Tag Archives: Covid-19

Quarantine quilting

I have been on hold for a while.  I felt a bit like an airplane that was put in a holding pattern because of bad weather and told not to land yet.  So around and around the city I fly wondering when I can touch down.  I think I let social media and the news get to me.  People can be so quick to judge, and they can only judge from where they stand.  I don’t stand where anyone else does, nor does anyone stand in my place.  I was feeling low.  I was feeling like I was not allowed to have the feelings I have.  So, I switched off.

When Covid-19 first hit, I was in a minor panic stage.  I didn’t know what this virus was, how one gets it, and how dangerous it might be to go anywhere, especially since I am considered that “old” person who might die from it.  When we were told we were going to have to shelter in place, I decided I needed a project to keep me busy—to keep my mind off the scary stuff, and to keep me productive.  I chose making a quilt.

I was in Arizona at the time, and I diligently worked on the quilt top.  The week we were ready to leave for Missouri, I shipped the quilt top off to the long arm quilting lady who was from my Missouri town, but had since moved to Florida.  (For those of you who don’t quilt—she doesn’t have one arm that is super long—her quilting machine has a long arm. (Just wanted to clear that up from the image of a “long-armed quilting lady”).  Rather than finding a new person locally, I sent it to her, and told her to return it to my Missouri address.  The quilt will be a gift, and will be delivered to the recipient in just a few weeks.

Now I am in Missouri and things have not changed a lot.  In fact, the first month in Missouri Dennis got terribly sick.  He couldn’t breathe.  No, he didn’t have Covid, but he couldn’t breathe.  He is almost completely better, and we still do not know the exact reason for his respiratory distress, but we are taking the most caution in our lives.  We go the store, masked properly and properly spaced.  We avoid crowds.  We do our hiking in our neighborhood, and we pretty much stay home.  It was time to do another quilt.  I purchased some charm packs I saw online, so I found a pattern that I really loved and decided to make a lap quilt. For non-quilters a charm pack is a pack of fabric cut into five inch squares.  I ordered the fabric for the background color, and lo and behold, the same place that only took three days to deliver my order, took almost two weeks.  My project was on hold.  

While the project was on hold, I decided to visit my sister who lives in West Virginia, near the Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia border.  I was a bit wary of flying, but was assured that all precautions were being taken by the airlines.  The airport in St. Louis was busy but nothing like it was in previous flights I have taken.  The Dulles Washington D.C. airport was like being in Twilight Zone.  It was, for all intents and purposes, empty.  Changing planes in Atlanta found the busiest of all three airports.  I spent my week with my sister, and her granddaughters.  It was a great week to just kick back and relax.

Coming back home I had all my materials ready to start my quilt top, when I realized I was out of thread.  Dennis and I drove in to Columbia to one of their quilting stores to pick up a spool of thread.  This was going to be a quick visit.  When I got out of the car to run into the store, Dennis told me to take a look at their sewing machines because I have been talking about upgrading.  I laugh that I just bought the most expensive spool of thread on the planet—it came with a sewing machine!  I went from a Volkswagen of a sewing machine to a Lamborghini.  Didn’t even go with the mid size car—jumped immediately to the fancy sports car with all the bells and whistles.  Part of the reason was that I found a used machine that had only 80 hours sewing time (yes, it has an internal clock), it has wifi, and it does everything except make my lunch.  This Lamborghini of a sewing machine was one half the price of buying it new.  The store offers four three-hour classes to learn how to do all the things this machine can do.  I haven’t finished the classes yet, so maybe I will find the button where it makes my lunch!

I came home with thread and a new sewing machine.  As I was putting the top together, I realized I didn’t quite cut the pieces properly.  It was going together, but not as well as it should have.  I was thinking of scrapping the whole project when Dennis came in the room to look at the work.  He said he loved it, and would really like me to make it for him.  I asked why he liked it so much, and he said, “because it is really you.”  So my perfectly imperfect quilt is going to my husband when complete.  

