Sunday, April 12, 2020

"Grief into gladness"

This morning I attended my first -- and, hopefully, only -- Zoom Easter service. We sang "Morning Is Broken," just like we do every year. Just this year, we were accompanied only by a single guitarist playing alone in her apartment somewhere across town. We each sang remotely, but we sang! Sometimes traditions are balm for the soul.

The sermon was about turning grief into gladness. Our rev admitted that these are unusual times, but reminded us that they won't last forever. Personally, I have moments of anger: I'm in isolation, in the midst of a pandemic that the White House ignored for too long. But here in Illinois, our governor and local leaders have really stepped up, filled that void and worked to protect us. We are blessed.

That's just it! I must remember how blessed I am: Comfortable in my home, healthy, with a paycheck coming on next week.

I am loved. By the people I love, and by Christ.

Right now I'm watching Jesus Christ Superstar.

It's still Easter. It's a miracle, really. It's funny, but I don't really remember details about last Easter. But you can bet I'll remember this one!

Sunday Stealing

1 – What is something you are doing due to the pandemic that you normally don’t do? After the pandemic will you continue to so this? I discovered a channel called Hallmark Movies & Mysteries that shows a Magnum PI binge every weekday. If I'm not tuned into a teleconference, I put it on. I find I remember more of the plots than I thought it would, but that doesn't reduce my enjoyment. However, when real life begins again, I'm afraid I'll have to wave aloha to Thomas and the red Ferrari.

2 - What made you happy, sad, or frustrated today? List, all big and/or small, as there may be some of one or all of these feelings! I haven't attended church yet this morning, but I'm sure that will make me happy. Especially if the livestream goes off without a hitch! It also makes me happy that I don't have to go out today at all, and that my cat Connie is such an affectionate little purr box. (She's on my lap as I answer these questions.)

3- What is one of the first things you will do when the pandemic is over? Eat out! I really miss tucking myself into a booth with a book and enjoying a meal someone else cooked (and will clean up after).

4 – Are you an essential employee or do you know someone who is? Is this affecting you in some way? I'm by no means essential! In fact, this pandemic has helped emphasize how non-essential I am! My niece is an essential. She works for a string of appliance stores and these days she finds herself scheduling service calls. After all, washers, dryers, refrigerators and ovens go on the fritz, even during pandemics, and people need them more than ever when they can't go out. I don't worry about her, though. She's part of a skeleton crew in a massive office building, so it's easy for her to social distance.

5 – What are you doing to de-stress during this stressful time? I find talking to my friends helps a lot.

6 – Have you tried any new recipes during this time? Please share your recipe if you want to. No new recipes for me. No old ones, either. For example, my special solo Easter feast will be the filet I splurged on. I'll toss it onto my handy George Foreman grill. The sides will be courtesy of Boston Market.

7 – Have you always lived where you do now? If not, how did you wind up in the place you currently live? I have lived in this community my entire adult life. I love how diverse and inclusive it is.

8- Where is the last place you visited on-line? Facebook

9- What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you? "You are an exquisite friend." I try.

10 – Tell me about the last photo on your camera (phone or real camera or both!) It was of Easter baskets. A local organization hosts resale events to benefit local charities. Their doors are shuttered, and will remain so for weeks to come. Instead of packing up the Easter decorations they'd hoped to sell, they put them out on the lawn. There were baskets of plastic eggs and a sign that said, "Help Yourself!"  I thought it was so charming. 

Here's hoping your Easter is groovy and outtasight. 

"I hear you!"

Reynaldo helping me with work
On my way out to the dumpsters, garbage bag in hand, I ran into my neighbor from across the hall. He's a very nice man. It was good to talk to him (and touch elbows instead of hug).

But we were distracted by the yowling coming through my closed/locked front door. Reynaldo wanted me back inside ... pronto!

It's taken me awhile to get into the rhythm of self-isolation. But Reynaldo adapted to it instantly. He loves having me home.

I worry about what happens when I have to go back to the office. He'll probably go back to his destructive ways. I mean, he misses me and gets rambunctious when I take the garbage out!