Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 19, 2020
By Pat Edwards
This past week, as seniors, Jim and I began our self-imposed isolation. Jim is 80 years of age, a diabetic, and had back surgery a month ago today, so our focus has been on protecting him. Up until a few days ago, I was cautiously helping our daughters run errands for our little country store by picking up groceries and making deposits. Keeping the shelves stocked with necessities that would allow Lorane residents to make fewer trips to town was becoming more and more difficult. I took disinfectant wipes with me to use on everything I touched while “out and about,” as well as hand sanitizer.
But all of that came to a screeching halt when our youngest, who lives in Arizona, pointed out to me fairly strongly that I, too, needed to stay home. Her reasoning hit home—by possibly exposing myself to the virus, I could not only get sick myself, but I could bring it home to Jim. So, we will be staying home, as each of us should, until it is safe to socialize again.
This concept of staying home must seem very strange to our younger generations, but it is familiar to me. When we were raising our family of four kids, I made one trip to town a week to get groceries, and the kids and I celebrated by having lunch at Bob’s 19-cent Hamburgers or Arctic Circle before heading back home. Our kids played with each other and with “the Talley kids” who lived across the street, building forts in the woods, riding horses, or jumping from the hayloft in the barn into broken bales of hay. There were a lot of chores to do, inside and out, but few sleepovers or playdates in those days of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Today, even that one trip to town will be sacrificed for the safety of not only ourselves but for others. We will all have a dark cloud hanging over us, worrying about our friends and family members who are needed to serve the public in the medical field, public safety or other needed professions or those who must try to keep their businesses afloat somehow if the predictions hold true.
Creative suggestions have been offered on how we can help the small business owners from a distance. We can order takeout meals from our local restaurants or buy gift certificates from our locally-owned businesses that will provide needed income now that can be cashed in later. We can spend our time at home caring for our own yards, lawns and gardens and offer help to our elderly neighbors, especially, who are unable to get out to mow or do the same for their own homes.
This week, a close relative who is caretaking both her husband and brother—one in the hospital, needing to come home, and one who is in hospice care who she could not leave—was in desperate need of our help. I offered to pick up her husband from the hospital and bring him home. While I did that, our daughters and son took their riding lawnmowers to their home and mowed their acre of lawn and the sides of their quarter-mile-long driveway that were beginning to get out of hand. The next day, the girls brought their lawnmowers over to our house and did the same. Rob would have been there, too, but he had to be at his job.
I can attest to how much their efforts meant to not only Jim and me, but to our family member, as well. With all of the stress and worry of the pandemic and its possible consequences to our age group, the lightening of our load by getting a jump-start on our yardwork was a precious, precious gift. Just looking out over our freshly mown lawns has given us a huge lift. Thank you, Gloria, Rob, Michele… and perhaps, most of all, Kelly, who read me the “riot act” from Arizona… for caring, and being there for our family.
For those of you who have put yourselves in self-imposed isolation and are looking for something to do that will uplift your day as well as someone else’s, pick up a meal at the Lorane Deli for your neighbor who can’t do it himself; or take your lawnmower over to another neighbor’s house and brighten her day… and then reward yourself by binge-watching your favorite show, if you want.
We can all get through this together if we remain caring and respect the limitations that have been put on us in this “new reality” that we are living right now.
Stay safe and caring everyone!