Tag: pandemic

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 9, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 9, 2020
By Pat Edwards

“Week” 4 of lockdown is proving to be much improved thanks to our beautiful blue skies and warmer temperatures. As I go out each day in shirt sleeves, and wield the shovel in my flower beds, it’s hard to imagine that we are surrounded by tragedy and that in other parts of Oregon and the nation, thousands are dying. It’s hard to glory in another beautiful spring when we let our minds dwell on all of the news articles that come out daily on the tragic events affecting so many families. We need those reminders, however, to give our self-imposed isolation meaning and a sense that we are indeed doing what needs to be done.

Something that hits very close to home this week is that the rest of the school year has been cancelled for our children and teachers. It’s a necessary step in trying to keep a lid on the pandemic’s march, but the far-reaching consequences for our high school seniors, especially, are hard to imagine. For most seniors, this 12th spring of their elementary and high school educations puts them in the spotlight with the exciting prospects of the high school prom, final track, baseball and softball seasons, followed by possibly a senior trip and the biggest reward of all—graduation. Most will still graduate, but, as of now, there will be no ceremony for parents and friends to attend; no mortar-boards flying in the air after diplomas are handed out. Instead, unless our school districts figure out a way of holding these ceremonies in the summertime, their diplomas will be delivered to them by mail. It is my hope that the school districts, with perhaps the help of the communities involved, will make sure that these seniors have their proms and their graduation ceremonies once the need for self-isolation passes so that these important milestones are not lost to them. Jim and I would gladly donate to these projects if funds are short. I think a lot of parents, grandparents, and hopefully, community members and business owners would, as well.

Until that time, however, we need to continue to make the most of each day. Many are finding that working in their gardens help; some are taking on home-improvement projects; others are finding ways of making and sharing needed medical supplies or working on crafts that will help to uplift our spirits. The ones in essential services are sacrificing their own safety by providing us all with comfort and aid in our daily lives so that we can continue to live our lives in isolation.

For the past few warm and sunny days this week, besides wielding my shovel, Toby, BB and I have been taking short walks up our road and back. Because we live at the bottom of the hill and our walks take us uphill to start out, my back has been complaining a lot, but it’s a pain I’m willing to bear because it’s one that will eventually level out as my stamina returns after an idle winter. It’s kind of like the effects of this pandemic on those of us who are isolating… If we can hold up to the inconvenience and pain of lost wages and having to be apart from our loved ones, we will come out of this whole experience stronger, prouder and maybe even a little more respectful and tolerant of each other.

Stay safe everyone!

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 2, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 2, 2020
By Pat Edwards

“Living in the Pandemic, Week Three” is leveling out a bit for Jim and me. We’ve developed a routine and, as I imagine most people have by now, we’ve had a chance to adjust to the many changes in our lives that have occurred in such a very short time.

I’m enjoying seeing the surfaces of my counters and furniture that I have access to once again now that I’ve gone through and taken care of the clutter that had been hiding them. I’m not known for my housekeeping routines, but I’ve been rather restricted from doing a whole lot these days because 5 rooms full of furniture and other items have been rehomed to our living room and dining room since early January. It was determined that our roof had been leaking into the walls on the backside of our house for quite some time without our knowing about it. The five rooms (2 guest bedrooms, our utility room, the guest bathroom and our family room) have been opened up and fans used to dry out the affected walls, but the repairs won’t be done until a whole new roof has been put on the house. The process of coming to terms between the insurance company and contractor has been a long one. Fortunately, we have full access to our kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom, my computer room, and a small section of the family room where Jim’s recliner and big-screen TV is located. As a bonus, the utility room where our washer and dryer are located can still be accessed even though there is plastic covering the missing drywall along the ceiling. We’re still living that particular “adventure” I told you about in an earlier column.

With only my trips to town to make the store deposits at Selco’s drive-up window and Jim’s quick runs to Lorane to pick up the deposits at the store and to order a cheeseburger lunch from the Lorane Deli on Tuesdays, we have settled into our home routine without distress.

Of course, our lives have been home-based for quite some time, but not to this extent. Jim’s doctor’s appointments are now conducted over the phone and, the other day I set up an app on my computer where I can upload Jim’s diabetes data recorded by his electronic sensor so it can be analyzed by his endocrinologist and discussed over the phone. Our medication refills arrive by mail as they always have, too, so there is little reason to go into town now, thanks to our family who is making sure we have everything we need.

