Posted in Corona, Me

The Long Dry Spell

Hey People. If there are any of my people left, that is. The last time I posted was May 24. Three good months ago. Good? Long? Whatever. THREE MONTHS OF COVID-19 LIFE. Or lack thereof.

Quick Update: Jim still is working at home and will be until at least next spring/summer. I am working VERY part time–sometimes only six or eight hours in a week where I used to work 20. Laura and Bennett are at West Chester University virtually this semester and have a week under their collective belts. 14 to go! Catie starts virtually today at least through the first marking period where they will then re-evaluate. Ethan will go to Overbrook as of September 21st. My parents are back to driving, which I’m not overly fond of, but I can’t parent my parents who don’t want to be parented. And I can’t die on that hill.

So. There you have it. My bandwidth (as everyone calls it) is much narrower than pre-COVID. I’m easily distracted and am binge-reading/watching TV/surfing to deal with life. We’re back to only ordering pizza each week instead of ordering in twice a week, so at least there’s that.

Neither Jim nor I could believe that September is tomorrow. We are 2/3 the way through 2020 and it mostly feels like it has just…passed.

I honestly don’t mean this to be a downer, but I guess, like many if not most of us, it’s just HARD. Hard to do this every day. Hard to cope, to make plans, to not see friends or family or just have what used to be normal life.

I miss y’all.

 

 

Posted in Family, Me

The Sandwich Generation

Life in Coronaville continues. Jim is still employed, I’m still mostly not (before I worked 20 hours per week. Last two weeks I worked five hours total). Still, we do not NEED my salary, so I can continue to be thankful for that mercy as well.

In the midst of everything, my sister and I find ourselves starting to need to step up with our parents. My brother lives many hours away (HOURS AND HOURS), where my sister and I live about 10-15 minutes each from our parents.

My dad is 88 and my mom is 87. They have been blessed, for the most part, with good physical and mental health. A few years ago my dad had a kidney removed and he never really went back to his “old self”. Last year my mother had a hip replacement. and that took quite a toll on her as well. My sister is a few years older than me and all four of her children are grown and out of the house. She’s even a grandmother to one adorable grandson and one unknown-gender-grandchild on the way. I, obviously, am at quite a different stage of life with four still at home, although two in college this fall and another one fall of 2021. So much change coming, but not here yet.

My mother has asthma to the extent that she uses nebulizer-infused medication three to four times each day. She has not left their yard since mid-March. My father, while increasingly frail, has an independent streak a mile long, but is currently experiencing issues with his eyesight. Which necessitates my sister and me being more involved than we had been. And seeing more clearly what has changed.

As of now, I’m doing the grocery side of things–taking my dad out to their main store (he refuses to let me do it for him outright), and running to get things from other stores if they want. My sister is doing the medical stuff–taking Dad to his eye doctor appointments–even into Wills Eye in Philadelphia, which for Dad was a BIG DEAL.

A few things we’ve noticed: 1. Their world has shrunk. Philadelphia may have well been the moon for all he felt comfortable going there. Even before Corona, they mostly stay within their town and the route to and from church. That’s it. My sister lives literally SEVEN miles away (I’m six) and they feel like visiting her is kind of difficult. To get to my house from theirs they mostly stay on the same road, with just a couple of turns, so they are more willing to come my way.

2. Housekeeping is falling by the wayside. Like A LOT. They just don’t SEE the dirt (or smell it) anymore. We went over a couple of weeks ago and worked on a few main areas that they hang out in and will need to go back and help. We are working up to the idea of talking Dad into a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning service.

3. For a long time they’ve been fairly stable. They’ve had surgeries and issues over the years, but they were dips in the road. The road is starting to head downward now. They are forgetting things–mom will tell me the same story twice in one conversation. Dad will swear something happened or didn’t happen, but just not remember. A few months ago, when I went over to drive him to the store for the first time and noticed that he wasn’t just older, he was old. He looked frail. It was hard to see.

I finally called their pastor of more than 30 years. We spoke for a good bit, and he has been experiencing the same thing with his wife’s parents. He has been seeing the same things that we are seeing, although obviously not recently because of Corona. He encouraged me, which was needed, and I brought him into the loop of everything, which was also needed.

So I’m left with the question: How does one parent the parent when the parent doesn’t want or see the need for it?

Posted in Me

For Today

Haven’t done this in a couple of years!

FOR TODAY May 13, 2020

Outside my window…Mostly cloudy, windy, mid-50’s.

I am thinking…about all the things on my To Do List. That I don’t want to do. At All.

I am thankful… That we have our health and Jim is still employed. That we can financially help out others. That we haven’t become hateful in the midst of this.

