Should I stay or should I go?

I am feeling so much indecision these days.  Are any of you feeling the same?

Let’s take a simple action like driving into the “big city” of Marquette tomorrow or the next day.  I need new summer pajamas, a lightweight hooded sweatshirt and some Nutpods (non dairy coffee creamer).  Yes, they could all be purchased online.  No, that’s not the whole shopping list.  It could be worthwhile to drive 80 miles and back.  Plus a person might wander along the Lake Superior shore and breathe in that particular Marquette flavor of beauty.

Freighter at sunrise in Marquette's Lower Harbor

Sample Marquette beauty from a few years ago

Another part of me wonders if it’s worth it.  Marquette has recorded 146 Covid cases, compared to our county’s five.  Plus there’s the added hassle of masking up in four or five stores (although I am an adamant masker).  But if my soul is calling for that trip to the east and south–I’m outa here.



Then I wander into the garden.  Lucious zucchini plants reveal waving yellow flowers.  Broccoli bunch almost ready to knife and harvest.  The first long winding cucumber graced Barry’s lunch today.  Fresh green rattlesnake beans bake in the August sun.  Basil wafts through the garden.

Bean again

Bean again

Green poplars sway overhead.  Blackberries ripen.  Cilantro begs to be picked.  Queen Anne’s Lace and mullein decorate the mailbox.

The distant whine of a chainsaw down by the bay warms my heart.  A pee-wee sings in the woods.  Our firewood pile grows every week.  (We’re on Load 14 now, and should fill the shed by Load 18–at the latest–although I’m undecided when we’ll be finished.)

Newly-canned zucchini relish sits on the kitchen counter.


It feels like summer paradise here: rich, holy.

I can’t decide whether to go to Marquette.

“You don’t have to decide,” I reassure myself. “You’ll just know when the time is right–like you always know.”  The body sighs in relief.  Oh, good.  I don’t have to decide now.

Still mostly a sea of green overhead

Sea of overhead green

A half hour later the voice of indecision announces itself once again.  Have been pondering this for two months now. Should I go downstate this summer?  What about visiting my mom in assisted living?  She’s 87 now. Will I regret not going?  Is it OK to wait until spring?  (She tells me not to come, to wait.  Should I listen?)

*Lyrics:  Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know*

There’s the COVID count issue–many more cases the further south you travel in Michigan.  There’s the whole nine to ten hour one-way drive.  So many cars on the road from every state in the country.  Add to that the issue that many folks downstate aren’t really taking the virus seriously.  Social distancing and masking?  Many times that might prove a huge challenge to negotiate.  I’m not allowed in her assisted living building, although she can go out. Do I want to risk being near my mom?  Bringing the virus home to Barry or others in the community?  Possibly getting sick myself?

Then I look around at the newly-mowed grass.  Pause and sip peachy green tea on the deck underneath the green and white umbrella.  Meander down our mossy woods road.  Hear the cicadas sing their August song.  Watch the crazy hummingbirds buzz around the feeder, slurping down their two cups of sugar-water every 24 hours.


Why would a person want to leave?  Most of me wants to stay here this summer and fall and winter and continue talking to Mom every day on the phone.  Our phone calls are precious beyond precious.

It gets even more serious, readers.

What the heck should I make for dinner? Should I run into town and buy some groceries this afternoon?   I have run out of handy ideas–nothing sounds good.  (Except the fresh veggies, of course.)

This indecision is exhausting.

I hope you’re all finding it easier to decide.  If not, we’re all in this indecisive boat together.

Lake flower

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in August, 2020 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Should I stay or should I go?

  1. Stacy says:

    I say go.
    We went to the Gulf Coast recently. It was mostly devoid of humans until the weekend. Then people respectfully kept their distance. It was like the balm in Gilead to this weary reader. Memories of my grandmothers, of happy days of childhood, and a welcome visit from an old family friend – those moments were worth the risk. If I hide on our lake forever, not participating in what makes life beautiful, what’s the point of living?
    Go. Be cautious. Be alive.

  2. Susan D. Durham says:

    I’m of no help. I’m stuck in the same quagmire. Did make it to the dentist and to the hospital to get blood drawn, and even treated myself to Taco Bell before driving home. First fast food or eating out since February — and there was NO ONE in TB. Everyone was using drive-thru. But, I digress. Vicariously, I want you to go — to be the scout, the first goose flying south, the fearless explorer. Because I know you are cautious and sane. Yet, yes, there is so much richness in simply enjoying all that flourishes before us, right under our noses, covered or uncovered. Much love, and certainty that you always choose the “right” path.

