On April 9th I got my 2nd Covid shot. I waited two weeks per CVC guidelines, and on April 23rd, I was free of Covid at last. Before I write about the things I’m free to do, here are two ways Covid helped me.
Gratitude – Covid took so many things away, but it gave me back two important things – time to write, and time to work on sleep issues. They’re both important to me.
In October I started polishing 4 manuscripts. I worked on them every day from 12-4, unless I had appointments. I kept my sleep times the same on 6 out of 7 days. That helped me to stabilize and learn to control it. Now as I reopen, I’m grateful for my year sheltering in place.
1. Shopping - Maskless! I limited my shopping during this long year of Covid, especially last spring. That’s when I went out for groceries and supplies. I made targeted trips, picking up only the things we needed. Covid took away the joy of seeing faces, especially on kids.
Now I’m free! I’m still shopping less, but I love being able to walk in without my mask. I feel free. I can smile, and people see it, and they usually smile back. Kids are back out again. Some in masks. Some without. Either way – I’m happy to see them.
PS – I’m shopping less than I was before Covid, but my husband is happier about that.
2. Eating Out Again! It’s one of my favorite things to do. My husband and I have gone out TWICE since our 2nd vaccine kicked in.
June of 2020, almost a year ago, was the last time we were inside a restaurant. We were helping our daughter and her husband move to Texas. We live in Ohio. Most of the time you can’t eat outside. It’s too cold.
Eating out after a year of takeout is glorious! The food comes out at the perfect temperature. When you carry-out across town or down the highway, the food is usually lukewarm to cold. I’m so happy to be out, about, and seeing people again. I especially appreciate the restaurant staff – they make eating out a pleasure!
3. Going to Church! The last time I went to church was in February of 2020. In March we traveled to Texas for my granddaughter’s baptism. When we got back, things were beginning to close up for Covid, and we didn’t return until this April, 2021. It’s great to be back. I’m actually kind-of OK about getting up early (I’m not one of God’s early birds! I’m one of his night owls.) The best thing about returning was taking communion again, receiving the bread and wine, the body and blood of Christ. As I took it that first time, I hoped it could make up for my year without it.
It was good to see our church family again. We’ve been members for about 26 years, and our kids grew up there. I told Pastor I was glad to be back, to be out of Covid jail. He gave me a funny look, but I think he understood. Everyone was masked, but it was good to see them again. The saddest part was discovering one of our friends lost her husband in February. I didn’t know, and I felt awful. Covid has taken away so much, and now I’m glad to be taking my life back again.
4. Back to School Again! I missed seeing teachers and kids this year. I finally had my first day subbing again. I was so happy to be back, to feel the energy of young children. I was in 4th grade teaching math, science, and social studies. I love talking to kids, getting them to think, helping them figure something out, but it wasn’t all sunshine and joy! YIKES! Fourth grade math is tricky! They were doing a review, and I had to work HARD to figure out the right answers. I think I did, OK?!
Inside everyone was still wearing masks. I’m glad I wore mine in. I only took it off for lunch and recess. It cracked me up that a kid reminded me to take it off as soon as we stepped outside 😊 Kids can be so sweet! I was glad to be outside, watching them in their natural habitat, having fun with friends. We’ve all been worried about Covid losses, as we should be, but those kids were so resilient. Some things don’t change. Thank goodness!
I loved watching kids and their boundless energy, seeing footballs fly across the playground, or a little girl telling me how someone was hogging the slides. Some things never change! I thought it was funny she told me, not the 4 classroom teachers standing nearby. Kids know who’s the softest touch. The best part of the playground– blowing my whistle again! There’s no place like school, and I’m so glad to be back!
5. Visiting My Mother in the Nursing Home – It’s so much easier and more comfortable for me to visit. This isn’t me or my mother, but it’s closer to our new normal. Over the last year we’ve visited through glass, through plexiglass, or socially distanced at 6 feet apart.
Now that we’re both vaccinated, I can visit her room. We sit in chairs facing each other, like we’re sitting across the kitchen table. We pass things back and forth. No waiting! Her favorite – my cell phone – that’s where I have the latest pictures of the Texas grandkids. I’m still masked, escorted in/out, but it’s better. I’m looking forward to June and getting back to normal.
6. Visit My Texas Grandchildren – I haven’t held my granddaughter since her baptism last March. Now I have a new grandson to meet. We’ve all been vaccinated so I’m ready to travel west. I want to hold the baby, maybe even change a diaper. I want to play with the toddler, read her a story, do grandma stuff, but toddlers have minds of their own. I hope I can charm her like the 4th graders from the other day. Fingers crossed!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!