Earlier this month, I received a lovely card from my cousin Carolyn. We don’t see each other often, but she frequently sends cards with thoughtful, hand-written messages. This one was perfect.
Someday (after we say, “strange, uncertain, and unprecedented” a hundred more times), hopefully we can look back and see some silver linings and rainbows.
I’ve heard before, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Lemons are one thing,
but when life gives you crazy cancellations, online classwork, cabin fever, and time away from…well, everything, we need more than lemonade. In our corner of the world, I know that several have lost jobs, businesses cannot remain open, libraries are closed, and schools are not open again until fall. College and high school graduations have been cancelled (or delayed), and many spring events are simply not going to happen.
So where are the “silver linings and rainbows”? As Carolyn suggested, I do think we’ll recognize them more clearly when this becomes a chapter in our history books. Even in the midst of a pandemic that we’re still coming to terms with, there are indeed bright spots! How so? Let’s take a look…
· I get to see my daughters, juniors in college, more than once a week! Previously, T.R. saw them throughout the week, as they both have jobs on campus near his library office, but now I see them throughout the day. I hear about their classes and projects, and I am also able to share in their feelings of loss. But I do enjoy being able to hear the remote chapel speaker each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10 am, broadcast via Instagram. (I finally installed Instagram. It only took a quarantine to bring me forward a bit more with social media.)
· Technology truly is amazing. When I was young, I remember the cartoon “The Jetsons,” when George Jetson would press a button, allowing him to see and speak with somebody at a different place… telephones were real, even cordless ones, but a personal phone with a video screen to also? Never. …until more than a decade ago when my personal cell phone could “Facetime.” And now, our daughters and other students around the country can use “Zoom” to glean face-to-face lessons from instructors. And on a personal note, our writing group, “Writers’ Bloc,” can still meet. Our weekly gathering was usually around a table, but here we can see faces and share feedback via this online tool. And an even more important issue is solved at our church. A gathering of a few hundred people isn’t supposed to happen during pandemic season, so UCC has very effectively transitioned to Livestream services during this brief (we hope) season. Church members are sending photos, and chatting or sending emails to our pastor to share their thoughts. (or dropping by small a bag or things for his children’s message)… these have made me smile. I will look forward to days ahead when he’ll gives one of these lessons from the floor near the pulpit again, as kids give random, unexpected responses to simple questions. (Mark’s straightforward replies to these are golden, and I agree with our associate pastor that he should publish a book of these.) Last week’s sermon was very timely, “Live in the present! God holds the future!”. It tied in well to the post-Easter reflection of the apostles’ responses to life after the resurrection.
· I hadn’t watched late night TV in years, and though I still don’t, our family has been enjoying Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show, Home Edition.” Taped by Jimmy’s wife (Nancy) on his cell phone, with a little help from their two young daughters. We’ve also enjoyed other quarantine-specific shows, like John Krasinski’s response to the somewhat depressing daily news. His weekly SGN, “Some Good News,” doesn’t just tell of good things, but he helps make them happen. Last week’s episode involved an online prom, and special guests were a big help, giving students around the country a way to experience a Prom experience while social distancing.
· It’s spring, so the bulbs we planted one autumn are blooming! Loving family members have snipped daffodils and tulips for me to enjoy. A couple days ago, T.R. and I were even able to take a stroll outside with Knightrider, our first such walk for almost eight months. (His back is recovering nicely after his October surgery.) I loved being outside, particularly with T.R. and Emily! (Rach was inside finishing homework… she has a tough semester, not simpler with classwork online.)
· From our sunroom window, we have a nice view of our little corner of Upland. Two bird feeders, attached to our window via suction cup, allow us to view the interactions of finches, sparrows, cardinals, and even mourning doves
who decide the field guide was incorrect in calling them “ground feeders.” We also see other critters from our window, and as we viewed a squirrel using our fire pit table, T.R. snagged and narrated an adorable video. It became his first episode of “Wild Upland.” He is using this new series of his to learn about posting to YouTube, and to enjoy area wildlife on his daily walks. (Episode one was filmed from our back window, but two was filmed while he was on a walk. Others will come also, one posted each Saturday morning. New quarantine challenge, and he’s had fun with it, as we are both fans of nature shows. (Two episodes are there now, a third will be posted this Saturday!)
So what to all do presently? I think it’s time to make lemonade. You’re welcome to enjoy a virtual glass – there’s plenty to share.