The top is completed, I have bought the fabric for the back which I think will be perfect for it.  I am now moving on to my other quilt top.  I still love the pattern I used, and now that I am very familiar with its construction, this is the pattern I will be using.  When I was in St. Louis coming back from my West Virginia trip, I stopped at a quilt store and bought the most fabulous fabric.  It was not in charm pack, but I am perfectly capable of cutting a lot of 5” squares.  I have more control of my fabric choices this way.  When you buy a charm pack, you get what they give you.  This way I purchased 1/2 yards of many different fabrics that I thought would go great together.

Lesson learned–using directional fabric made putting this quilt together like working a crossword puzzle!

I have come to realize that I don’t make quilts just to make quilts.  The pattern has to speak to me, and the fabrics also have to speak to me.  For me a quilt is a work of art.  It’s a step above paint by number.  If I bought a quilt kit with the pattern and the fabric selected for me, I would feel like I was doing a paint by number.  Other people in the world have also made this identical quilt with the identical fabric.  That is not me.  I want some input into my projects that are part of me and no one else.

My fabrics for my next 2 lap quilts. One will have the dark purple background, and the other the light purple.

I’m revving up my Lamborghini, and I’m getting ready for another run around the track.  I’m still cutting 5” squares.  I need a total of 144 squares before I can start sewing.  This will take a little bit of time.  It’s the part I like least about quilting—all the cutting.  I could buy charm packs, but for me it takes aways my creativity.  Maybe sometime later, after I am ready to let go of my choosing everything to the time saver of precut fabric.  I’m just not there yet.

This has kept me in a positive mood.  I think about each project and who potentially I want to gift it to.  I hope they will cherish it knowing I made it especially with them in mind.  I cannot give names, but I have several people who will be receiving them.  

What are you doing during this stressful time to keep yourself going?  How do you fill your time when things feel tough?  Please share your thoughts.  I want to learn from you also.

 I will try to be more consistent with my posting.  I just couldn’t find words I felt worthy to share for a few weeks.  I love and appreciate each one of you who stop for a few minutes to read what I write.  I hope I can encourage you to find something to give you joy.

The Odd and Strange Summer of 2020!

I have not written anything in a while.  This has been an unusual summer.  Ha!  Hasn’t it been all of 2020?  Do you even remember before March when everything seemed normal?  Nothing has been normal since that date.

When I write my blogs, I want to be in a good place mentally so that I am an encouragement rather than a drag on my readers.  It just seemed hard to do.  When we arrived in Missouri in May, about a week after our arrival, Dennis got sick, and I mean “I can’t breathe” kind of sick.  He did not have COVID-19, thank God, but he was sick for about three weeks.  There are no real answers yet, although he is feeling good again.  What would cause such lung distress?  He has cardiology and pulmonary appointments in the coming weeks that may answer some fo the questions.  He was at his primary card doctor last week, and I was allowed to be there also.  The doctor listened to his heart and lungs and stated that they were nice and clear.  Go figure.

That started our most unusual summer.  I think I just feel out of place here in mid-Missouri.  I has been my home for 7 years, but I feel our Arizona home is more home.  That could be that we have the majority of our belongings there.  We have a minimum here in Missouri.  If we have more than two guests, we must use paper plates, since the majority of our dishes are in Arizona.  We call this our vacation home even though it is still our primary residence.  We live in an area of Arizona where we have many goods and services just down the road, unlike living in the country.  We have made meaningful friendships there.

There is the another reason this summer is unusual.  I fully expected that we would close on the Missouri house and not be here this summer, or maybe just for part of the summer.  It looks like we will be here the whole summer.  That is a good thing since the Coronavirus is running rampant in Arizona, and it is not a good time to return.  We are not sure when a good time to return will be.  We definitely have to figure out this breathing issue before we go back to a place where the danger of catching the virus is high.  That may delay our return from our planned September date.  Being here as long as we will be here was not in the plan.  Once again, God’s timing is always better than mine, and it is good we are stuck in the country where the virus is not as crazy as it is in the cities.  

