigo Girls


Thich Nhat Hanh:
“Real change will only happen when we fall in love with our planet. Only love can show us how to live in harmony with nature and with each other and save us from the devastating effects of environmental destruction and climate change.”


“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.” —Rachel Carson


“The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs.” —CS Lewis


“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” —Jack Kerouac


“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” —John Lennon


“Art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of power which holds it hostage.” —Adrienne Rich

One thought on “Shelter in Place

  1. I live in Alberta, Canada. My hubby has fragile health so we have been doing this for a while now – just to err on the side of caution. I am grateful that so far there are only 4 confirmed cases in the city where we live. Shelter in place for me means a bit of security, less risk of the virus spreading as we sit tight and ride out this storm. Stay healthy. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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