Somehow, in the midst of the chaos, I’ve skipped my September post. I know why. I generally only post about happy, funny stories in my life, and in this season, there just haven’t been many of those if we’re being honest. My husband was laid off due to Covid in July, and I have more than doubled my work hours- including Saturdays (something I thought I left back on the Reservation during my floor nurse days in the Navajo hospital). So while I don’t have any hilarious antidotes to entertain you with, I do have some rather grateful ways in which God clearly showed up for us.
For starters, I am quite thankful that I was able to pick up needed hours at work so readily. While Covid-19 was the reason my husband lost his job, it was also the reason the Health Dept was crying for people to help test the public for Covid, and answer the Covid Hotline. I was able to salvage our income by doing both, rather quickly.
Also, we got a chance to test drive homeschooling. It’s something I’ve had lots of other friends do and encourage me to try. I admit I was curious, although we all know I don’t have the patience for it. But since my husband was home launching his new business, he was readily available to teach Manchild (Girlchild opted to do virtual school through her public school) in all his ADHD glory. It’s been great for Manchild, who is loving this type of learning. Unfortunately, Captain Schenanigans does not have the personality to continue his teaching career, as he needs people like the rest of us need oxygen. Once public schools in Baltimore County opens up, you can bet both Schenaniganlets will be back on that big yellow bus and the Captain will be conversing with grown-ups again full time!
I finally get to work from home. While I have always thought my cubicle based nursing job could easily be done by home, the Health Dept is nothing if not resistant to change. But there’s nothing like an old fashioned pandemic to grease the wheels of change, and get everyone scampering home to hole up. There’s been no word on opening up again, and that works for me. While I still have been going into the office weekly to close charts, not having to report on time has been lovely.
We’ve also gotten to save some funds, which is always nice. We trimmed the fat in our budget to the point that we were actually squirreling some income away. Won’t last forever, I know, some expenses can only be put off for so long.
There is freedom for this year’s holidays to look like anything we want! Since no one has a clue what November brings, we don’t feel obligated to do whatever we did last year, or the year before, for Thanksgiving. This year, we are visiting family (we already had Covid, and are banking on a few months of immunity) in their new home that we have never seen in Michigan. We’ve never had Thanksgiving with Captain’s sister before, everyone had their obligations, but this year? It’s pure chaos, so why not!
We’re all sleeping in. While we slowly all became nocturnal last spring when school closed, and then slipped into summer, we’ve had to up our game with the start of school. But without lunches to pack, library books to locate, shoes to un-knot, homework to finish, permission slips to sign, and lunches to pack, we’ve got nuthin’ but time on our hands in the mornings! We’re waking up much later, and find ourselves ready to start the school day before the school is ready for us. It’s crazy. Girlchild is totally digging this virtual school thing, since she gets to eat lunch at home and snuggle with her dog any time she wants. This Friday, she never made it out of her pajamas! Just didn’t turn her camera on. While she was dreading this year big time, she has found it to be much better than she expected. Praise Jesus! No one wants a grumpy 5th grader complaining all semester. Also, since we were getting up later, I let Girlchild enter her first barrel race competition in another county, that was a LATE night home. Twice. She was in 10yr old girl heaven!
The pets are happier. No kidding! While I work from my bedroom, both the dog and the cat push their way into the room on a routine basis, and we all take our seats for the work day. Every. Time. They love not being alone all day (and having a quiet space away from the ruckus of my children). We have probably walked the dog more in 2020 than in the other 2 years of his life combined. Lunch break exercise is now the norm.
Let’s not forget that 2020 has been the year of home improvements, across the country! Before the lay off we managed to replace our old wooden deck and separate stairs with Trex decking, created a beautiful little frog pond from an old dog pool, added a new flower bed or two, and several fruit trees/shrubs to our front yard. My flower beds have never been so full, and my garden so big, as this year when I had nothing but time (well, until July). I’ve drug home more kinds of flowers than I can count, and this year when I had a million False Dragonheads blooming wildly in Raven’s purple, I had to admit I was surprised at how they. “Uh, you kinda went into a frenzy”, Captain Schenanigans explained to me. Oh well, you can never have too many flowers I say, and next year I can take it easy.
And let is not forget the copious amounts of family togetherness times we’ve had this year. Lots and LOTS of family togetherness. While there were plenty of times this introvert longed to just be alone for 10 MINUTES, I do realize the gift I am being given here. We will never have this much time to just be together at home ever again. I’ll take it!
This isn’t all of the blessings we’ve received in 2020, and it’s been a brutal summer for sure, but these are a handful of the times I’ve noticed the blessings in the difficulties. I feel closer to Jesus now more than at any other time in my life, and that alone makes it all worth it!