Then there is the unrest in this country.  It was ugly.  I don’t watch the news much right now because I find it distressful.  I understand being upset by what appeared to be a tragic death, but I don’t understand destroying property and harming others.  I don’t understand the hate, and yes, to me it feels like hate.  It makes me sad, and it makes me worried for our future generations if this kind of behavior is acceptable.  I don’t understand defunding police departments.  There are such sweeping generalizations that if there are a few bad apples, we just get rid of them all.  Law and order doesn’t seem to be of importance any longer.  

So, I haven’t written anything.  I spend my days walking 3 miles in our neighborhood, hitting the pool, playing dominoes with Dennis, watching movies, and cooking.  I’m working on creating some more quilts, but with the pandemic, it is hard to get fabric and supplies easily.  I have been waiting a week for a delivery that has yet to arrive.

Life is not normal.  I miss seeing my friends.  I miss going to church to worship.  We stream our service every Sunday, and that has been good, but getting out of the house just feels good sometimes.  

The end of this week I am flying from St. Louis to Dulles Airport in Washington D.C.  My sister lives an hour from there in West Virginia.  I am going to spend a week with her.  I understand that Southwest Airlines is not filling the center seats, and everyone is required to wear face masks.  I think the trip should be safe.  I think a change of scenery will be good for me.  When I arrive back a week later, we will have our travel trailer parked at an RV park outside of St. Louis and we will spend a week hanging out there.  I’m not sure if I will be seeing anyone other than our kids, since we have been careful who we are connecting with for health reasons.

I went out to lunch with a few ladies last week.  It was the first time I ate inside a restaurant since early March.  It was a little unsettling.  This new normal is still a learning curve.

I know that in the meantime God is working.  He is in control.  God is always working behind the scenes.  Sometimes we don’t see it until after the fact.  Then it’s like an ahh-haa moment.  We see how we were blessed in the midst of everything we do not understand.

That’s where I am today.  Just moving along.  Going with the flow.  Accepting things as they are, changing what I have control of, and letting go of what I cannot do.  It will all work out.  

I wish for this world peace and contentment.  I wish for you during this crazy year, peace and contentment.  

Social Media During a Pandemic

Social Media Bullies.  You know them?  Are you one?  Have you been bullied?  Maybe some may not call it bullying.  I do.  If you think you know more than someone, and you are willing to call them out in social media, not personally or kindly, you are a bully.  Simple as that.

logosI am on various social media sites.  I am the most active on Facebook, but I also have a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account, and an Instagram account that I have yet to figure out.  I have a purpose for being on these accounts.  Before I was retired, I loved being on LinkedIn.  My resume is on there, and I have had numerous recruiters call me because of that.  I also loved networking.  I loved learning from others.  I never want to be the smartest person in the room.  I also want to be resourceful to others with my knowledge base.  It’s all a two-way street.

My reasons for being on Facebook has a much different outlook.  I love the fact that over the years, I have reconnected with old friends, I have connected with family members I barely knew, and I have connected with new acquaintances who I got to know better through this medium.  I am on this site for connecting with all these folks, and for sharing my life as they share theirs.

I am very careful about what I post on my Facebook page.  Very seldom will you see anything, if at all, that might be political.  I have friends and family on the whole spectrum of the political thought.  They have a right to think and believe what they do when it comes to politics.  I may not agree with them, and I very much dislike political statements that are against a person, and jabs at their most disliked political person.  Share with me your positive thoughts on why you believe something, not on who you don’t agree with.  I find it distasteful, for me personally, to see disparaging comments about past and current politicians.  That being said, if they post it on their personal Facebook page, I am okay with that—just don’t post it on mine.  

I truly believe in the freedom of speech, so I don’t want anyone to think they cannot say what they believe.  I just don’t believe in tearing people down.  I definitely don’t believe anyone should ever put someone down for their beliefs.  

Yes, lately, I have been told that I have partaken in the Kool-Aid.  Wow!  Can you believe that someone would say that on your own Facebook page?  So, let me explain why that was said to me, because I do not post political things on my page.

