It’s been over a year since I have blogged, and what better time to write than when we are forced to remain home. I don’t know about all of you, but I am still floored by how much our world has changed in two short weeks. Two weeks ago we had just wrapped up the spring play, and after the final two weeks of dress rehearsals and performances, and being at home only to sleep, I was ready to be home! I was exhausted; my house was a wreck; and I just wanted to spend time with my family. I got my wish in a big way.
Two weeks ago I had no clue that I was about to hit a brick wall. On Wednesday – 12 days ago – our 8th grade Washington, DC trip was rescheduled for fall. It was then I realized that things were getting serious, at least in DC. Then we heard about a school system in Indiana closing, but surely that wouldn’t happen in Tell City. And then Friday came. It was the day before spring break, so things were already crazy with students who were definitely ready for a break. During the day the announcement came that we would not be returning right after the break. $h!T was gettin’ real.
From that day on, it seems that things are changing daily. We began to limit being out, and people began buying toilet paper. Lots and lots of toilet paper. On Saturday (3/14) we went to visit my mother-in-law who was in the hospital in Frankfort. Only one of us was allowed in the hospital at a time, and we had to be interviewed prior to entrance. A couple of days later, I made sure my mother had enough to eat. She has a blood disorder, and cannot leave her home during this time. My step-dad refuses to listen to orders to stay home, which is frustrating.
Fast forward to today. Indiana residents have been told to stay home. As a runner, I am still able to go out for runs by myself, which is a lifesaver. Other than that, we are home. Gary, our daughter Morgan, and her boys, who are six and eight. This is a time that I am grateful we have 54 acres! The boys can get out and run and play army, and so far they don’t seem to mind staying home. Once eLearning begins next week, I’m sure that will change quickly.
While these are trying times, and people are worried not only about our parents and grandparents, but also about paying bills and just surviving, I have seen some great things! I’ve seen families out for walks, families posting about having game nights, friends cooking dinners, and people trying to help one another. I have friends who are sewing masks for hospitals and others who are delivering necessities to those who cannot get out. On Friday we went to Sam’s to get some groceries for home and the bakery. They had limited all items to one per member. We could not purchase the flour needed at the bakery. Two ladies overheard us talking, and they offered to each buy flour and meet us outside. First, just the fact that I had to make a plan to get flour was surreal. But these ladies were so kind. Gary gave them cash to pay for our contraband, and we planned to meet outside. Once there, they had not only gotten the goods, but they also returned the money and just asked that we pay it forward. Difficult times often brings out the good in society!
There are still so many what-ifs. Our daughter is supposed to get married May 30, and we just pray that we will be able to move forward with those plans. We have postponed her shower, but changing a wedding is so much more difficult. I feel for all of the brides and grooms, the seniors (both high school and college), and for those who have lost loved ones and cannot mourn that loss surrounded by family and friends. I pray for those who have loved ones in the hospital, but cannot visit them.
As a teacher, I feel for those students who rely on school to feel safe and loved. I hope there is no one who believes that teachers look at this as a vacation. We are heartbroken. If we didn’t love kids, we would not have chosen to teach. When we left for spring break, we had no idea that it would be so long before we saw our kids, and now even that could change. We are missing our kids. We are trying to rewrite our curriculum so that they can learn without our being in the same room. We are trying to plan material that they will find relevant and interesting. Many of us also have children in our homes, and we have to be prepared to teach and to help them with their assignments. Like some of you, we live in an area with limited Internet. This adds to my concerns.
What can we do? We can share our joys. We can exercise. We can take time to just breathe or do yoga. We can support our local restaurants so that they are still there when this is over. We can lift others up rather than judging each other on social media (seriously – have you seen the arguments already?). We can stay at home like we are supposed to so that eventually life can return to the busyness we are all used to. We can make our kids stay home and help them understand that they cannot be with their friends at this time. It’s hard to make them understand the importance of social distancing (I had never even heard that term two weeks ago), but as parents, it is our responsibility to enforce those rules. We all need to step up!
And we can share Andy Beshear memes because they are the best!