How Will we Know?

It was a rough year, and the time isn’t up yet. How will we know when the pandemic is over? Good question, one that will see many answers, but hopefully not too many false finishes resulting in further irresponsible deaths from maskless wonders and “it wasn’t real” hard cases. (A girl can dream.)

Perhaps the biggest question is not “when will we get back to normal” but “how can I help now that so many people have gotten hurt?” Those harms will linger, be they financial or family loss.

Friends in mixed circles of right-wing-first Christianity worried about The Great Reset, an idea pushed by a billionaire with a big mouth but not a lot of influence. He said now was the time to rearrange society along more equitable and sensible lines, do away with cash, globalize in governance as well as markets, and other things that set the heads of apocalyptic-prone thinkers spinning.

The Great Reset isn’t gonna happen, because politicians understand: why fix society when you can make a LOT of money prolonging its problems? But can we have a whole lot of small resets? My priorities changed this year, some for the better. I’m praying for guidance on how to re-enter, and the wisdom to know what to keep, what to alter in the new habits I’ve learned from this year. We are reopening a world that won’t so much be even a new normal as a rag-tag amalgam of people who just want it all to go back to the way things were–many of whom were forced into new ways of living–and people who used this time for a small reset. Oh brave new world, to have such diversity in it. Help me learn to value, honor, and uphold the rights and needs of everyone in it, Jesus. I’m listening. Of all the things You have ever redeemed, let pandemic time be one of them, so the lessons learned aren’t wasted within those who learned them.

This year taught the difference between privilege and guilt. I had money and a continuing job working odd hours, which gave me options for taking up new leisure crafts like decoupage (which has become my new thing). I didn’t have child responsibilities and I own land, so became a whiz bang grow-your-own and then preserve it by canning. I discovered how much I enjoyed these activities. Guilt over privilege at these options, no; responsibility for having them, yes. Giving away food and (decoupaged) furniture. Writing the book about Conspiracy Theory came from a sense of accountability: I knew people who knew a lot about the subject, and we had access to publishing. Time to offer back. Which can sound conceited, but it’s also what you’re supposed to do. If you know what’s going wrong, say so. If no one listens, you did the right thing. If a lot of people listen, you did the right thing.

I remember watching a reporter and a photographer who covered the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, showing photos to a small group of New York City attendees at a posh bookstore. The reporter said something about going out to the valley after the battle for the photos and on the way back to the hotel getting stuck in traffic and sweating so bad she couldn’t keep her headscarf on, etc. Joking with the assembled listeners. A woman wrapped in a beautiful shawl in the air conditioned room stood to ask, after all this horror how can you joke, how can it be just a job to you?

The reporter had clearly been asked this before. She said, in essence, I have to have a life. I share what I know as a surrogate for others who will never walk into these situations, and when that is done my job is done. I don’t live my life in guilt that I’m not one of those bodies; I do make sure people understand any one of us could have been one of those bodies.

This affected me. Guilt is tiring for the person who carries it and of no comfort to those who need things. It is a useful fake virtue signal among people who want to push agendas. As the slow reopening unfolds around us I am asking Jesus to guide me in life, responsibility, and ignoring fake signals in favor of the true, small reset opportunity before me. That is all.

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Hope Springs – –

Jack’s Wednesday guest post is on Thursday again – – –

I was thinking about this blog post yesterday and going to do it about various hopeful small building projects we had planned on doing until Covid 19 hit. We had planned to have the bathroom remodeled and create a small laundry room and even had thoughts of an added room. But all that has had to wait!

Now that Wendy and I have had our two vaccine shots we can look forward to being less nervous about socializing and that means we can call on more expert friends to help, as they did when we erected the pergola on our back deck. They can also sit under the pergola now!

Two of them were able to visit yesterday and, socially distanced, added their knowledge and brain cells to our general thinking going forward. The idea of the extra room was dumped when they pointed out that our log cabin jail in the back yard IS our extra room. So what would have been the laundry room will be built, but to house the freezers that are currently in the jail. That will create room there where we can also house a wood burning stove in case it’s needed in winter. Once the freezers have moved out we can put a bed in there and it can become again Wendy’s writing studio combined with an extra guest room. The washing machine can stay where it is in the corner of the kitchen and we got rid of the dryer a while ago. We even have a composting toilet waiting to be installed in the jail too – en suite!

But in the process of composing this a certain phrase crossed my mind – one of the reasons for delay was ‘a shortage of lumber’. Now, for Scotsmen of my age that has a completely different meaning than here in the US. On a Saturday night, back in the 1950s and 60s young men would go to the local dance hall in hopes of ‘getting a lumber’ – engaging with a young woman in hopes of finding a secluded corner for some ‘slap and tickle’. There was rarely much tickle and a great many slaps.

I’m continually finding yet more differences between British English, Scots English and American English!

But, back to the subject – although I was head of the construction trades department at a college in Scotland for a number of years, my own specialty is painting and decorating. So I’m not comfortable with anything else, and particularly with plumbing or electrical. The area where the freezer room is going already has a double electrical outlet and they won’t need water or a drain, so easy. The first job I tackled when we had our bookstore was to convert a carport into an enclosed garage, and this is similar but smaller. An area with an existing concrete floor and a small deck above supported by pillars. Make the deck into a roof, create insulated walls and add a door. What could possibly go wrong – – –

Shift the freezers then get the wood burning stove and install it. What could possibly go wrong – – –

Create a toilet suite in the jail. What could possibly go wrong – – –

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Filed under between books, crafting, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch