The quarantine days continue as well as my thoughts concerning the outcome and income of this seemingly imposed trial to our country and to individual families. Some we won’t know until it is over and the results are revealed and the information is investigated and studied for data and future directives.
As far as the income goes, we were told that our businesses of bed and breakfast and bookstore were classified as non-essential. Which is not non-essential to the one who owns and runs them. It is our means of supplementing our small monthly social security. It helps with insurances and taxes. Sometimes even gas in the vehicle. Our businesses are rather minuscule compared to others who have been shut down but the relative effect is the same. There may be hard times ahead for each of us.
Actually that is the outcome of no income but when reviewing the history of time or the history of our own life, I find that God has graciously helped us meet our obligations if only in being able to take time to pay them off. Which was gracious on the part of the persons holding the debts. So, here we are again is a situation, not of our own doing whether through neglect or poor management, but because of an outside hidden enemy known as the corona-virus. And so we adjust, tighten our belts, use up the rainy-day items in the cupboards and freezer, all the time praying for this to end quickly, and that our neighbors, family, friends, and foes will be safe and their needs be met.
I am reminded of a time years ago, when I was a single mom living in a welfare-community development complex, and head lice was the enemy. Yes, it went through the development and not only all five of my children got it, but I did too. Many emotions went through me. I was angry because of the conditions of where we needed to live, frustrated because other families didn’t seem to be bothered by it, embarrassed because I had never dealt with this in my childhood or with my children prior, and then resolute and determined that we would conquer these bugs and get them out of our apartment.
all the children seemed to gather for cookies and something to drink
While living in the complex I had become the “Kool-Aid Mom” which was a phrase from the fifties of the neighborhood mom where all children seemed to gather for cookies and something to drink. And, yes, it was usually Kool-aid in a beautiful glass pitcher.
Anyway, there were anywhere from twenty to twenty-six extra neighborhood children that came day after day to play with my children and gather in our living room and kitchen for afternoon snack. Many had never had home-made cookies before and their eyes followed by their stomachs showed great appreciation. I eventually started a “Thursday School” time with them and taught them Bible stories, songs, and we played games and such. They had learned to obey our house rules and came back over and over again and didn’t seem to mind the rules. They were so hungry for attention.
Well, back to my story. Head lice came into our lives and after telling their parents (the ones that I could find), I then told the children that they weren’t allowed to come over to our home or play with the children for about two weeks. We were going to attack this and didn’t want to reinfect them or visa-versa.
Then I informed my children that we were going to pretend that for two weeks we were living on a desert island on a beautiful lake and were closed off from the world. No one could visit and none of them could play outside. When we needed to we would go directly to the “boat” (our car) and travel to town for supplies and for washing the laundry again and again. The laundromat had the hottest water for all our sheets, blankets, sleeping bags, etc. We spent days on our island reading, baking, playing games and cards, and also nitpicking while gazing out the biggest window and dreaming of the day we could join society again.
we worked together to rid ourselves and our home of our enemy: lice
The children were great companions and we worked together to rid ourselves and our home of our enemy: lice. The children were ages 12, 6, 4, 3, and 12 months. The girls, ages 3 and 4 had long hair and didn’t want me to cut it. So we made a deal: if they could sit through the nitpicking with a good attitude, I would be willing to stand and keep working diligently to get the dead bugs out of them. They were excellent island comrades. The boys didn’t mind getting real short haircuts which was a lot easier for me working on them. We found ourselves laughing when we could and actually enjoying the downtime from all the other neighboring children.
It was like resetting our family unit and taking care of ourselves without the demands and problems of the outer community. In thinking about those days, I’m confident that each of my children are taking their “island vacation” right now and resetting their family unit as they deal with the disruptions this corona-virus has placed in our lives. We are.
Epilogue: We didn’t have to cut the girls hair which made us all very happy. We did get head lice again while living there and the second time was harder to survive on our island, but we made it. It was costly in time, money, and emotions but I saw the grace of God on our life, a peace that passed all understanding, and a single mom capable of keeping her little family safe and together. We are seeing the same during this current trial. Praise to our Lord for His faithfulness.