From Behind Closed Doors
I’ve been diligently practicing my physical isolation. I see Dave every day. He leaves the house for work every day, and is still healthy, so all is good.
I’ve been seeing the exterminator more often than I would like. We have mice. We also have no cats, so I have to rely on Brad.
I see the delivery person at ShopRite regularly when I pick up my grocery order.
That’s about it.
Early in the shut-down, I stopped by the church to pick up time cards and bills (yes, church bills still need to be paid, and I am privileged to pay our outstanding staff who have continued to keep things going).
Pastor Jason was walking by, and he asked how things were going. I laughed and said my life really hasn’t changed much.
We introverts have been training for something like this our whole lives. I have fewer meetings than usual. The few that I do have are being done online. My computer doesn’t have a webcam, so if I want to, I can even attend online meetings sight unseen. All my rehearsals and performances have been canceled.
So, I have some extra time, a wide-open calendar, and a relatively unchanged life.
I’m not sure yet how the hairstyle is going to grow out.
Let us all take a moment to promise that there will be no judgments about anyone’s hair until the salons have been open for at least a month and had the chance to catch-up.
Even though my daily life hasn’t changed much, I do find that I have slowed down. I used to relish having several days in a row with nothing scheduled. But then I felt rushed to get as much done as possible during those few days.
I don’t feel the need to rush anymore.
I know that I have lots of unscheduled days coming up. So instead of trying to get an entire project done at once, I’m now comfortable working on a project for 15-30 minutes and then going on to something else.
In the world of time management, I don’t know if that’s the right way to do it, but it has made me feel more relaxed and like I’m actually getting more done.
I’ve been able to get almost all the food I need. Grocery store orders have mostly been to replenish our milk and juice supplies.
I know in times of natural disaster that milk, eggs, and bread are the first things to fly off the shelves.
I find it amusing that the thing I’ve had the hardest time getting is chocolate chip cookie dough.
I have a black thumb. There are two plants that I have managed not to kill: an aloe vera plant, and a Christmas cactus. The Christmas cactus must know that something is up this year. It’s going through a second blooming, just in time for Easter.
My neighborhood association has held an Easter egg hunt for the last several years. When it started, my boys were too old to participate (and it was on a Sunday morning), so we’ve never participated.
This year’s hunt was canceled. But they invited people to put stuffed animals in their windows or outside where they would be visible. Bingo cards were created so that the children could walk around the neighborhood and see what they could identify.
Given the Halloween traffic to my house, I didn’t know if anyone would actually come by to see it, but I set up a small coffee party on my front porch.
Dave noted that it was both cute and extremely sad, all at the same time.
The National Museum of Jewish American History in Philadelphia holds an annual Freedom Seder. It was something that was started between the Jewish and Black communities following the death of Martin Luther King.
This year, for the first time, it had to be done virtually. When I saw the announcement pop up on my phone, I decided to join in.
Freedom is a significant focus of a traditional Passover Seder meal. So it made sense for the two communities to begin to come together and explore stories about freedom.
A few things that struck me from the stories:
Freedom means no fear.
Our lives are interwoven; no one person or group can have total control.
And a reworded phrase which will make sense for people of all faiths, or no faith:
Next year ... together.
(The seder can be found at here.)
Have a safe, reflective, and meaningful Holy Week and a joyous Easter.
~ Ann Iona Warner
P.S. Please join us online for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening Holy Week services, and a Sunday morning Easter Service. Zoom meeting and dial-in information are provided on the St. Stephen’s website, and through email announcements. If you are not already on our email distribution list, please sign up here.