Tag Archives: COVID-19

Learning to hold it loosely

I believe we are all learning the fine art of holding things loosely. In the pre-COVID-19 world we would have been leaving over the weekend to go visit our kids and grands in Ohio.  The goal was to help out our son finish off a new bedroom and bathroom in their basement for their oldest daughters in anticipation of the arrival of a new baby due in early June.

We were really looking forward to not only being able to help, but to just spend some time with those kiddos.
“Stay at Home” orders meant we had to let go of those plans.

After that we’d planned to head off to our May SOWER project in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, where we were looking forward to working with SOWER friends that we hadn’t seen in a while.
But using an ‘abundance of caution’ our ministry has cancelled all of our May projects and asked us to shelter in place if possible. We’ve had to let the pleasant thought of working with friends go.

So far our June project is still on, but like so many  small businesses, our ministry partners are struggling too.  All retreats and activities have been cancelled through April, and many through May. Even Summer Camping Programs are in question. No one can really say what June will look like, so whether or not they will want us to come is still to be determined. We don’t know what June will bring.

And then there’s July. Last summer we scheduled a big family reunion at The Cabin for the middle of July. Everyone was on board, and plans were in the works. Way back in early March one of our sons asked if I thought this coronavirus thing was going to impact The Reunion. Of course not, was my firm reply. It’s way off in July! And yet, here we are in mid-April and July is looking just a little bit iffy. Oh, it’s too early to tell, and we are certainly moving forward with plans…..

but we are holding those plans loosely.

Perhaps these are lessons we need to apply regardless of a Global Pandemic.  I’ve come to be believe that holding our plans loosely is what we are called to do –

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
James 4:13-15

Yes, that.

Almost there

Because I am essentially married to a Super Hero, we’ve made some good headway on our Electric Crisis.  With the new inverter on order, Gary got to work changing the wiring to bypass the malfunctioning unit. So the good news is that  we have our outlets back (i.e. microwave, TV, etc.). The bad news is without the inverter the house batteries (remember all our 12v lights) are not charging.  We checked out purchasing a battery charger to hold us over until the new unit arrives, but at a cost of almost $100, it seemed more economical to just run the truck for a spell each day to charge up the batteries. Oh, and be very prudent about turning on (and off) lights!  Imagine my delight when I remembered that I had a small desk lamp (the kind you PLUG IN!) stashed away in one of my storage bins!

Voila! A little mood lighting!

In other “Shelter In Place” events, we ventured out to the laundromat today. We stuffed everything into one jumbo washer, pressed any buttons with our knuckles or elbows, and brought it all home to be folded. I think it was probably our fastest laundry run ever! (Unfolded laundry may or may not still be on the bed.)

Amidst all of the uncertainty of these days we still have so much to be thankful for! Yesterday I spoke with all of my kids and got to hear first hand how they are all dealing with jobs and kids and life in this new (temporary) normal.  They are well – and we are well.  Thank you, LORD!

We are resting in His Grace to be sure!




Today’s header photo is from our drive in Alaska (2009).  =)



Doing what we can

These are crazy days, aren’t they? For us the disruption in our routine is fairly simple.  We are parked in an isolated area in our little house and with only the two of us to feed, even our trips to the supermarket are few and far between.  Given our age we are in that ‘vunerable’ demographic, and Gary’s asthma puts him at even a higher risk, so we really are taking this seriously.  While we do not despair of these things, we long to be able to help in some way.  Since we have no community ties (and will be changing communities soon anyway) it’s been hard to find a way to plug in and be a help and encouragement to others. So when my doctor nephew said that the family practice where he works was running low on face masks, I jumped at the opportunity to help!
Dr Mike
(Yes, he is plenty old enough to be a doctor!)

The cutting board and sewing machine came out, and the production began!

Although I had plenty of fabric (must’ve been saving it all for times such as these!), I did run out out of elastic for the straps. Thankfully, back in PA, my sister scored 40+ yards at her local dry goods store. I also had a pretty sorry collection of twist ties to use for the nose-shaper-thing, but a sweet SOWER neighbor had a great supply of brand new ones!
Aren’t they beautiful???

After a couple of prototypes I settled on a style/technique,
and got to work!
By the time I had to put the sewing machine away to prepare for our move, I had a sweet stack of 25 –
Elastic ready, reversible and reusable. They are on their way to Pennsylvania for their last bit of assembly (where needed), and then on to the doctor’s office for use.
I know it’s just a drop in the bucket, but still and all I’m honored to be able to contribute in some way, regardless of how small!

Stay safe, friends!