In the kitchen…Depending on how today goes, either spaghetti or ordering pizza for dinner.

I am wearing… Jeans, Overbrook long sleeve tee and socks. It’s chilly y’all!

I am creating… a mess? Really don’t know how to answer this one!

I am going… to my parent’s house this afternoon to be supportive during a termite inspection. We know they have an infestation, we just don’t know how bad it is.

I am wondering… how long we are going to be in lock down. It’s been two months as fo today.

I am reading… A series by Grace Burrowes and a different series by Nancy Atherton. Depends on what room I’m in.

I am hoping… that Ethan is able to actually GO to his summer program instead of having it virtually. He needs structure and he needs to get out of our house. He’s so bored!

I am looking forward to…getting back to normal life at some point. If that’s even possible.

I am hearing…Ethan’s daily classroom time. I can hear his classmates and his teacher, but it’s sort of background noise.

Around the house… Trying to keep up with the kitchen and trying to work up the gumption to remove wallpaper. I’d rather pay someone!

I am pondering… what this summer will look like with Laura recovering from shoulder surgery, Ethan most likely home, and Catie potentially titrating up on anti-seizure meds. And me going back to work.

One of my favorite things… Sleeping through the night. Such a rare and lovely thing.

A few plans for the rest of the week… Parents house this afternoon, with UPS and the bank tossed in, EEG tomorrow morning for Catie to hopefully diagnose epilepsy, OT zoom  room with Ethan on Friday, and working from home calling our major vendors. Saturday canceling our free month of CBS All Access. We’ve totally enjoyed having it, but I don’t want to pay for it!

 

Posted in Friends, Politics

Epiphany

So, yesterday was actually stomach-clench-enducing for me. Someone I have known since I graduated high school and had been at one point reasonably close to let something be on her Facebook that was purely hateful (she didn’t say it herself, but a friend did). As in “I hope these people catch COVID19 and die” hateful. Now, I’ve hidden her posts for a LONG time because she leans towards politcal ranting. And I just DON’T DO ranting. Nor do I do politics (which I’ve stated here many times). My opinions are just that, and yours are just that and I can be your friend regardless.

Anyway, I stewed and stewed about it, because this person is a Christian. And I finally private messaged her. She basically defended the person and then went on to share someone on the other side of the political spectrum sharing something equally awful, like just because A is doing it, it’s ok for B to. After saying my piece I was silent. And sad. And thoughtful. And sometime yesterday evening I had an honest epiphany.

Friends aren’t truly friends if you have to hide part of yourself from them for fear of what they are going to say.

If I have to hide how I vote with you, you are not my friend. We may have a shared experience or much in common, but no longer are we friends. Friends can be open and honest with each other, and kind and accepting. Even, hopefully, iron sharpening iron.

This epiphany included this friend, her husband and another couple that we have been friends with since Jim was a teenager in youth group. When I shared this with Jim, he agreed.

And Satan laughs and claps his hands in delight.

Posted in Corona

His Eye is on The Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home
When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches over me

I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches over me

I just heard this sung in a movie and was so struck by the lyrics. Each day of this lock down has been different–some days are ok, some are SO NOT OK. The fact that this is the week before Jesus’ death and resurrection has alternately touched me and left me untouched. But Jesus is watching over me. He’s watching over us. He cares about the sparrows and He cares so much about us.
Peace.
Posted in Corona, Family

Waving From Quarantine

Hi to all my people! A “I hope you are staying healthy and sane” welcome to my little corner of the internet.

We’re….doing ok. Bennett works at Wawa, which is a convenience store/gas station and is considered essential-to-life. So he goes out many times per week and works many hours, interacting with his co-workers and strangers. I feel like if any of us is going to get it, it will be him.

Ethan has literally not left our home since March 13th. We’ve had a lot of yucky weather, and even on the nice days he isn’t the kind of kid that just wants to sit outside. But the next time we have a nice day, which please God be soon, I am forcing him outside to take a short walk and get some natural vitamin D! His teacher emails him lessons each day and he listens to the occasional zoom room lesson on social skills.

Laura and Catie are both doing virtual school. Laura has her college bedroom all set up in the basement. If the door is closed school is in session and we are to leave her alone. So far, it’s mostly working. Catie’s 3rd marking period ends tomorrow. And her school is still having spring break, which I SO DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

Jim is working from home full time. He has his office in the garage and we’ve mostly gotten used to it.

I’m…home. *shrug*. I check my work email because I can, and respond where I need to. I’ve gone in once to place some orders (only seeing my boss and one other coworker and we kept well away from each other). I’m not going in this week at all. I grocery shop, and drive Bennett to work, and have been to my allergist appointments (weekly) and to Home Depot a couple of times. I’m going a little stir crazy from bingeing NCIS again and playing computer games and reading, but I’m good. It’s good. We’re good.

