Friday, April 10, 2020

Covid Journal

The last few weeks feel like several months for most of us. We have lived a lot of different emotions, even those of us who have been largely untouched. I almost feel guilty when I think of how peaceful these weeks have been for me and the people I love. 

I think of how hard this would have been if this stress would have been heaped on us last spring when we were losing Ed. Then I pray for those who are in hard places, losing a loved one, making medical decisions, feeling overwhelmed with everyday pressures...and then this.

I don't want to minimize the suffering, by talking about my life. But for those of you who have kindly asked, "how are you doing?" I scrolled through the pictures on my camera to find out what we actually did in these weeks that we'll forever remember with the Covid label.

Mid-March found us in North Carolina. My oldest brother and his family spent a month coordinating work groups rebuilding homes from Hurricane Florence. We joined them for a week, along with my youngest brother and sister. My boys worked with my brothers helping people like this one, move from the camper where they've lived for 18 months, into their repaired home.

The girls found ways to keep busy. 

We stayed at a migrant camp on a blueberry farm, and the children delighted in the spring weather and grew layers of dirt. 

A week spent with cousins was far too short.

By the end of the week, we were hearing unexpected reports of school closings and large group bans. 

We planned to spend the weekend at Ed's sister Jean's house. We always love our times here and this was no exception. But Covid cut our visit short. 

Schools closed in Pennsylvania by the time we were home, but that didn't change much for homeschoolers. But when spring arrives, everyone is ready to be done. It was hard getting back to the books after a week's vacation in North Carolina, except for my eager kindergardener who loves learning to read.


I'm glad staying at home connected with nice outside weather where we could enjoy things like the first burger of the season.

We had been given the game Pandemic for Christmas. Now it felt a little too real. But I love that in this game, the players have to work together to try to beat the game. 

Staying home means more time for music making.

On our first Sunday without church, we visited the reservoir where it wasn't hard to practice social distancing when we were the only vehicle in the parking lot.

My boys have spent weeks carving wooden spoons.

And practicing on their new unicycle.

I love sharing books and have dreamed of having a home library. After public libraries closed, I offered to share books with my friends. They sent me an idea of books they liked, I selected a stack of books to pick up on our porch. So far 136 books have walked out our door.

I call them essential.

I'm very sorry for those who have lost their jobs, but the stay-at-home order means my youngest brother is spending most of his time at our house working on projects like replacing the drywall on our bathroom ceiling.

Our woodshed is nearly full thanks to my oldest brother and his boys who cut and split word at their place, my dad who hauled it to our house, and my boys who stacked it. 

My daughter will forever remember that her 16th birthday came days after the stay-at-home order. The weather cooperated to celebrate with a campfire even if we couldn't have a big party or get her drivers' permit.

The next night we celebrated a new teenager.

Our local hospital acquired thousands of N95 masks which needed elastic. I joined some ladies from church at the medical center to stitch and socialize over sewing machines.

Last Sunday afternoon we hiked a few tough miles on the Appalachian Trail to reach Chimney Rock.

This week my brother is fulfilling a long-time dream by helping my sons build a cabin in our pasture. 

I love that they are learning many skills by working with my brother.

We've had to cancel plans and ask questions we never dreamed. (Should I wear a mask when I shop for groceries?) We pray for our government leaders who make impossible decisions and medical workers who risk their lives.

But on Good Friday, I'm thankful for a foundation that doesn't change. Not last April. Not this April. The gift of salvation won thousands of years ago gives unchanging peace today.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15)


  1. GINA TODAY AT 1PM AND TOMORROW AT 3PM IS THE PLAY OF JESUS. YOUR EMAIL IS INVALID thought id msg you here to know about it.

  2. Where do you go in NC? I've lived in NC all my life. I'm on the NC/VA border. I'm very familiar with Chimney Rock , etc in the western part of our state. I love reading your blog. Blessings this Easter weekend.

    1. We were near in the eastern part of North Carolina. The Chimney Rock I mentioned is near our home here in Pennsylvania.

  3. keeping you all in my prayers. Sue

  4. I love seeing all your pictures. You are staying very busy. The children are growing so fast.
    Hope you have a wonderful Easter.

  5. Beautiful pictures and times with your family, Gina. Thanks for sharing this upbeat, refreshing journal.

  6. You are one busy lady doing lots of things with your family and doing things "for others" I always enjoy reading your blog :)
    Last evening we took some fresh made fruit salad to three people ...One who is an X-prisoner (dear friend of ours for the past 7 years) and the other couple are friends also. We just visited a few minutes on their porch and came home. Keep writing !!

  7. This was a very encouraging post to read back on! It gave me new ideas for keeping my children stimulated and busy. I enjoy your blog with its theme of victory and joy, very much. If we have salvation, we are richly blessed regardless of what happens in this life. Please keep writing! : )

  8. I love your "life" posts! Thank you for sharing! I always get so much inspiration and so many new ideas from your posts.

    Normally when I read your posts, I have my library tab open so that I can look for all the books you mention at our local library. However, with our library now closed, I am frantically scribbling down book titles in a (very, very long) list, preparing for the day when our library opens once again.

    I too have a first-grader using CL's Learning to Read program!

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. I LOVE that you are using your book stash like a library! I also like that you keep a robust selection; it's helped me cut down on guilt about the size of my own collection. But I have wondered how you manage storing your books? I am fascinated with where and how people shelve books in their homes...just in case you need an idea for a future blog post. :)


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