Every (roll of White) Cloud Has a Silver Lining

While part of me is still kinda embarrassed about our national attempt to ward off disease with extra toilet paper and maintenance on the Kennedy Center, I have done my best to discern some available positivities, and I think I’m on a roll.  Bad pun intended. 

First, while considering how awful I initially believed hoarders to be, I also had to consider some of those people may have had a sense they were about to be out of work, and wanted to buy some things while they still had money. I can live with that. 

I am one of those people. Not a hoarder, or totally out of work, but currently burning through savings­—earmarked for something else—to keep the lights on. When I think about the people I could (or should) be helping, I don’t even know where to start, so I’m still giving my regular amount to my church, plus a bit more. I hope and trust that they know people truly in need, and are good stewards of that trust.

One thing I don’t see happening, and I’m glad of it; there have been no long lines at the gas stations. Of course no one is supposed to be going anywhere, and it’s unfortunate for Texas that oil prices dropped, but at least it is one less thing for people to fight about. How many other national or global crises in my lifetime have warranted hours-long waits to fill up? 

On the home school front, I am the world’s worst teacher. Not only am I irritable to have my whole family in my workspace all day, my “student” is 180 degrees different from my academic strengths. Thank heavens he is a math whiz because common core looks like The Matrix to me. Still, he struggles with reading and writing and, since that came naturally to me, I was only really *taught* how to be a better writer in college. I have no idea how to teach him to comprehend better in elementary school. God bless his real teachers! (again)

Then again…how glorious to wake up when we feel like it, watch cartoons in my big bed for a half hour, have breakfast together, then spend two to three hours on the work those treasured teachers provide for us. Taking a walk or a bike ride together for P.E., painting rocks for the neighborhood scavenger hunt for art class, writing letters to homebound, distant relatives for keyboard practice—allowing us to think of the people we love all day. 

On that note, I lost an uncle in Virginia (for a different health reason) and would never have been able to afford to go to the funeral. But since there wasn’t a funeral—because no one could go—we had a 14-household Google meetup, across six states, that lasted two magnificent hours. Wouldn’t trade that for anything.

I have also spent exponentially more time on Facebook in the past month. What used to be a largely bitter, despairing flow of ugly politics and humble-bragging is now a source of out-loud humor, spiritual strength, solidarity, and near-universal outreach of beautiful thoughts and photos. (On a side note though, stay away from Twitter. Not sure why, but people are still ferocious over there.)

I don’t have any universal wisdom, really. Just recognizing that I have no control over anything; but when did I ever? My job, and only concern, is to worry about today…feed my family, do the work I said I would, and stay healthy. And pray a lot for the deciders who have to figure this stuff out. 

Farmers and ranchers are still doing what they do and I am many, many days away from my last can of food, so I am appreciating the sense that my generation is finally getting an opportunity to show our mettle. I’d like to think that when it comes to passing the test, we’ll have more to show for it than complaining about whose fault it was. I want 2020 to be the time we all helped each other and, when the time came, strapped a community-powered defibrillator on the economy. 

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