This week, I want to catch my breath. The last few weeks have been a weird mixture of intense focus and extreme disconnectedness. It feels like we are settling into a new normal of both our everyday lives and our business, a new normal which is not stable or predicable, but which is feeling very, very long. So, I wanted to take this week to check in, see how everyone is doing, and just, you know… connect?
Some of you may know from our Instagram stories that Tim and I have been holed up out in the Shenandoah area for the last couple of weeks. We have been doing a big push to get our recently purchased “creepy cabin in the woods” (a cabin we originally bought to just be a weekend respite from Old Town) into an inhabitable shape for us to basically move into for the foreseeable future. Each day we are out here, we take a moment to appreciate how grateful we are to have this resource as it has given us hours and hours of outdoor work to do with our 3 year old son, who otherwise would be cramped up with us in our 740 square-foot Old Town condo. To all you parents out there going through this crisis with nowhere to send your pent-up children… my thoughts are with you.
Still, it’s hard in other ways out here. First and foremost, we aren’t at home. Nature is a splendid gift, but we aren’t at home. Our son misses school and seeing his friends, we miss our business, our clients, and our own friends. Dear friends of ours (our godson’s parents) just had their second baby, a little girl who we can’t meet for a very long time. It’s also weird to think that our son won’t be able to have any interactions with other children for months to come. While we were recently in Old Town, we went for a walk and chatted (yelled) across the street with our neighbors who have two young boys. When it was time to leave, Nolan said he just wanted to sit and watch these two brothers play for a bit. So, we did, and I in turn watched his little face take in this socially-distanced world that he can observe, but not participate in. That’s a hard thing for a three-year-old to take in.
Still, we’re lucky. Indeed, most of us are lucky. We are quarantined in a world where we can stay connected through virtual means. I can FaceTime with my brother in California while he is home for eight hours from his intensive shifts at the USC Medical Center, we can connect with my parents in Evanston who are sheltering in place (and bored out of their minds), and I can vent with my sister in Baltimore about the inane ways our systems have failed to accommodate this pandemic. We can stay connected with clients, we can continue to do designs, and we can (intermittently) get a little bit of work done in our workshop. We can even continue to support brick and mortar businesses by shopping online or scrolling Instagram. I am well stocked with mind-numbingly difficult puzzles from Penny Post, I have my under-eye patches from Bellacara that make me feel human in the morning, and I have a large collection of novels to dig through from Old Town Books. Our employees are still healthy, our fridge is full (and we know how to cook). I’m ok!
So, tell us how you are. And, remember: some people are dealing with this in similar or different ways. Let’s be gracious to ourselves and others while we all navigate unsteady seas. Sending socially-distanced thoughts to you all from afar.
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.