I have a photo of me in a face mask.  And true to my nature, it is a fun cupcake mask!  This world has been hit with a mysterious virus, called Corona, and it is a bit scary.  It has definitely been politicized, by all parties, but that is not my purpose.  I am 71 years old.  By what I have heard and read, I am in the vulnerable group because of my age.  I don’t have any underlying medical conditions, that I am aware, but I know that I have mild sleep apnea, which means my lungs don’t work to full capacity while I am sleeping.  My husband definitely has respiratory issues, so he is even more vulnerable being 74 years old, and with underlying health conditions.  Does that mean we are in danger?  I don’t know.  There is so much going around about this virus, that I don’t have any definitive answers.

I do know personally of people who have gotten COVID-19.  Not just old people, I know of teenagers who, although healthy, had a really hard time recovering and have had ongoing issues since.  I have family members who know personally someone who has died from this virus.  I see no reason not to be careful.  It is like if I was going to a party and found out many people attending had the mumps, the flu, or some other contagious illness, I would probably excuse myself from the invitation.  Why would I take the chance to get the infection, and worst case scenario, spread it to someone else.  History will tell us if we over reacted or under reacted, but when one is in the middle of it all, I will make the decision to protect myself in whatever way I see fit.

Now, my postings on Facebook, in my opinion are not political.  I have posted facts from the news sources of the Navajo Nation, which comprises of parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.  They have been hard hit by this virus.  People in the midwest have told me that my posting was the first they heard about this.  Living in Arizona this winter had given me a lesson about the Indian Nations.  Per capita, they were hit harder than New York City.  Many homes in the Navajo Nation are scattered, but they are small and the families are large.  So, if one family member gets sick, it spreads quickly to the whole family.  The second problem they have is that only approximately 40% of the people living in Navajo Nation do not have running water.  The first thing we were told when this outbreak occurred was to wash our hands frequently.  What if you live in the desert and you don’t have running water?  

I did not get all this information from the media.  A friend from my Arizona church has a son who lives and ministers in the Navajo Nation.  He is married to a Navajo woman, and they have three beautiful children.  I spoke with him yesterday.  He is so busy passing out food and cleaning supplies to the people.  He stated that his job is to help the people physically and spiritually.  The health department has given him names of the most vulnerable.  He delivered a care package of food to a family who had not eaten for three days.  The hotels in his area are now COVID-19 hospitals.  Many have died and many are sick.  Do not tell him, or those he lives and works with that this is a nothingburger.  It is very real to them.  When we drove home from Arizona a few weeks ago, we stopped along the highway near Gallup, New Mexico to buy gas.  I commented to Dennis that everyone had on face masks, even outside while pumping their gas.  He looked at me and said, “We are in Navajo Nation.”  These people have good reason to attempt to be safe.  So, I posted on my Facebook page information about what is happing in Navajo Nation because  we need to be aware, and we need to be compassionate.  We need to help those in need, even if you have a problem with the origins of this virus.  Jesus calls us to be compassionate.  He never was afraid to say a hard truth, but he was always compassionate, especially to the sick.

IMG_3084

When “Corona” doesn’t let you celebrate with others!

Back to social media.  My posting about the virus is pretty much my humor plus my discomfort.  Don’t we tend to joke about that which we don’t understand.  I am not a big beer drinker, or any alcohol, for that matter.  I don’t find it that tasty.  Give me a good chocolate chip cookie instead!  On occasion, I will drink an alcoholic beverage.  When we arrived in Fulton last week, Dennis bought Corona beer. (That was his joke).  I do not like heavy beers.  If I drink a beer, it has to be pretty light.  He opened his bottle of Corona Extra, and it looked light, and I took a sip.  Not only was it light, it had no funky aftertaste.  On snoopyMemorial Day, I grilled some brats, and I posted this photo on Facebook stating, “When Corona doesn’t let you celebrate with others.”  It was a joke—a play on words because the virus has caused people to isolate.  Some people did not get the joke, but my friend who did, posted this one afterward.