    • Kathy says:

      Hey, my friend, I know probably many of us are in the same pot of stew. How fun that you went to Taco Bell! I could use a taco right now. That would solve dinner’s problem. Lol. What a lovely image of the first goose flying south… Isn’t it all a conundrum sometimes? You know more of the challenges that I did not blither on about in this short post, which adds to the mix and makes the decision more challenging. xoxo my friend from across the bay!

  3. Reggie says:

    Oh, Kathy, I can feel your indecision and your agonizing… what is the right decision to take… right now… or tomorrow… or next week. I hope that you will find certainty. Listen to your gut, to your heart, to your inner voice. You’ll know when it’s time to get in the car, because the prompting will become too strong to ignore.

    This COVID thing is so stressful. We still try to hibernate and stay at home as much as we possibly can; we put off forays to the shops until we can’t, and then we wear masks and carry our own hand sanitisers and squirt and rub our hands religiously. I’ve been avoiding the annual medical checkups with GP, dentist, dermatologist… all the drama and fear and dread of going to the doctor’s rooms, having to fill out and sign forms, answering a barrage of checklist questions of where we have been and whom we’ve had contact with and whether we could have been exposed, and then innocently waiting for my turn, and the fear of inadvertently, innocently, catching this damn virus and bringing it back home.

    I haven’t seen my mom in more than a month… or perhaps it’s now two months… I’ve lost track of time. It is beyond awful not to be able to visit her, see her sweet face, hold her hands, stroke her back, hug her tight… I hate this damn virus, and how much it has stolen from us. The frail residents in the nursing home feel abandoned and rejected by their families who are not allowed to visit; nurses’ faces and fellow residents’ faces are now hidden behind masks, and they feel so, so lonely. It is heartbreaking to think that I may never get to see her again. Treasure every single phone call you get to have with your mom, Kathy. And if you get to visit her, mask up, spray sanitizer, and HUG HER TIGHT. Lots and lots of love to you.

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie–yes, you’ve put into words what I believe. How the prompting to go or stay will become so strong that it’s possible to just know. That’s happened so many times before, but it can be so hard to “wait and see”.

      Yes, this Covid thing can be stressful. It is terrible when we can’t be with our moms. Heartbreaking to think we might not see them again. I so feel for you, too, Reggie. Can you talk with your mom on the phone, or visit her outside her nursing home? At my mom’s assisted living the residents can go outside and sit (socially distanced and masked) with their loved ones. I am not sure how many take advantage of that. Some can’t, and others don’t have family nearby. You are so right about how many residents feel sad and alone…this virus has been damaging on so many levels. Blessings to you, Richard and your mom…

  4. Laurie G. says:

    Ahhh Kathy, you read my mind perfectly!
    So many decisions in this tough time.

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, it is so good to hear from you. I am really glad this resonated–I thought maybe many of us might be feeling the same way. Many blessings to you and your whole family.

  5. sherrysescape says:

    I hear you, sister.

  6. Ally Bean says:

    I agree, the indecision about formerly simples tasks is now overwhelming. I don’t know what to do either. Do I get my hair cut? Do I go to the dentist? Do we go inside a CostCo for basic supplies? It’s heartbreaking that it has come to this. I blame it one person…

    • Kathy says:

      Ally, it’s tough all around for many of us. So many decisions that we used to just take for granted and do without a second thought. I am hoping it will get better, but we still have a long winter ahead of us. (I may know that person you’re blaming. Not fond of him myself.)

  7. Joanne says:

    From reading this I gather you are free to travel anywhere you wish to go? Even though we have had nowhere near the number of Covid cases the USA has had, we are restricted. Currently, my area is in what is described as a “bubble”, based on postcodes – I think you call them Zip-codes – which includes a part of Queensland and a part of New South Wales, which is the state I live in. Down south, the border between NSW and Victoria is closed. All of South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory are closed off to the rest of the country. Even tiny little Tasmania, sitting way down south in the Bass Strait has its borders closed. We are advised not to travel, except for essential reasons such as for work or medical appointments.
    So given the restrictions imposed on us, I have developed a particular mind-set, which is screaming, “Kathy, stay home, order online, make Skype calls to you Mum. Stay safe!” But you have to do what your heart tells you to do. xxx

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Joanne. It is so interesting to hear what is happening in other countries. It does sound like you are more restricted than we are–which doesn’t make sense, as our cases and deaths are so much more. The US doesn’t have a unified approach. Our states are mostly calling the shots, and every state is different. We can travel anywhere within the states–and through most other states, too. However, some states are guaranteeing visitors coming from high-risk areas. I am totally allowed to travel to Marquette–or downstate to visit my mom. Many many people are traveling right now. Everywhere. So many people don’t believe in the virus or think it’s overblown. Barry and I don’t think that way–we are more of the “cautious but not fearful” approach. Am really getting some clarity on this issue, though, just by writing and sharing this indecision. Mom and I had a long talk about it last night. Will see what continues to develop, but am feeling more peaceful now.

