April fools, eccentrics, “All Signs”: Quarantine Routines

Pre-internet, living in the country with four kids, a three channel-TV and a party line phone, my mom was the queen of the daily routine. She kept to a weekly schedule, featuring rotating menus (cold cereal on Tues/Thur, pancakes on Saturday) and chores (laundry on Tues-Thur, vacuuming on Friday). Mid-morning, she did her exercises along with Jack LaLanne, afternoons were for ironing clothes while watching the soaps (One Life to Live and General Hospital), and she took a coffee break at 3pm before making dinner. I always wished she was happier, but her discipline and structure got her through. She even dressed and put her make-up on to take us to the bus-stop, often wearing her 50s-era leopard print coat. 
I’ve thought of her so much this week, especially this morning after living room yoga, when I threw on this poncho to go check on the Red-shouldered hawk who nests in a tree a few blocks away (I bought the poncho on a whim while in San Luis Obispo a couple months ago but just made the connection today.) Daily routines have been helping me out these weeks, as I both appreciate all I have in my sheltering place and worry about the world. Take care everyone! “All Signs” 
In the night I hear the rain 
Think of how she said my name 
Something about the sound of falling water 
How I never felt quite her daughter 
All signs lead back to mother 
To remind and recover 
More to a book than its cover 
If I only turn the page 
Don’t go in past your knees 
Tide might take you away 
Ota sin svetog duha 
The words we learned to pray 
Caution was her superpower 
After all she couldn’t swim 
Fear a shield of protection 
Hope’s dark twin 
All signs lead back to mother 
I couldn’t help but reflect her 
But a mirror could not protect her 
And a frame can be a cage 
Tejee graja mala 
All us bad little girls 
Just might grow into women 
Who can heal the whole wide world 
All signs lead back to mother 
To remind and recover 
Choose to resent or forgive her 
Go ahead now, turn the page



A post shared by Deborah Crooks (@deborahrcrooks) on


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