I posted this photo of my husband.  Others have complained they haven’t had haircuts in months.  I, on the other hand, not being a licensed hairdresser, own a pair of hair cutting scissors, and I am not afraid to use them—just ask friends from my youth!  I have kept our hair trimmed.  Dennis, during this time has grown a beard, at my prompting.  So many men had quit shaving while they were sheltered-in-place, just as we women have stopped wearing a bra while sheltered in place!  Ha!  I let out the secret.  I think the hardest thing about women having to go back to work and into society is getting used to wearing that horribly uncomfortable contraption again!  In the posting of Dennis’ photo, I mentioned that I had been trimming our hair, and also his  “quarantine beard.”  That’s what I called it because he would have never grown a beard before, but was willing to do so as he sheltered-in-place—like who needs to shave if you aren’t going anywhere?  Once again, I was accused of being duped, I assume because I used the word “quarantine.”  

sadI don’t respond to those types of comments.  My first reaction is to write back.  I want to say that this person isn’t allowed to write negative comments on my Facebook thread.  They can write whatever they want on theirs.  But, I always stop myself.  I am not on Facebook to argue with someone.  Actually, I have always really liked this person.  These comments sent directly at me are hurtful.  If they are really inflammatory, I will delete it from the thread.  I can delete any statement someone makes on the my Facebook page.  I can also delete something I say on someone else’s.  So if you have accidentally, out of frustration, posted something you regret on someone’s thread, you can go delete your statement.  I have typed many responses, then read them, and then deleted them.  I am not on Facebook for political or any other arguments.  If you want to dialog with me, send me a private message.  I might respond to that.

the-cross-1-1536650Of all the subjects that one gets riled up on social media, the only one I will ever mention is the one about my faith.  Why?  Because my faith is the most single important thing to me.  What I will not do is give someone my faith opinion on their page, or argue with them.  I am a Christ follower.  I believe my faith in Christ has given me purpose and peace like nothing else in my life has done.  I am willing to share that with anyone — if they ask.  I will not argue my faith v. their faith on social media, or anywhere else.  I will share what I believe, and I will listen to what they believe.  I will love them regardless of what they believe, even if I don’t agree with them.  

Sometimes I think people make these angry responses on social media because they don’t know where to take their frustration.  I learned a long time ago in my 12-step group for codependency that I cannot change anyone.  It is also not my job to get in their face to change them.  Have you heard the phrase, “Let go, and let God”?  That is from 12-step groups.  When we try to fix others,  we only get frustrated and can easily fall back into our dysfunction (codependency, alcohol, drugs, eating disorder, or whatever the dysfunction).  Even a 12-step group knows that only God has the ability to change someone.  Not us.  So, stop trying to make yourself miserable trying to fix other people. 

Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:1-5

What does that mean?  Well, it’s so easy to see what others are doing wrong.  We want to point out their wrongdoings, and forget that we may not even have a “speck” in our eye, but a “log.”  Jesus says that criticizing others is hypocritical.  By the way, we all have a log in our eye.  None of us are perfect.  What right do we have to judge other people?  I do believe that we can have a conversation about what we believe, but to call people names, to diminish them as a person, is uncalled for.  Doing this will not win anyone over.  If so, it is done only out of fear—fear that they don’t want further criticism from the accuser, or fear that everyone thinks like this accuser.  People change only when they are uncomfortable.  They don’t change because they are told to change — and only God can move them to want to change.

I have only deleted a few “friends” on Facebook.  The people I deleted actually posted on their own page, but it was so hurtful, I chose not to be connected with them.  One posted that if you believed a certain way on a particular issue, you were a terrible person, and that they could not like you, or respect you, or want anything to do with with you.  Well, I happened to be one of those people who believed what they despised.  I unfriended them, because their acceptance of me felt hypocritical.  

