Monday, February 11, 2019

Solitary Confinement?

It's a stretch, I know, but the weather lately here in Saint Paul, Minn. has reminded me of stories I've read by former prisoners of war who have endured solitary confinement for days on end. Snow-covered and icy roads have prevented me from getting in my car and driving anywhere; the latest weather news warns of more hazardous driving yet to come.

Obviously, the comparison between my circumstances and the solitary confinement of prisoners does not hold up. For one thing, I live in an apartment building, and my neighbors and I frequently get together in the main community room where we enjoy one another's company. And I remain connected to the outside world! In the morning, I turn on my TV for news and weather; the Today Show also provides a few entertaining moments.

Here at my laptop, it gives me chills to receive information that someone in China has read my latest post. Cell phone in hand, I can keep in touch with family and friends and along with email, I can pay my bills and otherwise manage my life; for example, I recently ordered my groceries online to be delivered tomorrow evening. (Delivery drivers are somehow able to negotiate snow-covered and icy roads that keep me confined.)

It has occurred to me as I write this that confinement is one thing, but yet another aggravation has been the loss of independence; I sorely miss being able to jump in my car and make a Target run to replenish my supply of Tylenol; yes, this is headachy weather!

But then I check my calendar: February will soon be half over, and Spring begins in March. And those of us who reside in the upper Midwest can rejoice in the knowledge that in a few weeks, the weather will turn; the five or six inches of snow on the ground will melt; and wildflowers will burst into bloom along the roads we travel.

In the meantime, I plan to stay in touch by phone and email with family and friends, socialize with my neighbors, exercise daily – walk the halls, climb the stairs, etc. – find books to read in our apartment building's library – and maybe even do a little writing.

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