Worries of a Covid Captive Grandma

Before the pandemic, unless I was traveling, I would see my grandkids every other week. I would arrive at their house at noon, stay overnight and then leave around noon the next day. Since the new normal, I have only seen them two times for a total of less hours than I could count on my fingers. Time looms before me as I have stayed confined. Time also seems compressed as a deadly virus forces me to reassess the length of my life and the lives of everyone on this planet.. The months, the weeks, the days, the hours tick by. They almost lose their meaning as I wait and wait for the familiar to return. Time has lost its shape, its structure.

by Salvador Dali

My son, daughter-in-law and grandkids came for a visit on July 5th, 12:00-4:00. Four short hours. So many smiles, so much joy and then they were gone.

I worried that I hadn’t done enough. This really bothered me. For the first time, I wrote my grandkids a letter hoping to fill in the blanks of what I felt I hadn’t conveyed in our short visit.

July 6, 2020
My dear sweethearts,

After you left, I looked at all the things you played with and made. I’m amazed how wonderful each one of is and I’m so proud of you.

R. (my 9 year old granddaughter), my creative storyteller, you looked at my new calendar and thought about the passage of time.

Your wonderful imagination took over and you created a world where time could be controlled . You drew it on paper as you explain it to me.

It was the beginning of a great adventure. That is what writers do. They observe and wonder what would happen if things were different. Sometimes they see the things no one else sees or understands and they open the world to new possibilities. Never be ashamed of you imagination. The world needs the wonderful excitement that shines through your stories.

C. (6 year old grandson), I think you saw the wonder I saw in the golden mushrooms on the tree that had worked so hard to stay alive as it rested on its side. New life is now forming on its dead form as a sign of hope, telling us that nothing in nature really dies.

I loved the way you, R., and K. enjoyed seeing the styles of different artists as we looked through that art book.

C., you jumped into creativity with those oil pastels. It takes bravery and strengthen to be an artist. A person has to let go of doubt and be free. Connor, your picture of the cat shows you have great courage. I think you know that nothing has to be perfect when you are doing art, that there is no right or wrong.

R., I see that strength in your drawings, too.

K. ( my grandson, five), I am impressed that you are so observant. I’m glad we got to look at the Da Vinci pop up book. Like you, he looked at everything, birds, the human body, everything!!! And then he invented things and built things. He never gave up or got frustrated because he knew he would always figure things out.

You are a builder, K.

You are brave when you have a problem. You look and look and find a solution. Your construction crew will look up to you for the answers. You will invent and build just like Da Vinci. I can’t wait to see the wonderful things that you will create.

My sweethearts, I love when you come to visit and I visit you. I watch as each one of you use your talents. I am so, so proud of you.

Love forever and always,

Babci (Polish for grandmother)

I mailed the letter and I worried and wondered like all grandmothers do. Did I make the most of each moment? Did I hug my grandkids enough? Do they realize just how much I love them? Did I teach them enough? Did I listen and encourage them enough? The world and the future are so uncertain. I hope for the best, that the world will heal because I have so much more I want to give to my dear sweethearts.

Copyright 2020 @theautonomoustraveler.com All rights reserved.

My Favorite Adventure-Barcelona, Spain and Antoni Gaudi


I choose my yearly adventures in strange ways. I chose Barcelona (almost embarrassed to admit it) because I saw this city on an episode of “The Bachelorette”.  It looked interesting and I wanted a change from the sometimes dark and ancient history of some of my previous trips. I really had no idea that this chance destination would become my favorite trip.

I loved the sunshine, tapis, great wine, outdoor cafes, and the bright colors of Spain. But what really made an impression on me was the architecture of Antoni Gaudi who lived from 1852 to 1926. His art is imaginative and diverse. One of his instructors stated he was either a genius or insane because his buildings were so ahead of their time.


The two pictures above and the picture at the beginning of this post are of an apartment commissioned by a wealthy citizen of Barcelona.


Palau Guell was an apartment complex.  The grey structures that look like space soldiers are chimneys.  Notice that many of the lines in the building are curved rather than straight.


Sagrada Familia is his masterpiece. Before the advent of computers, Gaudi used chains over mirrors to explain to his workers the stress points in the construction. He also incorporated elements of nature into his designs. Notice the treelike composition of the pillars in the bottom left picture.


Park Guelle was to become a housing development and is now a beautifully preserved tourist attraction.

100_4904The Cascada Fountain was designed and built for the 1888 World’s Fair.  There are many more of his works in this Spanish city.   Because of him, I was introduced to The Age of Modernism, a fascinating time in history that was never really covered in any of my classes. This is definitely a city I hope to visit again.

Copyright 2018 @ The Autonomous Traveler