Like many of you, my past week and a half has come with much upheaval to adjust to. Hourly new information had us changing course and fighting fear, panic, mass TP purchases, as well as food and income concerns. We had to make daily decisions on whether or not to bring our son home from college in Anaheim and finally elected to fly him home and abandon his dorm belongings with the hope of getting him home before a mandatory quarantine or domestic air travel shut down. At the same time we've been watching the virus and it's effects travel across Europe and hit Paris where my sister was teaching. With Tuesday's noon lock down announcement we breathed a sigh of relief for her 10am flight, only to find out they could not board all passengers as flight attendants were unable to or unwilling to fly. Mercifully both she and our son made it home Tuesday night and the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport was our family's happiest place on earth.
Despite these concerns maybe like you, I thought I was doing pretty well. I wasn't glued to the TV, I was actually relishing the idea of having our family of 5 all under one roof, a slower pace of life with no commuting, activities or athletics to scream off to. I still wouldn't have to home school because thankfully the schools were all going online. (Thank you Jesus!) And, because we're a military family, our sources of income are pretty stable under the circumstances and comparatively to others. I was leaning on my faith like never before and I felt solid. It was all going to pass, be O.K., and I was more than willing to do my family's part to social distance and protect the health care system from overload.
Then I did it, I had to go shopping. I mean we needed our weekly groceries and with all 5 of us, it's a bigger shop than usual, plus wisdom was saying pick up some extras just in case. I had my coffee in my travel mug, my patience pants on, and had decided that I was going to smile, be relaxed and keep calm. Into the first store I went,-it was the first time I saw it: the empty shelves, the confused shoppers, those trying to hide their anxiety with determination in their step. I felt the invitation to join the show with every step and had to continually do a heart-check. I'm ok. We're all o.k. There will be enough. You will not leave us or forsake us.
I went on to store number 2 on my list. It was getting toward mid-morning now and the daily White House task force briefing was on and shoppers were definitely more agitated, masks were on, fear of being to late to the grocery game was etched on faces. It began to sink in. This may be the last time I get to shop for my family for a long time, online orders or pick up pre-packed essentials might be all we get. (Confession, I kinda hate grocery shopping, the pushing the cart, the schlepping home, the unloading, the GAH!, I forgot the one thing I went for!) But at this moment I was struck with the privilege it is to meander the aisles, select the shade of green or yellow banana that I want, look over the apples and choose the pink lady instead of the gala because it looks fresher today. Grab that extra treat for my family to surprise them, or watch someone struggle to reach the green onions on the top shelf only to realize I forgot to put green onions on my list, thank you short person for the reminder. That heart check was getting harder to fight off. I mean I would never have thought a few days ago I would have had my last sit down restaurant stop for the unforeseeable future.
Time to buck up for Costco. next. I only wanted rotisserie chickens to freeze and an extra block of Colby cheese. I parked the car and paused with renewed vigilance to stay calm, trusting in the Source. I opened the car door to a sweet as sugar sound,
"Hi! Want my cart? I just disinfected it!"
"Ahhhuumm, yeah, thank you!"
"Sure, and do you need a box?"
" Um yeah, I can put my chickens in there."
"That's what I just did!" "They just took them out of ovens, like just now, perfect timing!"
You know its funny that chickens, a cart, and a box can just make your day. I was in and out of Costco and on my way home with everything I set out to get... and then some. If that was my last shop for a while, I sure won't forget it.
I have no idea what the next few weeks will bring, how many more heart-checks I'll need to fight off the challenges, fears, and new realities popping up constantly, but my Source is always there giving me the head nod and wink...stick with me kid.