weathering the storm

This is a page out of Life Volume 1:

In times like this and when there’s nothing else to do but shelter in place, the only thing we can do is find some way to replace thoughts with action. Otherwise, we run the risk of losing our sanity.

I was thinking about Mom’s famous mashed potatoes. I was thinking about the brown gravy and her fried chicken cutlets and the messiness of it all, which was actually beautiful. Nothing was ever as good as mom’s cutlets and mashed potatoes. He breading on the cutlets was perfect. The mashed potatoes were whipped with a cake mixer, which made them soft pillowy with just the right amount of butter.

Although I may fall short of Mom’s perfection, times like now call for dishes like Mom’s special prize.
I say this because the ingredients are everything. I offer this idea because the attention to detail takes away from the moment at hand. Plus, food is nurturing. The idea that we feed ourselves and feed each other well in times like this is absolutely the best idea to heal.

Some of our ideas might have to be slightly altered, which is good because we have technology. Face time and video calls are a great way to see the face of people we cannot see in person right now.

I have this memory of a hurricane when I was young. This was the first time I ever experienced anything like this. I was in grade school. My interpretation of a hurricane was shaky at best. I was small and afraid but I was reassured that everything would be fine.
I knew all would be fine because Mom told me, “This too shall pass.”
Everyone around us was boarded in and staying as safe as they could. We all knew something was coming but no one knew how bad the storm would be.

We lost power, somewhere around the first hour of the storm. Everyone was home, which was a rarity. The Old Man was always working but not on this day. He stayed around for a while. Mom was home and my brother Dave was home as well. We were all together.

I can’t say that I remember much but I can say what I do remember is all of us were at the dining room table. We were eating together and playing a game of Trivial Pursuit, which of course, I had no idea what any of the answers were because I was too young.
I’m not sure how long the power had been off, —maybe it was off for a few days. What I am sure of is I recall when the power came back on. It was nighttime. We were at the dining room table and the lights came on. Naturally, everyone was happy. I was happy too but there was a piece of me that wished we finished the game.

These times are strange times without question. My answers to this are rather than fight the feelings and give into stress, find something to replace thought with action.
Find something that brings us together. Whether it is preparing a meal, finding a board game, writing, creating art, or reading, which is always a good idea, the end result is we cannot and must not give in.
If you know me now then you know me well enough to get in touch with me whenever you need to. I will be checking my messages.

In fairness and full disclosure, I do not know much about the coronavirus. I don’t know how long this shelter in place will last.
I don’t know how long it will be before we see the people we miss the most and hold or hug someone without any fear. All I know is that I cannot give in or allow anything to take control of my sanity.

I received word just now that my crew at work is reduced to 50%, which means I am at work every other week until we ride this storm to its finish.
I know this is frightening. Same as I had no idea what to expect during my first hurricane, I have no idea what to expect during my first pandemic.

What I do know is solidarity defines us and panic will separate us.
In times like this, keep it together. Find a way to replace thought with action. Respect the social orders of your community, stay safe, and above all, stay healthy.

We will ride out this storm together. I admit it though, it would be nice if Mom was around to say, “This too shall pass,” and offer us all a plate of her cinnamon toast. I’m pretty sure she would make us all feel better.

I will keep this short today. 
Stay safe and above all, stay healthy!

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