  8. Carol says:

    I understand the dilemma. I haven’t seen my daughter since Christmas and I am considering driving up for a few days soon. I rebelled tonight and went with friends for tacos, socially distant and masked as we could. Ohhh they tasted soooo good. I’m wondering if it will be Christmas alone this year, because I might as well worry in advance, right?

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, glad you understand. It’s always a weighing of the risks and challenges, isn’t it? Then we decide what’s best to do. I don’t always like the indecisive stage which sometimes can go on for months (as in deciding whether to visit Mom). But usually it’s shown that the waiting stage is OK and eventually the decision makes itself. As when you went out for tacos last night–yum! I would not advise worrying in advance about Christmas, but it’s easier to say that than do that, right?

  9. Just my humble opinion, if your mom is telling you to wait, please listen to her! Respect her wishes. Speaking as a mother who misses her children dearly, it would cause me much more stress to have my children show up for a visit right now, more than the stress of missing them…

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, very good advice. I am listening deeply to Mom, but it wasn’t until last night (after writing all this out) that Mom and I had a really good talk about what both of us want. Am feeling much more clarity on all of this now, but want to sit on it for awhile. It is very true that the stress of having someone visit when you didn’t want them to might prove the most challenging. My mom is spending time with my two brothers and families, so that’s not the issue for her. But there are other concerns which would have taken sixteen more paragraphs to articulate, so am just sitting with it more peacefully for awhile now. Thank you!

  10. I think you should go, myself I’ve felt like this to and it was worth it. Trust me. also if you do go have a good time, and be aware!

  11. melissabluefineart says:

    I struggle with decisions like this too! Good to have company in my indecision… looks like you live in a heavenly place, far from the madding, unmasked crowds. It baffles me that so many people refuse to take this seriously. Do they not see that we are the only country that hasn’t been able to stop the spread of it???

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Melissa–thank you. Gosh, some of our decisions can be so challenging. Yes, we live in a heavenly place, but many of the townsfolk (and country folk) are still unmasked. I don’t understand the logic either! It’s just befuddling. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Barb says:

    We are having a little indecision right now about ski season. We must buy our local passes within 2 weeks. The ski area hasn’t really been forthcoming about how it will handle crowds, though we are assured they will follow “protocols”. Perhaps, we’ll just use the touring skis in the forest this year, though I wonder if I don’t ski downhill this season if I’ll ever ski again (I’m 76 after all…) Also, we have family nearly every weekend if we buy the kids passes, and Bob and I are still isolating. I know the kids will be disappointed, but…not sure. Don’t think to much about it, Kathy. Just wake up one day and tell yourself I’ll just stay put for another bit, or I’ll get going right now. No use worrying!

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, yes, what a decision you need to make right now. So hard to figure out whether to get your ski passes. But it’s just as you say–you’ll know within two weeks whether you’ll decide to buy the passes or pass on it for the year. It’s interesting–I totally subscribe to the “no worry” philosophy. Have seen it in action a thousand times. Yet, deep inside, it seems that some part wants to try to figure it all out anyway. It was really helpful to write all this out. By the way, Happy Anniversary!!

  13. I think there have been many dilemmas during this pandemic but we have to remember that none of us have been through anything like this before so we can only do the best we can and make the decisions that seem right at the time. It certainly seems as though you have good reasons to stay at home!

    • Kathy says:

      Andrea, my mind can tell two stories faster than a flying bullet. You are so right that none of us have been through it before, so it’s all beginner’s mind. We have to figure this out as we go. Luckily, it has really helped to write all these thoughts down. This prompted a phone call with my mom and now it’s utterly clear (well somewhat clear. A little bit clear) what is going to happen. I will write more about this later. Thank you! I am enjoying staying at home these days, even though that’s very odd, because have loved travel so much over the years.

  14. Decisions, decisions! Having to rethink the usual comings and goings is exhausting. Much easier to frolic through the flowers.

    • Kathy says:

      Indeed! I know it’s easier to just “go with the flow” and let the decisions make themselves. Frolicking in the flowers sounds like so much more fun. 🙂

  15. yes, i agree. It’s good to go with the flow. And i hope your decision makes you happy!😊💖

  16. Donna Des-Jardin says:

    You should come using the precautions you will be fine

    • Kathy says:

      Donna, I had a long talk with my mom about this and she doesn’t want me to come now until her assisted living center opens up. So I told her to call me when she wants or needs me to come and I will drive the 550 miles to visit her the minute she wants.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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