Life: One Month

It’s been one month since the night Peter and I learned there were confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our town. We live in a small community, located a forty minute ferry ride from Vancouver. So although we aren’t far from the Big City, it can feel very separate. Yet that night we knew what people were experiencing around the world had arrived at our doorstep.

This is from the Psalm I read that night:

But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord.

At an acceptable time, O God,

in the abundance of Your steadfast love

answer me in Your saving faithfulness.

Deliver me

from sinking in the mire;

let me be delivered from my enemies

and from the deep waters.

Let not the flood sweep over me,

or the deep swallow me up,

or the pit close its mouth over me.

Psalm 69:13-15

This has been my continued prayer in the weeks since. I’ll be honest, my emotions have been all over the place. There has been a lot of good and I am very, very fortunate, but even in the good there has been sadness and fear. The parade down our street for a little boy’s birthday was a good thing but sad. My girls have had fun drawing pictures for friends and dropping them off but it’s sad too because Pearl’s best little buddy lives only two blocks away and yet they can’t play together. We’re thankful for the little wooded lot at the end of our street where we can play freely but the caution tape around our local playground makes me feel like the world is ending. I feel so fortunate to be going through this in our age of technology but it’s also so weird to FaceTime with my in-laws who we normally see at least once a week.

We were on Spring Break for the first part of this, which added to the slight unrealness of it. We had travel plans within the province but decided right away it would be best to cancel them. The local government and the ferries are now requesting people avoid non-essential ferry travel and our small town, normally driven by tourism as soon as the weather turns nice, is issuing statements asking tourists to please stay home.

There has since been a fire ban but a couple of weeks ago, we built a fire at the beach near our house and cooked bannock. The girls and I had never done this before and it was a fun treat and we spent all morning playing at the beach. We even discovered a short cut so that the beach can be even closer!

Without our regularly scheduled activities, we are working on other creative ventures. We tried our hand at making apple chips in our oven and then spent quite a while playing with the apple peels. We measured to see how long they were and then made animals out of them. Pictured above left: Pearl and her apple peel panda. On the right is Pearl and I following along with a Mo Willems’ Lunch Doodle. Pearl was even inspired to make her own video. We’ve also joined in on a virtual music class each week.

Since Easter is going to look different for a lot of kids this year, a number of families in our town are decorating their windows for Easter and hiding painted rocks around for kids to find. In order to avoid crowds, it’s an ongoing activity over the last couple of weeks. I drew some simple pictures for the girls to colour in (I’m really not an artist) and we hung them in our front window. We’ve also collected rocks and sticks to paint (non-toxic) to hide around.

Peter’s backyard project is coming along nicely – a palette playhouse. “For little girls,” Rose tells me, “Not mums.”

Since Spring Break ended, Peter has gone back to work…to a makeshift office located in our bedroom. Peter has a job that I would never, ever have expected him to do from home. But now he is. It’s been weird but also nice to have him home. We all get to have lunch together and an hour is chopped off his day that would normally be him commuting. Our house is less than 1100 square feet so working from home has its challenges with two small kids but we’re figuring it out. So far, what I’ve found works best is to get the kids ready and out of the house when Peter begins his work day. That way there feels like a real transition for all of us.

I also had the girls help me make these traffic lights for our bedroom door. Since they can’t read, this works as a clear visual so they know when Dad can be disturbed and when he needs to be left alone. So far, I’ve been really impressed with how well they’ve respected the space and his time. (He did, apparently, have someone on a phone call ask if that was the Paw Patrol theme song in the background! It was.)

We are finding our rhythm. It changes all the time. We’re together, we’re safe, we’re healthy. We’re very, very fortunate. The sun shines most days. After a week or so of feeling paralyzed, of feeling unable to turn off the constant news cycle, I’m doing better now at limiting my news intake, and have been reading a lot more. I’m even a little excited to work through some of the stacks of books I already own and have never read.

I hope you each are well and healthy and finding things to be thankful about. What’s your favourite at-home activity these days?

10 thoughts on “Life: One Month”

  1. One word in your post that really warmed my heart was “discovered.” I feel like I’m discovering all sorts of things lately, including how big the yard/grass around our large apartment complex is. We discovered a trail through the little patch of woods that takes you to a billboard alongside the toll road, and Nick and I had a “billboard picnic” one day, just for fun. I’ve discovered daffodils scattered through the woods, and though I wondered why someone would plant flowers in the woods, I discovered from Amal @ Misfortune of Knowing why they are likely there. I love that you discovered a method for communicating to your girls when Dad is busy and that they respect that. Our apartment has an office space, but since I can close myself in there are be quiet, my spouse has an “office” on a card table set up in the living room. Now that I think about it, we probably should have done it the other way around, but everything on the actual desk in the office room is all mine. Now I’m rethinking things…. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Your posts always make me feel lighter.

    1. I love that – I didn’t think much of the word discover but you’re so right. It really has been a time of discovery, on many levels. I love the idea of your billboard picnic! We really are using the spaces around us in new ways.

  2. I’m glad that you’re all finding your rhythm—I find one thing that’s so disorienting about this quarantine (aside from the rising death count and plummeting economy) is that our bodies are so used to doing things at certain times and places, and the comfort of those habits are just stripped away without warning, so there’s just this feeling of being lost and unmoored. But, one month in, I’ve discovered that we’ve all settled into a new rhythm here as well.

    Also, that Psalm you shared gave me goosebumps. I have not prayed in a long time but the Psalms still really get to me.

    Your family is lovely, and I’m so charmed by the apple panda! It’s wonderful to see smiles on your faces. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you! I feel fortunate in that having small children means we have to keep a certain rhythm to our days but I know what you mean about being disoriented.

      The older I get, the more I appreciate the Psalms. Glad it spoke to you too! Take care.

  3. I’m glad you and your family are adjusting as best you can! It’s so nice that your community is still finding a way to celebrate Easter that’s fun for the kids without the crowds. Your girls look so happy in the pictures, they must really be enjoying all of the projects and activities you’re putting together. 🙂

    1. I think I love the neighbourhood Easter hunt even more than my girls do! Every time I see a house that’s participating or with hearts in the window, it feels like seeing the best of human beings.

  4. Such a nice post full of lovely things! It’s been quite an adjustment, hasn’t it? I love hearing about all the things you’ve been doing differently. The traffic lights are a good idea! My kids have been terrific about everything, most of the time. They’ve been baking and cooking and building things and painting. My oldest finished up her first year of university at home. The other two have only just started getting back into their school work. That’s going to be a struggle for one of them, I can tell. But we’ll do our best… just like everyone else! Stay well! xo

    1. I’m glad you and your family are finding things to keep busy and enjoy! I feel for the teens and young adults who are used to more independence. Our family is fortunate that the most major change is my husband working from home now. Hope you are well!

    2. That’s true… the rest of their football and volleyball seasons were cancelled. And at first it was hard to convince them they really weren’t allowed to see their friends – they thought we must be overreacting. They also tend to complain when the groceries become limited. Ha!

    3. Haha! My kids don’t really care that we’re not going anywhere but they definitely do not understand that we can’t just run out to the grocery store for every little thing!

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