A New Normal

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When I got the reminder from our newsletter editors, my first reaction was “Is it May already??!!” This small glitch in our lives has over the month of increasing numbers and deaths become a life-changing event. Whether you’ve been working from home—while home schooling your children, working insane hours taking care of the sick, trying to keep us feed through the drive-up lanes or with delivery to our cars, or doing the many essential jobs that are allowing some of us to sit home and do the cooking, gardening or home projects that have been in the queue for months—this has been a long month!

The uncertainty of when things will be “normal” again weighs on each of us. Along with that, the idea of “normal” may have changed for many of us. It may be as extreme as having a close friend or family member succumbing to the COVID-19. It may mean our jobs will be substantially changed or no longer be there. It may mean that it will take months or even years before our financial situation is back to “normal.” Or it just might mean that we see our place on this world in a different light.

So much of what is quickly happening now will be discussed, analyzed, and taught about in schools for years to come. I was talking recently to an old friend—a long-time teacher—and we talked about the new classes that student teachers will certainly have about distance-learning using technology. I was interested to hear about a GM plant that has been repurposed to make PPE and ventilators and is outfitting their workers with protective gear and watches that beep when they come closer than 6 feet from one another. And the NASA ventilator that was developed just for the COVID-19 pandemic by their engineers who saw a challenge.

When we return to “normal” I think we will find that we will think a little differently about that “normal.” Out of this will come some new thoughts for each of us. Every one of us has been impacted. This is an event that has touched EVERYONE on this planet. And I hope we will remember our similarities and know that state and national boundaries are less real than the positive ways that the earth has taken to heal herself during our inactivity, and the ways we have all learned to come together, while remaining physically distanced.

Before I close, I want to thank the many people that have kept us all in contact.

• To Diane Lewis, who against great odds and on a dime, managed to find ways for us to continue our Sunday morning gatherings.

• To Michele Steiner, who quickly became our Zoom guru that enabled us to “get together” and the hosts that have brought us together.

• To Richard Thornton, Larry Berry, and Roxanne Spencer who called many of us, with the last-century idea of the “phone tree.”

• To Janeen Grohsmeyer, Krystina Krueger, and Roxanne Spencer who did our first virtual service this last Sunday (and there will be more).

• To Elinor Markle, our Office Manager, who is working everyday, answering phones, and keeping the business of the church going.

And lastly, to all of you who have kept in contact doing the many things that continue to keep us a treasured community, even in quarantine.

Namaste, Kathie

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