|Betty needs a haircut!|
That crazy lady photo in today’s column is me—needing a haircut! And today’s column is a rambling description of the new Shelter in Place lifestyle that we’re all living.
I agree with Tom Hanks who said, “There’s no such thing as a Saturday anymore. Every day is just today.”
In this pandemic era, every day seems like the one before. Time is running them all together. News flashes are constant and contradictory. The government rules to protect us from the coronavirus often change from day to day. The truth is that sometimes, I am overwhelmed knowing what to do and when to do it.
Do I agree with the need for restrictions?
You bet I do! Anything that keeps people from catching COVID-19 and saves thousands of lives is a good thing. I support the rules wholeheartedly.
But do I like the rules on a minute-by-minute, day-by-day, week-by-week basis?
Nope. Not at all. Especially when it means staying home 24/7.
At first, staying home and sheltering, didn’t bother me. I could find plenty to do around the house (organize photos, clean closets, sweep the garage) and a weekly search for groceries kept me busy (and uptight) at the stores.
I learned how to wear a mask and gloves while shopping and to stay six feet away from other shoppers and neighbors. I made hand sanitizer and use lots of hand soap while washing my hands and singing “Happy Birthday.” Until now, I never knew how often I touched my face. Now I know not to do that!
But…once the food cupboards were full, new recipes tried, and phone calls made, I tired of cleaning house and I missed driving into town, entertaining my friends, going to church and visiting my favorite Eugene haunts.
Boredom started setting in. And let me tell you, it’s not easy to get bored around my house. There’s always something to do. Six manicured acres of rose bushes, vegetable gardens, trees and meadow grass will keep you busier than a bee. Just trying to keep the weeds from taking over the property is exhausting. It’s also not fun and I need fun!
Between the cold, blustery, rainy days and our advanced ages we limit the time we spend working outside. A couple of hours and it’s back into the house to catch up with emails, phone calls, texts from the kids, laundry, bills, naps, reading or TV. That’s it! Day after day after day.
Fortunately, Chuck and I are used to working together and that’s a good thing! He likes to help—on his terms. And my idea of household chores is way different from his. An example: He’s still surprised that doing the dishes includes cleaning off the stove and counter tops every day!
So sometimes a little togetherness feels like too much and I’m sure he feels the same way!
Shelter in Place at our house includes us and two Dachshunds. And right now we’re all feeling stressed and a little claustrophobic . The dogs sense our agitation and can’t settle down. They walk around whining for attention or sit at the back door barking to go out and chase a squirrel. They quickly come back inside and start all over again. It’s a merry-go-round.
But last week, I had a revelation. Everyone was in the kitchen. The dogs were sitting on their cushions in front of the French doors, guarding the property. I was gathering ingredients and putting together a spaghetti sauce for dinner and Chuck was making doggie meatballs.
As I looked around, I realized that while the house was eerily quiet, everyone was at peace. We were safe, happy and healthy. “Aha!” I thought, “This new normal is working.” But it was almost too quiet. So I went over and turned on the TV so we could all watch the depressing morning news while doing our part to shelter in place.
So, yes! We can do this! But…I'm sure looking forward to a haircut!
One final thought: As we mourn all of those who have lost their lives in this pandemic, we do not know what the future holds for us. Our future is limited by the guidelines we’ve been given. Cooperation is a good thing. Our job is to trust those making decisions.
They are literally a matter of life or death.
Please join me in praying regularly for those who have COVID-19 and those who care for them: healing, endurance and peace for the patients; wisdom, compassion, energy, rest and protection for first responders and medical personnel. Also, for the virus to stop spreading and the researchers to create vaccines to prevent it.
And one more thing—let’s all be grateful for our blessings. Looking at some parts of the world we know that it could be worse.
Can I get an Amen?
Contact Betty Kaiser’s Chatterbox by email firstname.lastname@example.org