This blog is my safe place to express my opinions.  It is not my Facebook page, which has every type of person and every belief of my friends and family.  I want to know what your kids and grandkids are doing.  I want to know how you celebrate life, and how you suffer through hardships.  I already know what I believe about my faith and about politics, so don’t try to convince me on social media.  You want to talk to me about a concern, then Talk. To. Me.  This can be in person, on the phone, email or text message.  In the meantime, let me find a fun photo to post to my friends on Facebook.

Wash hands

When the virus started in the U.S., we were told to wash our hands.  How long?  One source I read was the length of saying the Lord’s Prayer.  Because I find humor in things uncomfortable, I made this meme for my entertainment pleasure!

Traveling During COVID-19

I didn’t realize this was going to be so hard.  We have been planning to come to Missouri for a while.  We wondered how we were going to accomplish this task in the midst of the Corona Virus pandemic.  Restaurants are closed down, and we just didn’t feel comfortable getting food from places that were unfamiliar.  A couple months ago Dennis had a brilliant idea to purchase a travel trailer.  We could go from our home in Arizona to our home in Missouri without stopping anywhere other than to gas up the car.  It was a beautiful plan, and we accomplished the task with so much ease.IMG_0585

IMG_2872It is amazing how the terrain changed so quickly in Arizona.  We went from desert oasis of Saguaro cactus to climbing elevations and seeing fir trees instead.  The looks of the mountain from a desert mountain to a snow capped mountain was quite a change in only a few hours.

As we traveled east, we headed on I-40 toward New Mexico.  We were not too far into the state, and we stopped for gas.  I immediately noticed everyone, and I mean everyone, was coming in and out of the IMG_2886service station with face masks on.  They even had them on as they were pumping gas.  In the Phoenix area, it is about 50/50 of people wearing masks.  Most folks as they are outside, do not wear one.  That was not the case at this location.  I commented to Dennis that EVERYONE had on their masks.  He looked at me, and commented, “We are in Navajo Nation.”  Why of course.  Navajo Nation has been hit hard by the Corona Virus.  I have been following on Facebook and the news of their IMG_2900plight.  My heart breaks for these indigenous people.  Many don’t even have running water.  How can you continually wash your hands if you don’t have running water?  It was a good reminder for me that although I feel safe, not everyone is, and I at some time, might not be either.

Our travel trailer is small.  It is just the right size for two of us.  The small sofa folded down into a very comfortable queen size bed.  It has a small kitchen that consisted of a deep sink, 2 burner gas cooktop, microwave/convection oven, and a 6 cu. ft. refrigerator/freezer. We had a full bathroom with separate shower, and plenty of cabinets for storing food and clothes.

We stayed at three different RV parks on our way home—Albuquerque, New Mexico, Yukon, Oklahoma, and Springfield, Missouri.  When we arrived at our home in Missouri, it took three hours to unload and find a place for everything.  I took a shower and put in a couple loads of laundry before stopping for the day.

On our trips I take a lot of photos while traveling.  My photos are taken out of the car window, and I am always amazed with the photos my iPhone takes.  In Arizona, I was intrigued by the change in terrain from desert to mountains with fir trees, back to desert.  New Mexico is just plain fascinating.  The rock formations are amazing.  The windmill farms in New Mexico and Oklahoma dot the landscape, and the wind that was blowing very briskly had all these windmills doing their work.  Coming out of Oklahoma into Missouri, I was intrigued by the cloud formations—the fact that there were large white billowy clouds, and as we moved into Missouri these clouds were darkening into rain clouds.

Now we are at our home in Missouri.  I am hoping that the sale of this house will be soon.  We have a contingent contract.  Our buyer needs to sell her house first.  We are hoping this will happen quickly.  We want to be permanently settled in Arizona this winter.  I really feel at home there.  It has been tough being sheltered-in-place, not seeing friends and cousins, but our hiking trails and the mountains kept us busy—until we started hitting 100+ degree weather.IMG_3068

When we arrived at our Missouri home yesterday, I posted on Facebook that we had arrived with a photo of our home with the travel trailer in front.  My neighbors welcomed me back, and some relatives welcomed me back.  I was super excited.  I am down the road from our children . . . and, then I got the reminder . . . everyone is IMG_1985sheltered in place.  Coming back to Missouri did not change anything.  I was really sad last night.  In Arizona we are far away from our children, but now we are near and yet so far away. 

