Our Stories: Such a different time. We have never had times like these

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By Anne Young

How often have we heard these statements over the past three, nearly four months?

Charles and I, as official retired senior citizens, spend February each year in Florida. When we returned home from our month down south, it was time for the annual Medicare physical.  News was spreading that a pandemic had hit our country. I asked my doctor if the Coronavirus was a real concern. She stressed that the virus absolutely is very real and horrible, as well as deadly, and instructed that Charles and I should begin sheltering in place. Charles has COPD with emphysema and relies on oxygen during parts of the day and at night. We are both over 65.

We began the process of stocking our home with groceries and other necessities. When I went to Walmart and saw people checking out with one or two buggies filled with groceries and especially paper products, I was shocked. Not believing that the pandemic would last long I didn’t buy any extra paper products. Big mistake!!

Charles spends his days in the yard carefully and lovingly preparing and tending his flower beds for the spring and summer. Charles loves his flower gardens. The plants and beds respond with a gorgeous array of color, from golden to coral, blue, purple, yellow and many shades of green. He weeds, dead heads, prunes, waters and fertilizes.  The results are stunning!!

I tease Charles unmercifully about how often he mows the lawn. He will cut a section today and another section tomorrow, stretching the task to about five days to complete our entire yard. He simply loves sitting on that machine and perfectly manicuring our few acres. It is not uncommon for him to come in the house with a new project in mind. Lots of energy, that man!!

Cleaning out overfilled drawers, closets and cabinets has been my primary task and, quite honestly, so much fun! I have found wonderful trinkets, family photos, letters, poetry, messages written by my children and grandchildren and artwork galore. What beautiful memories these treasures bring.

We attend Madison Baptist Church and haven’t been in the actual building since early March. The staff is incredibly creative and resourceful and we now watch services on Facebook. It is wonderful to have organ and piano music, a Sunday School lesson, special music by instrument and song, announcements by our precious Renae and sermons from Dr. Sapp. We love sitting in our sunroom looking out at nature while hearing God’s Word and song.

Throughout our amended routine, we have enjoyed taking car rides around Morgan County. We have been astonished at all the changes occurring. We have seen gorgeous new homes with incredible landscaping and new businesses that we hope can withstand COVID-19.

Our challenges have included a broken and dead dishwasher, burst pipes under our kitchen sink and a broken ankle. We have hand washed and dried our dishes, taped the pipes and gone from an Ace bandage to wheelchair to a boot. 

Every day brings blessings. Ours have included time to be creative, new recipes, reading and FaceTime with our Texas grandchildren. We have celebrated birthdays and Mother’s Day long distance and had a wonderful dinner at a social distance under our carport with Darla, Dan, Dustin and Abby on Charles 82nd birthday.

Charles has been remarkable with and for me. He has babied me for eight weeks, washing dishes, changing the sheets, vacuuming, mopping and helping me care for myself. This is on top of his usual chores. I must admit he is enduring my grumpiness over not being able to get things done myself. Charles is a Godsend and I am thankful.

There are cows instead of horses in our pasture now. There is nothing more exciting and beautiful than the birth of a calf and then watching it romp around with its playmates, kicking up and running as fast as it can, then turning and quickly rejoining its mother’s side. 

Our yard has been overrun with birds of all kinds. Cardinals are my favorite as I believe the brilliantly colored dominant male is my daddy visiting me.  We have wrens, sparrows, blue birds, titmouse, doves, hummingbirds and others. We have watched them building their nests and seen the babies hop out and take flight.  What joy!

And we went fishing!!!!! We’re still enjoying the bass we caught. Yummy!!!

We have regrettably had to cancel a family trip to Texas and camping with our friends. We have been unable to see very special friends who are sick or in the hospital or have lost loved ones.  I cannot imagine how hard it must be to be separated from spouse, parent or child or to grieve without family or friends.

So, finally we have found paper towels!! We have gotten hand sanitizer, paper napkins and wipes! Yahoo!!

The country is beginning to open again, although we continue to shelter in place to protect Charles. 

We are thrilled that we will soon see our Texas and Savannah families!  We will get back to traveling for long weekends with our camping club. We can finally get a tour of Dustin’s new house.

We look forward to hugs, kisses and simply touching. That’s what I have missed most of all.

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