Week 4 of our new normal and social distancing was capped off with Easter baskets and Evan’s 7th birthday.
Evan John is our oldest and our sweet, caring and studious child. He has a heart of gold, a memory like a steel trap and a love for the farm. After Easter sunrise service via Facebook Live, we were off to the farm for chores. And like a good farm kid, Evan didn’t question having to squeeze in a little work on his big day.
Between birthday cakes and Easter candy, we have enough sugar in our household to last us the rest of 2020 (which is good because social distancing makes me snackish).
Like many families, we now have face masks – even the boys. I need to get better about wearing my mask. Derek needs to remember to take his out of the house. Our county has at least 10 cases of COVID-19 but thankfully our friends and family remain healthy and unaffected.
All of this together time means we get to continue enjoying family meals, and the boys have (for the most part) tolerated one another. Evan is still excited about his school work. Owen still puts up a bit of a fight but in the end, he ends up enjoying the sweet videos and fun assignments his teacher puts together for him.
The boys continue to make daily trips with Derek to the farm to feed calves, check cows and begin the transition to spring farm work – which includes prepping the planter, winding up temporary fencing and working fields that will be planted later this month. Starting next week, things are going to get crazy busy.
The weather has been all over the place this week. At one point the mercury hit 80+ degrees. But as I type, on Sunday afternoon, it is below freezing and there is a very real chance a hard freeze overnight kills off our wheat crop. (This is why farmers advocate so hard for crop insurance – to help when Mother Nature deals us a difficult hand.)
But we’ll get up and continue on.
During my trip to the grocery store this week I noticed that most of the shelves were back to full. As people settle into their new normal their overbuying has decreased. And in fact, Americans, as a whole, have decreased how much food they are consuming because they are not eating out at the same rate (we waste a lot of food when we eat out). Restaurants, event venues and schools account for a large percentage of all food purchased and consumed. That means that dairies, beef packers and even grain farmers are seeing a decline in demand for their goods. That, in turn, is dragging down our commodity markets – which determines what we earn for our crops and cattle. But unlike other businesses, farmers can’t just close up shop and wait for better days. They must continue on, and they do. No matter how long this pandemic continues, we will never see a shortage of food in this country. The struggle now is to re-route distribution chains and get food into the hands of those most in need.
Our staff continues to look for ways to help business owners, families and individuals impacted by COVID-19. The stories of businesses closing, parents losing their jobs and communities feeling the squeeze are hard to take. But we do everything we can to connect people with resources and give them every bit of assistance possible.
The hard part is the unknown and the lack of certainty about the future, the lasting impact and the shape of our economy if and when we defeat this virus. Derek and I both remain incredibly fortunate for our jobs, our health and our family.
We’re getting restless and a bit tired of the social restraints but we continue on and know that every day we get one day closer to returning to normal.