Last week, prematurely I know, we pulled the patio furniture from the sunroom where it wintered. We needed to make use of every possible inch of the home we already felt was a bit too small. Still too chilly for much living space, the sunroom became a makeshift greenhouse, where my husband and son planned and planted seed starters for the raised beds they intend to build this summer.
Having retrieved the dusty seed trays, arranged the warming mats, and planted all manner of vegetables I was grateful for this newfound space and the different type of learning it afforded. Both sides of our family enjoy gardening – some vegetables, others flowers. Watching my guys pore over the Burpee catalog and then employ technology by visiting a square-foot gardening planning site was terrific.
Then, I awoke this morning…to a snow-covered deck an odd contrast to an image of our deck that conjures memories of sunshine and cookouts. I left for work and noticed this tiny Iris shoot, poking up through the snow. I admired its determination. I feared a bit for its future. I had faith that it would weather what was sure to be a temporary storm.
Today, at work, I joined my colleagues to stuff 150 sacks with various maker materials that we intended to make available for families to pick up tomorrow. However, in anticipation of the shelter-in-place order from the governor, we shifted into high gear and made them available by noon.
Through our social media outlets and the power of partnerships in sharing this message far and wide, every. single. sack. was gone within a matter of hours. What’s more, before the final sack was retrieved, we already had students and families posting videos/images of the creations their children fashioned from the items! While I was skeptical about the true need for these materials and whether families would be interested, the few times I checked the cart only to find a kiddo running back to the car eagerly clutching their supplies warmed my heart.
From work, I braved the grocery store to collect items we needed for the coming week. While definitely not hoarding, I have been purchasing more given that four people at home for the entirety of each day means a bit more munching, some stress baking (and eating), which means we’re going through more than we would in a typical week.
Once home, my crew met me in the driveway, collected the groceries and had them put away when I came inside from snapping this second image. Talk about many hands making light work! In an effort to control potential exposure, I hopped through the shower before the four of us headed out to enjoy the now sunny evening. Kids longboarded ahead of us, and we made our way around the lake, stopping here and there to take in a view or laugh at silly jokes.
We followed the walk with a live living room Garth Brooks concert, which aside from minor technical difficulties, was a sweet way to spend time with my guy listening to a great performer given that we missed the Detroit concert a month ago because of a death in the family. The night rounded out with goulash for dinner (oddly, one of my favorite meals – perhaps due to the familial memories tied to the very person we lost last month, my sweet Gma!), and introduced the kids to a Michigan card game – Euchre!
Much like the differences that can result throughout the course of both typical and atypical days, this second image of the same Iris sprout from a slightly different angle reminds me that if we hold onto faith, maintain the course – albeit a decidedly different course than we originally charted – the we too will weather this storm and eventually bask in the warmth of — dare I dream? — an even brighter future.
This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community. While the goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March, distance and busyness made that reality less possible. An unexpected positive twist to the COVID-19 pandemic — the cancellations and recommendations to socially distance — means I have more margin in my schedule to write.