Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. Helen Keller
I don’t usually comment on current events or situations, but I thought I’d do a little reflecting on the current situation that is occupying everyone’s minds these days. With the craziness of people hoarding toilet paper or buying twenty pound bags of rice and beans, I’d like to add a few of my own thoughts on the matter
We live in a 140 year old house. I often think about how many chicken dinners were cooked in the kitchen. How many people have passed through the doors over the years. That the former owners lived without electricity or central heat or running water and some of that wasn’t really that long ago. They boiled their clothes in a tub outside. When we first moved here, there was an outhouse in the backyard. Although we removed it, it sure would have been handy when the kids were little so they didn’t have to come in the house to use the bathroom.
Our place is about twenty-five miles from the nearest real grocery, not counting the local dollar store for bread and milk. This means we keep the cupboards stocked a little better than most. But we also grow a pretty good sized garden which helps.
The power goes out once in a while when a storm has knocked a tree onto the lines. We’re prepared with oil lamps (yes, you can still buy those at farm supply stores), or kerosene heaters, or a camp stove. We don’t have to use those items often, but they’re handy. When Hurricane Ike rolled through the Midwest in 2008, the power was out for five days. Fortunately it was summer so we just opened the windows and “pioneered” it. Our teenagers took off to stay with friends when the batteries in their devices ran down. My husband and I enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Although we’re both retired now and don’t have to go anywhere, we’ve got plenty to occupy our time. Clean up after-winter debris and prepare the garden for planting. Finally get around to cleaning those attics. Painting, of course. Plenty of reading material. Go fishing or biking or hiking.
We still have electricity and running water. Really, folks, I don’t think those things are going away during this crisis. The factories are still making toilet paper and food deliveries will still arrive from the warehouses. Be patient and put things into perspective.
I have people from all over the world who follow this blog. Many are not so fortunate as we are regarding supplies and medical resources. Let us be grateful for what we do have. Many of you are working from home or have restricted activities. Why not take this time to enjoy your families? Try a new recipe or two or ten. Pretend you’re on Chopped and see what you can concoct just from your cupboards. Spend some time with your kids or significant other. Write your memoirs or plant some seeds. Call your parents. When was the last time you talked to an old friend? Now might be a good time to catch up. Try a new hobby, particularly if you already have the equipment sitting in the closet or basement.
Maybe we can all view this time of uncertainty and turmoil as an opportunity to reset. Turn your faces towards the sun and feel the warmth.