You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Till It’s Gone


A Covid-19 Care Package from our family in Georgia, including the sweetest handwritten notes from our three granddaughters!

Joni Mitchell’s words were made for this time. There is so much about our normal lives that is gone since Covid-19 arrived on the scene. What we do not yet know is how much of it will return, either because it can, or because of the changes we individually and collectively make. We probably have at least one more month of our current reality, then (hopefully) our new normal will set in.

Mike and I have settled into our current reality. We wake between seven and eight each morning without a clock to jar us. There is no need for an alarm, for there is no need for us to get up at any particular time. We have the luxury or the curse of not having to go anywhere. We can work at home, keeping ourselves and others germ-free. The one of us who gets up first turns the coffee pot on, and we begin our day enjoying our coffee watching the Today Show. We may or may not have breakfast, choosing to eat two meals a day instead of three.




A delicious breakfast treat of Maple Syrup, Brown Sugar, and Pecan Oatmeal. Found by googling oatmeal!

I think I will look back on this time and marvel at all of the time that was available without being encumbered by normal routines. I will also wonder what I did with the time. The days and evenings seem to just ease into each other, and I doubt that I will remember much about them. I will remember that I spent most of my time cooking, preparing some old favorites and trying new recipes. While there are many other things to do, things that need to be done and that there is usually not enough time to do, I do not have the desire to do those things.


One of my all-time favorite cookbooks. The Cream Cheese Pound Cake is found within!


I always use butter instead of margarine.


An old favorite. I have been making this for more than forty years. It is a great base for strawberry (and other fruit) shortcake.

It is surprising to me that I have not spent much time reading, which is one of my favorite pastimes. I think that is because I have needed to stay active. Being active has always been the way that I deal with stress. This is indeed a stressful time. I do not want to sit still.  For that same reason, I have not written much. This time reminds me of being in St. Maarten during Hurricane Irma, sitting for hours without reading or writing. I remember saying that I could have written a book during that time. But I was immobilized.

I miss several things, most of them involving people. Most of all I miss being able to spend time with loved ones, especially the grandchildren. Face Time and Zoom is no substitute for physical contact, although it is better than not being able to see others at all.


A cleaning out of my pantry uncovered these, about to expire! I had meant to cook these with our granddaughters at Christmas, but found myself making them alone.

I miss the sense of stability that routine days provide. While I have certainly settled into a routine, there is nothing routine about this time. We do not know how long we are going to have to be physically distant from others. We do not know when restaurants will reopen, or even if some of our regular establishments will weather this time economically and be able to reopen. The not knowing is one of the hardest things about this time.


Surely you have made Snowmen for Easter!



So, I spend most of my days in the kitchen, my happy place, cooking. I just wish others were here with us to enjoy the food. I have frozen what I can for the family to enjoy later.


Gingerbread muffins are nurturing at any time of the year.


And lest you wonder, I am eating healthy and watching my portions, since I do not plan to regain the fifty pounds I lost in 2019. Some of you might also wonder if the stress has resulted in me returning to my Chardonnay for comfort. The answer to that logical question is no, not even the first time.


There are many recipes for this, but this one, from the (1987 edition of the) Southern Living Cookbook, is the best!


Beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, collards, and Spinach Mushroom Salad, and cuttings from one of our Viburnum Snowball bushes.

One new routine I have developed during this quarantine is walking two miles a day, not having missed a day in two weeks. I started this for the benefit of my recent diagnoses of osteoporosis and high cholesterol. I have found the sunshine and fresh air to be just as important for my sanity.


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About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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2 Responses to You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Till It’s Gone

  1. Good morning friend. I enjoyed our cup of coffee and conversation. Your days and mine are similar. I have been doing a lot of gardening, which has been wonderful therapy. Butch has worked from home which gives me an idea of how retirement would look. Love your post and stay safe.

  2. Patti Fralix says:

    Good morning! It is after 10am here, and I am still sitting enjoying my coffee. I have several cookbooks around me, wondering what I will cook today! These are very relaxing days, once I learned to ease into them and not worry about what I can’t do. I agree that this feels somewhat like retirement. Thanks for reading my posts, and your sweet comments. Love to all.

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