With the rainy weather, our days are free to do inside whatever we feel up to each day. How Jim can sit and watch the same TV shows all day long, though, is beyond me, but he’s content. I haven’t been able to focus on any major writing projects so far, so for me, when I’m ready for some quiet time, I’ve been working on jigsaw puzzles which I’ve always loved, and I’ve actually enjoyed the nap I frequently take in the afternoons after mornings spent washing dishes by hand, cleaning surfaces, doing laundry and keeping up on email.

Our two dogs and two cats are loving the extra attention they are getting, too. When I settle into my recliner in my computer room for a nap, there’s a competition between Toby, our small blue heeler dog, and Jo-Jo, our very social and loving cat, to see which one will settle onto my chest first for naptime. If Toby wins out, frequently Jo-Jo will jump up anyway and park himself right next to Toby. He will then resist the nudges and calculated shifts that Toby makes to dislodge him. At those times, I usually give up on taking a nap.

I have no doubt that many who have been much more social are finding these quiet days extremely boring, but I’m also hoping that the optimists among us who haven’t experienced a slower style of life for many years, if ever, will learn to enjoy these quiet times, too. I’ve felt for many years that our lives have gotten so frenetic that many people who have never allowed themselves to really relax and enjoy each day will find their stress levels, heart rates and blood pressure readings have decreased.

There are positives in even the darkest situations we find ourselves in. We just need to look for and appreciate them.

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 26, 2020

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 26, 2020
By Pat Edwards

We are in the midst of “Week Two” of the pandemic self-isolation and, for Jim and I, it is “so far, so good.” I’ve found plenty of projects to keep me busy and our yard and home are the beneficiaries. Last week, two of our neighbors and I took advantage of the beautiful sunny days, and were able to complete the much-improved flower garden at the entrance to our neighborhood along Territorial Road. We kept a distance between us and since we are all seniors, we drug ourselves home each day to soak in a hot bath or allow our aches and pains to abate as we could, but along with the aches was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

When the rains began, I chose one major spring cleaning job to do each day that I don’t do on a daily basis. One day I cleaned my refrigerator; another, I took down the shades and window valances from our bedroom windows and cleaned them as well as the windows and sills. Another day, I decluttered one whole room, deciding what things I would keep. The things I had no use for at the moment went into the St. Vincent de Paul box and the rest was tossed. I still have a lot more to do, but staying busy helps to keep my mind off of the pandemic and the isolation.

I’ve also been thinking about more long-term projects that will allow me to focus on what could be this year’s 2020 Groundwaters anthology. I recently wrote an email to our previous contributors and other writers in my mailing list with this proposition:

It occurred to me that this might be a perfect time for all of us to begin writing in earnest to help take our minds off of health issues and fears. During this time, we would like to set up a section in the next issue of the Groundwaters anthology where we can include our experiences, thoughts, hopes for the future and anything else we wish to express at this time. Our writing might include love letters to our family and friends or advice to future generations. Because our world has so vastly changed in the last few weeks and months and we are surrounded by so much doom and gloom, we’d like our stories and essays to be as positive, thoughtful and upbeat as possible… but we also want them to be honest. Knowing that we are filled with so many emotions, we realize that political and religious opinion may enter into our writings—they are definitely a part of this experience—but we ask you to keep these things respectful, knowing that not everyone shares the same beliefs and ideologies…

For those of you who enjoy writing, I encourage each of you to keep a journal during this time. Record the things described above and even if you don’t want to submit them for publication, keep them for your family and your descendants to read. We are living in unprecedented times in our modern history and what we are learning and experiencing now may impact our lives and that of our family later on.

Each of us must find ways of being productive and/or finding satisfying means of living our lives during these days of confinement. Some generous and talented people are making masks and gowns for local hospitals; others, as one of our writers offered, “are staying balanced in our self-confinement, having slow, quiet days punctuated with nature walks and creative dinners.

family timeThese people are honing their sewing and cooking skills, playing family games with their children, working in their flower beds, cleaning house, taking walks… and at the end of the day, there is still time to sit back and quietly read, listen to music or watch movies or stream favorite TV shows. Take advantage of this much-needed time to reflect on how important these things can be in your life if you take time to do them… and remember them when we finally enter the “post-pandemic” days, however far down the road they may be.