PUBLISHED 18Apr2020: Yesterday I got an email from a long-time reader and pen pal who always has good things to say. Her name is Anita, she lives in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, and I asked her about her life under the COVID-19 lock-down. You’ll find her entertaining and insightful answer below. I share it here with Anita’s permission in the hopes that it will bring a smile to your face and, perhaps, some useful insights for your heart and mind.
Anita from Red Deer writes. . .
Well, our new normal here is pretty standard for most. Hiding out as much as possible, making the occasional grocery run, getting out for a walk ….
For us introverts, content with our spaces, able to stay productive, busy, creative, useful on our own, and maintain deep relationships, low-key, as we always have been, the confinement is not as stretching as it has been for our Beloved-Gad-About-Extrovert-Counterparts who, within a day or two of being “locked up” were going a bit batty. Goofy stories abound. And you’ve likely seen hundreds of Covid Funnies of all sorts now, coming across social media, covering EVERY aspect of our mandated confinement.
I figger that by the time we’re allowed to come out of our caves, we may all be quite hairy, warty, wrinkled, pale, and stinky, to blink in the sun and go …”Huh ? …. What IS that bright orb I see … ” like moles crawling out of our holes after a long lonnnnng winter. But. Wait. Moles are blind.
Alberta has just recorded its coldest April on record. Oh My, as if we don’t have to put up with enuf “usual winter” as it is. Plunging temps, plugging in our cars again, lots of ice, snow-rain, dark, hard wind. Perfectly nasty. On the “up” side though, I wonder if it’s not God’s Gift to help us stay inside a bit more during this time. Who Knows …. ?
My pod (family and friends and extendeds) are all healthy to this point, thank The Lord. I’ve done some grocery pick ups and drop off for others more confined.
Yesterday a BRIGHT sunny warm day, and many of us found a place to walk, visit at a distance. Good stuff.
In the meantime, most of us are killing long overdue lists of indoor chores, or learning a new language, or deep cleaning … purging. All good and useful. I’m spending more time writing short life-stories, poems, songs, for they just seem to keep on tumbling out this past year. Strum guitar and sing a lot too.
My lifestyle has always been simple, so haven’t suffered the loss of material things, nor a fancy life. I grieve for sooo many of our brothers or sisters … the warning was out there at least 20 years ago, that Canada is the biggest user of plastic in the world, creating a culture of lies in that regard – buy now pay later – and so many have been groomed up to think it’s okay, it’s normal to have it all, and just pay the minimum amount required to keep up with it all. The Piper Will ALWAYS Come To Call. And it’s devastating for some that life and work could fold up so quickly in this manner.
But I’m cheered by the good reports of people finding themselves … family time … becoming creative resourceful… learning how to make bread … finding out how LITTLE we need to live fully … if we are people-oriented and minimize the stuff and fluff accumulated as “normal” these past 60-70 years.
And — Government Mandated HomeSchooling ! 🤣 That’s the funniest, most ironic thing EVER ! 😄 😱
The first two weeks of it I was getting irate at the news, wanting to holler at the TV, while leaders of factory-education and community groups were launching all sorts of ideas to “help keep your kids entertained!”
While I GET it, for that’s what we’ve created, I wanted to yell Stop It Stop It !! We’re not called to entertain ! We’re called to prepare, equip, train up for a lifetime. Surely, a family will always have “fun” together in all kinds of ways through the years, but “entertaining them” for a lifetime? Nah ! But — That’s what we do now.
I wanted to publish a piece then, and didn’t, that would simply encourage these dear young parents to — if they haven’t already — teach their children to make beds, clear tables, dust, scrub toilets, make basic meals, garden, learn to paint a wall, make bread, look after baby, quietly read a book, sew, learn basic tools like hammer and screw driver and pliers,, look to see if Mom and Dad need help with anything, or a brother or sister … and quit being so Me-Oriented … that ALL these basic skills are needed for a lifetime of Clean-As-You-Go kind of functional living. The “Duhhhs” of life.
All these decades there’ve been myriad ways and places to toss your kids out the front door to be educated, looked after, made to “feel” happy, by a zillion surrogate others, programs, teams, schools, clubs, after care social gatherings so you can “make friends” …. annnnd…. SUDDENLY … all this is back under the Family Roof where, indeed, all of that was family normal, doing and enjoying, all the centuries before this last foolish century of entertainment and me-first-ism. Of parents not parenting.
Missing factory school for a few weeks or months does not put a dent in a child’s future, in The Big Picture. But that truth will be realized more, once young parents look over their shoulders at this. A child who can read can self-content, self-teach and learn sooo many things. Even keep up with School Work. Wow.
The fact remains that folks have lost jobs and businesses, income, ways of life. Tragic for sure, a shocking way it’s all folded up so quickly with fear all around us, for good reason, given this deadly virus.
So it’s good to see folks getting creative … plowing on in one way or another. With humor. There’s MUCH good happening in the midst of trauma, terror. And MUCH good to come, to rise from the ashes of this fire.
Bit By Bit.
Once the Re-Set button is found, all will be different. But MUCH will be good … better, wiser, kinder, and, hopefully more frugal, less dependent on stuff and structures. I for one, wish I still had my country home, where there was large fuel tank, generator, a slough, ponds to get cruddy water from, to pour into a Big Berkey that stood ready if needed … gardens to grow food in, bright views to lift the spirit, birdsong … rainbows … and QUIET. SO much easier to have some control over life, food, function, safety, when in the country.
Oh. Good. Grief. You’d think someone handed me a soap box, and I climbed upon it, and here I am delivering a Ted Talk …. or something …. to a stranger down east in Canada …. who I only know by reading his amazing weekly column …. Hahahaaaa !!!
Okay. Have climbed off the podium …. Finished.
God Continue to Cover You And Yours … keep safe, healthy, sane … for the days to come .
Keep up the GREAT Columns, Mr. Steve.
Anita In Alberta