Thursday, March 26, 2020

Finding Our Routine

We have been quarantined at our home for about 3 weeks. Lizzie had shingles for the first week which kept us home before the pandemic was announced. The first week we adjusted to being home together again. Mostly doing yard work and cleaning up our property. The second week we started to investigate what our homeschool options might be (waiting for the schools to make decisions and send out announcements), and settling into not having any schedules outside of the house. This third week is finding us more at ease. We are all feeling less anxious and finding the pattern of how we will all live together,

We are blessed. Our home is large enough that we have a lot of room to spread out. I feel this is important to note because this is a luxury and I don't want anyone to think we are doing any of this in a small home with no property. In my effort to be more authentic this is relevant because I don't ever want anyone to feel they are less because they are not coping or doing better by reading my words. When we decided to buy this home we wanted it to be large enough to extend rooms to those who may need it. We have reached our capacity with my oldest daughter renting a room from us, as well as, her friend and my sister. This is wonderful, especially during this time. We have so many helping hands, adults to help with chores and schoolwork, and a community filled with laughter and chatter. As long as our renters are not working they will not be paying rent. I feel this is extremely important at this time. We are all hoping their jobs are there when this is over, but nobody really knows what will recover and what won't. Cory and I have decided to alleviate the stress of rent. In return, they are all helping around the house. Thank you!

Cory is still working. He has worked from home for many years and this will not change. He is still able to provide for our family in all the same ways as before. This feels weird. We are seeing so much loss around us and yet, we are still maintaining (for now). This is giving us many opportunities to give back to our community. We have donated sleeping bags and tents to the homeless in our are. We are providing food for those impacted by not having jobs. We are sharing our eggs. I have spent the last few days contacting local farms and fishermen to order our meats from them. We are trying to use all local small businesses to carry out our daily needs if there are any. They have all delivered to our home with the greatest care of social distancing. I am making masks. We are trying to do our part.

We are working steadily on our garden. We are trying to grow enough food to share with 5 families. This will be more work but we feel this is a need we can help fulfill in our community and with our neighbors. I am learning a lot, quite quickly, about growing seeds, compost, and planters. We are reusing and repurposing a lot of trash to make them into small greenhouses and seedling containers. We are sourcing, again from local farmers, starters to help with this process too.  We are learning to use wood ash from our fireplace to help and benefit the garden. We are using all of our old coffee grounds to help the garden too.

Our dishwasher died a week ago. At first, it stressed me out, but then it was a blessing. We were able to reach out to our local friends who own a furniture store and buy one. They will deliver it today at the bottom of our stairs and we will install it. Cory took our old dishwasher apart three times trying to fix it. He learned a thing or two about installing dishwashers. LOL Our kids are learning to minimize dishes, to rinse, and to wash. All the things I did as a stay at home mom for my family. We are all helping with the workload and it feels amazing.

The homesteading pull is real and has been for many years. This is just reinforcing all those years of feeling this was a part of who I am.

Homeschooling. Oh, where to begin. I never in a thousand years thought I would be homeschooling again. EVER. Here we are though. The strange thing is, Cory and I have been talking about homeschooling for the past three months. Nothing long term, just for 3-6 months so we could travel and take the kids on the road (remember we lived in our motorhome for one year with our older kids). We want to do this again with our younger two. I started researching and seriously thinking about my options, and BAM! Just like that, here we are. I'm not sure I like how the universe forced me into a decision I was already making for myself (wink, wink). Anyways, our schools have chatted with us very little about any future plans. Cory and I understand this huge burden but I would have liked to have seen a little more from our area. When we reached out to the teachers about any type of work, we were told they are not allowed to issue anything until further notice. Now, keep in mind, I am not a school fanatic with my kids. We will be unschooling with an emphasis on reading, writing, science, and math, BUT I think the kid's moral would have been lifted if the teachers would reach out a bit more to the students. JUST MY OPINION. This is all unchartered territory for everyone involved.

We officially took our kids out of the public sector for the remaining year. If they go back it will not be until January of 2021. Again, this is not because of the pandemic. We were already planning on taking Sept-Dec 2020 off to travel the US or overseas. This event just pushed us into this decision sooner than later.

NOW, WHAT? Well, I feel good. I was nervous at first, but the last few weeks have been really good. Especially watching Isabella and Finnley working together. The homeschooling will work out because the three of us have made some decisions together of how we will move forward. We will all help each other and work as a team. If this is all we learn, then I am okay with that.

As our daily lives continue to evolve and unfold into new routines. I am seeing a change in our home. People are more relaxed. We are building great bonds.

Our bay across the house is CLEAR!. This is the first time in 5 years we have looked down from the road and been able to see through the water. I can't begin to tell you how happy that has made us feel. This stopping of the world is allowing the Earth to heal just a little bit.

This is the silver lining I am choosing to take away from all of this. Our families and the Earth needed something to give, and this might be what makes us stronger and awaken to what is important. I dread the loss of life. I hate to see the sorrow and pain from around the world. It breaks my heart to think this event is altering so many lives and causing pain. Emotionally, I can only confide to myself, that this is the yin and yang of life. We must give and take. This virus is giving and taking. Both are a blessing and a trial. Both are painful and joyful.

We will each interpret the meaning and understanding of what is going on around us a little differently. Years from now the take away will also be different. For now, I am trying to record my thoughts and experiences. It is through a collective response and outpouring that we will learn from all of this for future events and understanding. The changes that are taking place are palatable. I can feel it. This is why I am writing so much more. I want to be able to read my responses and thoughts years down the road. I am too overwhelmed to remember everything. Writing helps. 

Have a great day, despite this pandemic. We will rise together stronger and smarter.


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