Monday, March 23, 2020
Life on the Home Front: The Weekend
In which I discuss Sundays, books, and weekend life.....
The weekend has come and gone and a new week stretches before us. I feel as if we are sitting with a time bomb -- wondering if this will be the week it goes off. I know for my friends in NYC it has already gone off.
The moment that sticks in my memory from this weekend is when we logged online to join our congregation for an evening "online meet up." As each person or group began appearing on the screen I was surprised to find myself becoming teary. I think the reality of the situation was clearest at that point -- we are physically removed from these people with whom we have had weekly interaction for fourteen years now, some even twenty-six years. I don't talk much here about my husband's job -- he's a pastor. That means our congregation is like our extended family -- all these people on the screen feel like aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. And last night felt like a big family pow-wow. We all heard a report from each person/family and there was good news: a baby coming on Friday, an engagement announced. And everyone now knows how to pray for each other in the coming week.
Are you texting more than normal? I feel like my texting time has nearly doubled -- it's the easiest way to stay in touch with people and staying in touch is more important than ever. A friend sent a voice message on WhatsApp and that was fun to listen to. I should try that more.
We had a family meeting Saturday morning in which Michael went over all the Covid-19 information in great detail for the kids so they would understand the seriousness of the precautions we are taking. It's hard when one has a son who should be getting ready for prom, having his senior pictures taken, attending championship basketball games, and getting ready for graduation and an open house. No one wants the last months of their senior year ruined like this. All I can do is try to make life at home as fun as I can and then pray, pray, pray.
Today begins two weeks of "Spring Break" -- which is oddly going to look a lot like life last week. But the kids won't have to be on their computers to do school in the mornings. (But the schoolwork did help to occupy them.) Michael has made a new schedule for the next two weeks and we've decided to keep the same afternoon tea baking schedule.
I met my mom in a parking lot on Saturday afternoon for "Heather's drive-by tax service." We handed checks and paperwork through the windows and I felt oddly like I was nine years old again playing bank drive-up teller with my sister at an open window in our old Pennsylvania house. That's one person's taxes done, only three more to go.
Saturday night I got a text to check my porch and there in a beautiful bag was a book a friend knew I would love: "The Private World of Tasha Tudor." How special was that?! I decided to save it for Sunday and relish it. I read it all on Sunday afternoon. I kind of disappeared into a Tasha rabbit hole and could almost feel like I was in her garden or sitting in her house (though I wondered how it smelled with 42 birds inside and if my allergies would tolerate that???). I felt deeply inspired after reading the book, but also a longing to the depths of my soul for the kind of beauty that surrounded Tasha.
I also spent time on my bed with two of my current "book mentors": Harriet Beecher Stowe and C.S. Lewis. I'll have to talk more about Harriet some time but suffice it to say many of the circumstances in her life are things I have gone through or am going through and it is comforting to read someone else's life story and see how they got through it. I'm reading letters CS Lewis wrote to friends (in a book called "Yours, Jack") and right now I'm in the WW2 years, which are oddly applicable to our times!
I cooked a lot on Saturday: a deep, rich chili for the family, persimmon pudding, a very sweet chocolate lava cake, and banana blueberry muffins. Somehow the food seems to have only lasted the weekend, with some small leftovers today. Cooking is an energy-consuming task and there isn't much break with a family of six right now. But I'm very thankful we have plenty of food, and time for cooking as well.
Sundays are completely different for us right now. As a pastor's family, Sunday is the day which our entire week works toward (okay, that should be true of all of us, but it's especially true for ministers). Right now we can sleep in as late as we want (which is a great physical blessing for us and not something I consider to be laziness) and we can do our church at the best time for our family (which is 11am and Michael's mom comes to join us). We work through the order of singing, Scripture readings, and prayers sent out by Michael and then we watch a recording of the week's sermon. Most Sundays we have company -- for sure we have both our mothers, often we have others too. Now we just have Michael's mom because my mom must be very very careful to avoid contamination.
This Sunday afternoon after I took my rest time on my bed I pulled out a quilt top I was given several years ago and finally got it put together with the batting and backing in preparation for hand quilting. I am especially glad to have this quilt top because as a child I had several quilts that looked just like this -- made by a great-grandmother. I was very attached to them and their beauty but in our many moves they were lost. So I feel I have my quilts back again with this. I've ordered some hand quilting thread on Amazon and can't wait to get started!
I need to end this and get to work on "flower therapy" -- I never know what day might be my last.
Food Eaten: Saturday: leftover scones for breakfast, leftover rice and corned beef for lunch, Laura's shortbread for tea, leftover turkey soup for dinner (while the family ate chili). The family enjoyed chocolate lava cake for dessert and I had a piece of persimmon pudding. Sunday: fresh banana blueberry muffins for breakfast, turkey soup for lunch while the family ate tater tots covered in chili and cheese, we all had persimmon pudding for teatime and then I made leftover mashed potatoes into potato pancakes for the family with cheese and veggies and cut apples and I ate leftover scones with leftover sausage gravy and cut apples. (I have to stick to the foods I can tolerate....which is often not fun, but I am thankful for the results.)