A song I have on continuous loop in my head these last few weeks has been “Strange Days Indeed,” by John Lennon.  Strange doesn’t begin to cover this though.  My friend refers to the time before March 13 as BC(19). I call the time we are living in now as the Twilight Zone Time Lapse.   Sadly, not to be confused with the Rocky Horror Picture Show’s Time Warp dance. If only.

Now that I am a permanent resident of my dining room table, I’ve picked up on some universal truths. These include:

  1. My sole purpose in life is to let my dogs and cats in and out of the house at their whim. This can be as many as 4-6 times per hour.  I have no choice in the matter.
  2. My oldest thinks my sole purpose in life is to pester him mercilessly about his lackadaisical attitude to his online schooling (he was online before it was cool).
  3. Zoom meetings are beyond exhausting and I don’t know why. They do make me shower daily though, so that’s a win.
  4. If I do not come out of quarantine with a swollen liver, pre-diabetic due to cookie overload, and 10 lbs. heavier, it won’t be because I didn’t apply myself.
  5. Homemade Cosmopolitans prevent scurvy.

I am kidding about none of the above.

Digging deeper though, if I was going to pick two words that define the last month for me, I would choose generosity and gratitude.

Generosity is posting on Facebook that The Hub or The Salvation Army needs a list of items to keep our community fed and cared for and seeing immediate calls to action as people share it, take the list and shop, and send checks in.

Generosity is seeing grocery store patrons being both pleasant and patient, despite the lack of decent toilet paper.

Generosity is raising over $200,000 in one week (with checks still pouring in) for the Sheridan Area Employee Relief Fund through the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Generosity is struggling restaurants offering free meals to kids and entire dinners for bargain prices.

Generosity is businesses digging deep and paying their employees regardless of revenue falling off a cliff.

Generosity is anyone who can run a sewing machine or a needle and thread making masks for our selfless healthcare workers and everyone who works with vulnerable populations.

Generosity is tipping double or triple.

Generosity is remaining a sustaining member of a nonprofit even if they’re not open or able to provide services.  We are going to need the arts and music even more when the Twilight Zone has faded. Your support now means those nonprofits will make it through to the other side.

Generosity is paying for a massage, facial, haircut or manicure even though you’re not having one for the foreseeable future.

I could go on for days.  What an incredible time to watch people make profound sacrifices, so often for people they don’t know and may never meet.

Then there’s gratitude.  I’m deeply grateful for all the above.

I’m grateful that our family is still getting a paycheck.

I’m grateful that it’s been warm enough outside (until now) to have everyone outside and away from me as needed.

I’m grateful that I am spending more time FaceTiming with my family, having virtual happy hours with my friends, and watching Marvel movies with all the males (currently four with the addition of my nephew) in my house.

I’m grateful that teachers are doing everything they can to continue to connect, teach, and support their students in every way possible.

I’m grateful that so far, Sheridan County has held down our COVID-19 cases with no hospitalizations.

I’m grateful that the vast majority of our community is taking social distancing seriously, shopping solo, masking up, and being patient and kind.

I’ll close with a quote I cannot credit and for that I’m sorry.  It’s really good though.

“We are at our best when we live in hope. We are at our worst when we live in fear.”

Here’s to hope, generosity, and gratitude.