Mostly.

Our dearest friends from our old neighborhood lost the husband’s father today from Coronavirus. That’s the first death that’s actually touched someone I know. This virus has been so removed from our everyday lives–we don’t see the deaths (or even really hear about them). This family can’t have much of a funeral, or a memorial service. They have to wait to have their closure.

Please stay safe and healthy. Wash your hands, practice physical distancing and pray. Pray hard.

Posted in Christian, Corona, Family, Money

Timing is Everything

Point A) My husband’s company gives out bonuses. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but each of the six years he’s been there he’s received something. This year was a good year.

Point B) As a family we have chosen to tithe. Sometimes it’s been hard–sometimes it’s not happened, but overall we give back to the Lord as He has blessed us. And as much as we argue about all sorts of different stupid things, we pretty much agree about our giving amounts.

Point C) We are tithing on the bonus, but weren’t sure where it should go to. God usually–not ALWAYS–but usually makes it apparent where our gift should go, so we decided to wait and see.

Point D) Laura originally had planned on doing a summer mission trip with Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru) and that’s what we were kind of thinking, but then their whole summer missions program got canceled this year due to Corona.

Point E) As of today, the governor closed all businesses that weren’t “life sustaining” (Jim’s job is part of that type of company, so we are good). People are going to really start struggling.

As I sat at my desk just now, a thought popped into my head that I knew immediately was the right choice. “Hey Jim! How about we give our tithe to the Chester County Food Bank?” He agreed right away.

Timing is everything.

Posted in Corona, Family, Job, School

Getting Whiplash Over Here

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or maybe on a spiritual retreat in the deepest part of the Amazon, you’ve heard of Coronavirus. In fact, if you are anything like me, you’re probably UP TO HERE with hearing about it! Like many, many families, we have been impacted by it.

  1. Laura is home from West Chester University. She came home for her scheduled spring break and then they extended it until March 30, when she will restart all her classes, except everything will be cyber. You know, like the past 6 years of her schooling.
  2. Jim’s company is doing mandatory work-from-home Fridays, except his boss warned him that he might not be working in the building as of Monday either. Thankfully, Jim’s job is one that can be done from home (unlike mine).
  3. Our area stores are out of TP. And water. And OJ. It’s stupid, y’all.

So, yeah. Wash your hands (sing the Happy Birthday song 2x and you’ll be good) and stay sane! And healthy.

Posted in Church, God, Me

A Quiet Monday Morning

This Monday morning it’s 6:45. One hour ago I took Bennett to work (since he still doesn’t drive, but that’s another post). Laura is most likely still asleep at college, because she doesn’t have any early classes this semester. Ethan is just getting up because his bus comes in an hour. Catie might be asleep with both dogs on her bed, or she might be awake scrolling through Instagram or whatever teenage girls look at when it’s 6:45 in the morning. Jim is in the shower, so I should probably start his coffee because he’ll be leaving for work soon.

At 6:45 on this Monday morning, life is….unsettled, I guess is the best word. And that’s actually different from what it was 24 hours ago. 24 hours ago I was getting up on a Sunday morning, getting ready for church, and processing the evening before, which was “newcomer dinner” for the newer folks at our church (that being me and Laura). Yesterday at church, though, the pastor talked about ITM (Intentionality, Transformation and Missional), which are three Peak Priorities within the vision that our church is doing for three years (this being the 2nd year). Within the Missional part there is a leader, and a staff consultant, but there is an opening in “admin”. I felt a pinprick. For the first time in YEARS, I felt a pinprick–the Holy Spirit poking me and saying HEY, PAY ATTENTION.

But people, I’m scared. I’m not even a member of this church…yet. I pretty much made that decision to become a member, which is rather huge for me. So, yes pinprick, but I kind of shoved it aside.

Then yesterday evening I read a sobering, sickening and completely horrifying article on sex trafficking, the descriptions and stories within I will likely never forget. And I prayed that, while I often feel like one of the few things I have to give at this season of my life is only money, that God would use me within this need.  Because, O GOD, this world is horrific and dying and evil and there is so much need. And once your eyes are opened, how can you go back?

And hello pinprick, remember me? So I told God last night in the midst of agonized prayer that I would follow up with the admin in Missional. What was involved? Was it even something I COULD do? Etc. And I just this moment emailed the church to ask those questions.

So here I am on a Monday morning. Unsettled. Having “regular” life to deal with–always, always–but feeling a call to do more. To use my gifts, which was my “word for the year”. I thought it would be musically. We’ll see.