This is really hard.  I didn’t realize that I would feel that divide like I did last night.  I was really good in Arizona because no one was close by.  But, we are close by, and not able to see and hug your loved ones is difficult.  Last night, Dennis reminded me that we can do things around the yard—get flowers planted, get the pool area cleaned up and all the furniture distributed on the pool deck.  The pool company is scheduled to open our pool in four days.  It might be a little too cool to swim—Missouri still has cool evenings, and the water cools off quickly at night.  But we can sit out on the screened in porch, eat meals out there, swim in the pool, and do all the same things we did in Arizona.  I will pretend my kids and grandkids are not just down the road.

Many folks are starting to get together.  I have a daughter-in-law who has immune issues.  I will not jeopardize her safety.  I have people telling me I am drinking the Koolaid, but I would rather be safe than take my chances on whether there is a real threat or not.  My stepson works in a hospital laboratory, so he is not one to be around either at this time.  My 18 year old grandson just sent me a text that he would be willing to come visit.  I know he has quarantined for weeks, so I would love to have him come visit.  We will work on future plans.

I will get through this just like I did in Arizona.  When we first started to shelter-in there, I was blue.  I couldn’t believe that there was this virus out there that was highly contagious, and so many people would get sick.  It made me exceedingly sad.  As time moved on, I got used to being in our home without friends.  I will take a deep breath, I will enjoy this home while we still own it.  I will pray that the house has a closing date sooner than later.  I will see my children and grandchildren again.  My concern is the 2nd round of the virus that will hit when people start assembling again.  It happened with the Spanish Flu, and it will happen with this one.  Although more people die of the flu, this virus is more highly contagious, and there is yet a vaccine for it.  Most people will survive this virus, but I am not going to be responsible to knowingly spread this virus.  I don’t know who would not survive this.  It could be me.  Or it could be you.

So, I will spend my time here in this house getting the yard ready for summer.  I will pray our buyer gets her house sold quickly.  We have a plan for a quick move out if closing happened sooner than later.  I will see my children and grandchildren soon. The time will be right when it happens. Prayer

The Gift of Sheltered-In-Place

Sheltering-in-place is now a term everyone knows.  I don’t even remember the date that I first started hearing about COVID-19.  I know it was the first part of March.  My son and daughter-in-law were due to visit us the weekend of March 6.  A few days before they were to arrive, my son called to say it would be only him.  His wife had been fighting a cold or the flu for several weeks, and she didn’t want to get on a plane with this unknown virus that was going around.  There was talk about people staying away from large groups at this time.  My son came alone, and we had wonderful weekend celebrating my husband’s birthday, hiking the mountain by our home, and just spending some quality time with my second born child.  He went home on Monday, and by the next week the news was telling people who were over 65 or had immune deficiencies or underlying illnesses to stay home, don’t go anywhere, stay at home.  Don’t go into crowds.

By mid March we were uncomfortable being around people.  We went to the accountant’s office for our taxes.  There was hand sanitizer out, and we did not shake hands, but we did sit in the office and talk.  From there we left and went shopping at Crate and Barrel.  People were still out shopping, but wary of what to do.  Basically, we were told to wash our hands and don’t touch our face. (I was good with the first part, not so good on the second).  We ended the evening going out to dinner, and noticed that there was some cleaning measures that were being taken that were different from a normal day.  The restaurant did not have salt and pepper shakers on the table.  The waitress said that they were available if requested, but they sanitized everything between customers.  It was such an odd feeling.

After that day, we decided to stay home.  Then the announcement came out that we all should avoid large crowds, and the next thing you knew, the churches closed their doors.  The kids in Arizona were on spring break, but the governor closed the schools, and the IMG_2294kids did not go back.  At that time, it was only for 2 weeks.  Now they are closed until the start of school in August/September.

