Earlier this week I told Jeff I had a sinking feeling in my gut like we needed to go do one last top off shop before self quarentining for the most part. Tuesday he kind of brushed it off but by Thursday, the feeling was so strong and I woke up in tears twice because I just knew that time was running out. Jeff got home early Friday morning and I told him about my fears but he was so tired that I just gave up and we both went to sleep.
I got up around 2 p.m. Friday (remember, I sleep during the day due to Jeff's work schedule) and saw that not only did our governor close all K-12 schools, but also implemented even more restrictions under his state of emergency that he declared a few days ago. Then I saw that our president was also declaring and nation wide state of emergency and that was it for me. I gently woke Jeff up and told him "It's time". We had discussed that we would have one last top off trip before things shut down so this was it.
I had made a list Thursday night of the things that I knew we would need. Jeff added a few more things to it also on our way into town. Our first stop was Winco, and it was a madhouse. Frozen veggies were mostly gone, no TP or tissues anywhere (Jeff did manage to snag a package of paper napkins though) and cleaning supplies were stripped for the most part also. I'm glad we had already stocked up on most of those things. We did pick up some more fresh produce, some spices, hot cocoa mix, milk, plain yogurt, sports drinks, 2 more big blocks of cheese, bagels, frozen ravioli, pasta sauces, mayonaise, ketchup, some powdered creamer, 2 12 packs of soda (for treats for us), butter, and a few other things. Then we headed to Walmart and picked up some tissues (we got 2 multipacks) and left 4 packs on the shelves for someone else. We also got more deodorant, a big bottle of asprin, some cough drops, lunch meats and hoagie rolls. We ran into some friends there that are our kids age and they were just doing their normal shopping and did not appear to be concerned about the need to have 2 weeks or more of food and things on hand. I gently explained that we were stocking up, not just for us, but for our family, and that we were preparing to have to be at home for awhile due to Jeff's age and my health issues. I pray that they went back and picked up a few more things to deepen their pantry.
After coming home, I got most of the bells peppers that I had in the refrigerator, cut them up, and froze them for future meals. I also divided and froze some mozzarella cheese. The next thing I worked on was getting all 4 artichokes going in the InstantPot so that I could have one for dinner and the other 3 would be ready for me to reheat later or eat cold. Jeff got the other groceries put away and made himself some dinner while I worked on things in the kitchen. He offered to help me, but I told him to just go ahead and eat since he had not eaten since he got up. I had not either, but my nearvous energy was getting the best of me, so I NEEDED to get things taken care of before I could settle down.
Later, I got on Facebook and saw my friends with young children trying to figure out how to continue the learning at home with the schools closed and no plans in place yet to send home work or do it online. I researched a bunch of websites that they could use for free resources and then came up with some other ideas and shared them too. One of my friends, whom I adore, was looking at homeschooling resources, so I gave her a bunch of ideas and where to find resources and then found a science experiment book here at home that I am giving to her to use with her kiddos. She said her daughter so so excited about the book and experiments they will be doing. I was so glad to be able to help these parents who just want to keep their kids learning and not falling behind. Our schools are going to be shut down for 6 weeks at least and that is a lot of time for these kids.
I now have an odd sense of calm knowing that we are as prepared as we can be and that I have still been able to reach out and help friends with their kid's learning. I may not be able to tutor their kids directly, but I can lead them to resources, offer suggestions and be here to help them if they have questions or need suggestions. I want to do all I can for the kids in this community and for their parents. This is just my small way of helping in these rough and scary times. I also know that due to two of our kids being in the military, their leave has all been cancelled except for "local" leave if they are not needed. One of my kids will be doing his administration type job from home and I am hoping the other one will be able to do so as well. They were supposed to be going to a friend's wedding...I'm thinking that will be postponed because so many people they invited are military and this is not a good time to travel or gather in large groups anyway. I have a peace about this too knowing that they may be called up to go out and help in their community, but that is part of what they signed up for and I have to trust that they will be protected too.
I know that we, not only as a town, state, nation, but also as part of this great big world, are in for some very rough times ahead. I want to try to always remember to be kind, help where I can, encourage others, and remember that God is still God and that I have to do my part and trust in Him. Praying for all of you and for our world.