In the Meantime: Samantha Mahon
Seclusion and confinement, too, can be mothers of invention
As the product of an unforeseen event and responses to it, countless people around the world have found new ways to occupy and entertain themselves and to make themselves productive. Around here, bird books and bedding plants have been hot sellers. Bicycles are hard to come by. Dumbbells have disappeared from the shelves of big box stores. My daughter-in-law cannot find an inflatable pool for my grandsons. And not least of all, yeast has become as hard to come by as a Schedule 1 drug. Today, I spoke with an attorney who, with her practice substantially idled, took steps to become an online notary public, thus finding a way to continue to serve others. On the following pages, meet three women who have dealt with extreme domesticity by kneading, beading and creating wholes that are much more than the sum of their parts.
In May, Samantha Mahon graduated from the Florida State University College of Medicine. Her commencement ceremony was virtual, and in the weeks leading up to it, her classes were conducted online. As a reluctant homebody, she graduated from muffin making to the far more elaborate process of sourdough bread baking as a way to be productive and helpful to others. “You have to feed the starter dough (with flour and water) a couple of times a day for two weeks to keep the yeast active,” Samantha noted. Her first loaf was disappointing: “It was flat and dense and looked like a Frisbee,” she said. But Samantha persisted, and after six weeks, she produced a loaf that she was proud to give away. Bread recipients, she said, “… have been impressed I have a side of me other than medicine. I have concentrated for the last 10 years on becoming a doctor.” In late June, Samantha was due to start her residency in emergency medicine at The Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. About her chosen specialty, she said, “You have to be quick thinking, and I am. I like the variety of the patients I’ll be seeing. The pandemic just makes me want to be in the ER helping out.”