Pandemic Movie Night

Before COVID times, we got together with a group of friends every month to watch a movie, share snacks, and just chat and connect.

Of course, pandemic restrictions have completely shut that down. We initially couldn’t figure out how to get together with people, and we put movie nights on hold along with nearly everything else. But at Christmas, we always watch A Muppet Christmas Carol on our movie night. It’s usually such a joyful evening, with kids joining us as we watch this excellent and familiar movie, sing along, even quote along. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Bike Selfies 3

The pandemic rages on unabated here in the US, with no prospect of improvement — and that means I continue riding mostly alone or with Dad. And that means I continue taking bike selfies to prove to myself I’ve gone places.

In this edition, Dad and I took one excursion to Whidbey Island. You’ll see several pictures from there. Also in this edition, you’ll see more sunsets and evening shots as days get shorter and my after-work “commute equivalent” rides stay at the same time but change from late afternoon to evening rides. Continue Reading >>

COVID Music

Brain complexity fascinates me. I like how different senses trigger different memories. For example, whenever I eat cinnamon rolls, I think of my Grandpa Archie, the first person I ever saw make cinnamon rolls from scratch — and he was blind, so he did it all by feel and from memory. When I listen to Hampton String Quartet, I’m transported back to the table, strewn with flash cards, textbooks, and notebooks, where I spent hours studying for calculus finals in the basement apartment we lived in my sophomore year in college. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Still at Home

Working from Home
Working from home.

I don’t want to minimize the challenges of staying home — those remain. But, looking on the bright side, I’ve been able to take advantage of the occasional nice weather by working outside a bit. It lets me keep Benji company while getting a little bit of work done.

Laundry Line
Taking advantage of sunny weather.

I also took advantage of the sunny, breezy weather and being home all day to hang our sheets out to dry in the back yard. I love the sunshiny smell and feel of sheets hung to dry.

Pandemic in Pictures: Camp in a Box

Back in May, Ian and I made the difficult decision to not send Benji to in-person YMCA camp this summer. At the time, COVID cases were slowly but steadily trending downward and things looked better all the time. Even so, we opted for safety (in retrospect, a very good idea) and signed up for the YMCA’s new “Camp in a Box” day camp option.

Now, for six weeks starting this week, the YMCA provides us with a box of supplies and activity instructions. Twice a day Monday through Friday, Benji participates in a Zoom call with camp counselors, who play games and do activities pertaining to the week’s theme. The rest of the day he can choose what activities from the box he wants to complete. Most require little adult intervention after he gets started. There are usually two main activities per day: One thematic activity, like making a superhero cape; the other just fun and interesting, like making a straw rocket. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Communion at Home

Many things have changed since COVID-19 became a reality in our lives. One is church: How we do church, who participates, and what it looks like. Over the weeks our church has slowly evolved to a Zoom-based format. This week we took communion for the first time since Stay Home, Stay Healthy started.

Communion at Home
Not the traditional elements, but the spirit is true.

For me, the few minutes we spent hearing those familiar words — this is My body, broken for you… — and taking the elements brought me closer to a sense of community than I’ve had in months. I thought about all the Christians all over the world still doing this in all their different ways, and all the Christians over time who have done this in innumerable different circumstances, and for a moment I saw us as a tiny part of a huge group joined by bonds deeper than just physical proximity. And I felt, in that moment, that we were together, more than just our church, but all people who love and follow Christ. It blessed me. Continue Reading >>

Coronavirus Conundrum

Angry coronavirus.

This is going to sound a little crazy, but up until now, the pandemic hasn’t forced many difficult decisions in our life. Yes, we’ve faced inconvenience — not seeing coworkers in person, having to figure out what to do with Benji while we try to work all day — but by and large we’ve not had to optimize between, for example, earning a paycheck and staying home. I continually remain thankful for the fact that we can “just” shift gears to follow the state and county health guidances without impossible choices. Continue Reading >>