Week 3: The New Normal Amid COVID-19

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We’ve hit week 3 of this new lifestyle and routine. The boys are up each more (way earlier than I would like but that’s beside the point), eat breakfast and are out the door to feed our small herd of bottle calves before making the rounds with Derek to check on all our momma and babies. That usually takes up most of the morning then it’s home for lunch, naps or quite time and then we ATTEMPT some school work before giving in and letting the boys run, play and sometimes have some screen time.

I’ll admit our level of “schooling” isn’t what I was hoping. But both boys are keeping up with their lessons and we’re doing lots of extra reading before nap and bedtime, but the big plans and fun activities just haven’t happened yet. I like to think that their time on the farm includes at least a few educational moments – even if that comes in the form of counting and herding baby calves before feeding time.

Derek’s work is about to get EXTRA busy. April is always one of the busiest months on the farm. Over the next 4-6 weeks, Derek will need to:

  • vaccinate and prepare his cows and calves for the summer months
  • move all mother and baby calves about 100 miles east to summer pasture
  • start breeding the cows that will start calving in January 2021
  • work farmground and plant corn

None of this stops for COVID-19 and we’ll continue to pray Derek stays safe and healthy.

My work has also continued to be more hectic than expected. Our office has worked hard to connect people with resources, answer questions and provide a sense of reassurance for small business owners that help is on its way. It’s been hard, really hard. I am in no way comparing my work to that of healthcare workers, emergency responders, grocery store clerks or others who are saving lives and and keeping essential services running, but hearing the heartbreaking stories of store closings, owners making difficult decisions to lay off staff, and older Americans scared and alone is too much somedays and I often feel like my assistance isn’t really doing any good at all. But I know that myself and others on our are doing everything possible to inform business and community leaders, educate employees on their options and benefits and better explain everything the government is doing to try to help in this time of tremendous need.

It’s not perfect and many will experience major financial hardships, but social distancing is the one thing we know will stop this virus and it’s what we must do to prevent major deaths, the breakdown of our healthcare system and chaos in our communities. The better we stick to the plan – stay home, avoid close contact with others and practice good hygiene – the quicker we get back to our normal lives.

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This whole experience has been a great opportunity to teach gratitude and thankfulness to our boys. It’s a theme that was stated last fall by the boys’ Sunday school teacher and has continued through to today. So far, our family remains healthy and productive and both Derek and I are still gainfully employed. While the boys don’t really understand how much other families are struggling either physically, financially or emotionally, there is always an opportunity to count our blessings, express thanks for something as simple as a family meal or look for ways to share our resources with others.

While talking about gratitude, this week I realized how grateful I am that my boys have each other. Derek and I aren’t attending meetings and seeing friends like we used to, but we still have our social outlets. Our boys haven’t seen their friends, teachers, babysitter or cousins for weeks now. They have each other for entertainment and support and that’s it. While there are days they drive me mad, they really have made quite the interesting duo through this whole adventure and I know their relationship will be stronger because of this.

 

This week  we’ll continue to enjoy the sunshine, extra family time and say our prayers for those who are hurting.

 

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