Being retired, staying home isn’t a big deal.  I cannot imagine how it would feel if my life was still getting up early five days a week to get dressed, commute to work, and put my eight hours in, and then all of a sudden, I’m working at home, or not working at all.

There are so many thoughts that go through my head of how people are feeling.  At first, it was just out and out fright.  We are already afraid of the unknown, but an invisible enemy—a virus—was going to destroy our lives—how much more frightening can that be?

Over these weeks, we have ventured out to the grocery stores.  We have gone on walks in the neighborhood, and hiked on the mountain trails.  I don’t feel confined, except that I cannot be in personal contact with friends and family.  That feels really odd to me.  We also have another new term—social distancing.  Stay apart, wear you face mask, don’t touch anything.  I am surprised to see how few people actually are wearing face masks when shopping.  Because my husband and I are in our 70’s, we wear them—better safe than sorry.

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Social Distancing at Costco–not many have on face masks.

As I look back on these weeks, and the daily news conferences statewide and nationally, I just want to shake my head.  Why do people have to make this political?  We are in a battle to save lives all over the world, and people are demanding to know when did our leaders really know, why didn’t they act faster, on, and on and on.  I really don’t care.  I am not in their shoes.  This is new for everyone, and I have seen leaders on both sides get it wrong and get it right.  Let’s just work together and find a way to get us back to work, and back to a new normal.

IMG_2504I think we forget to be grateful during this time.  Almost everyone, at least everyone that I personally know, has a nice shelter over their heads to be stuck in for a while.  We have technology that keep us connected.  Some people can actually work from home because of this technology.  We can call, text, or use FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, and other platforms to visit and see the people we care about.  Had this pandemic happened 20 years ago, we would have really felt isolated, but technology has us connected in so many ways.

Do you know what I like about this sheltering-in?  I used to get up and spend my day at jammieshome, being sure I was dressed, hair done, make up on, just in case someone knocked on the door.  Ha!  No one is knocking on my door—I can stay in my pajamas all day, if I desire, and I don’t have to feel a bit guilty about it!  

I get to clean the house because I want to clean the house—not because someone is coming over, and yes, cleaning has been set aside longer than it should have been.  It was just a bit freeing to not feel like I had to do housework.

I did a lot of stuff the last three weeks.  I made a quilt top.  It’s ready to go to someone to quilt—if I can figure out who that can be.  I have done some baking.  I have done a ton of cooking.  I think we have had meals from the drive-through twice, and it just doesn’t feel right.  We play Mexican Train Dominos.  I have a jigsaw puzzle that is the hardest puzzle I have ever attempted.  I get small sections done each day.  My goal is to complete it before we leave for Missouri or told we can go out in public—whichever comes first.

We watch television in the evening.  I try not to do that during the day, but I could.  While sheltered-in-place, my life is my own.  I can pretty much do anything I want or not do anything at all.  This time is really a gift.

I don’t want to lessen the seriousness of this pandemic.  There have been many people severely sick, people who have lost their lives, and grieving families who cannot get together to comfort each other.  There are people who are not working or earning any money, but the bills are still there.  There are people who live alone, and this time can be extremely lonely.  My heart aches for all of them.  This is not an easy time.

family having meal dinner togetherI just want us all to stop, just for a moment.  Close our eyes, and take a deep breath.  Then think of all the things to be grateful for.  Families are having dinners together again.  They are playing games, playing or listening to music.  Make this time a gift.  Do the things you always wished you had time to do when you are home.  Call a friend, hug you kids, or your dog, or your cat (if it will let you).  We have been running a rat race for so long—and now we get the gift to stop, reflect, and rejoice.  

Reflect on what you want your life to be.  What a great opportunity to plan, to execute a bigger life.  A life of more love?  A life of reflection?  A life of serving?  There is so much we can do as we are sheltered-in-place.  

We will not be sheltered-in-place for much longer—maybe it’s time to relax and appreciate the time.  Thank God that we have a shelter to be in.  We will get through this, and we will be better and stronger,  Move forward in gratitude.thankful

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