Bandit runs and flying goats
It’s exhausting. Day to day life is exhausting. There are blessings. Countless blessings to be sure.There is so much goodness that comes out of difficult times. Kind strangers, selfless acts of generosity, extended, slowed down time with loved ones, every day heros being cheered nightly on their way home by grateful communities.
This doesn’t erase the battle fatigue, the anxious moments, the bills, the suspended lives, the tensions that rise. These things are all too real and its ok to acknowledge this unwelcomed uninvited guest’s presence in our lives. Its ok to flip it the bird and tell that mothuhfuckah EXACTLY what you think of it.
Benjamin Franklin famously said that guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.
Well its been 56 days for our house. The kids came home for spring break and never got the chance to go back. By that next weekend, we had emptied dorms in a matter of hours and handed in keys for the semester. We resembled a refugee camp for a couple weeks before organizing the chaos into smaller clumps of chaos and storing the rest in the basement with the other chaos.
Classes moved online a week later, I started emergency FMLA, zoom meetings filtered in from every available work space. We broke down the dining room and set up an extra bedroom for our expanded family. We eat at a camp table each evening in our living room that gets folded up and slipped behind the recliner along with the folding chairs. We laugh, play games, and yes, take lots of walks.
When all of this started, and I mean really hit the fan we decided as a family that we would strictly limit our exposure to public places, and to just the parents once every two weeks. No one is taking any chances here. We have a family member we love too much to risk their suppressed immune system to this insidious virus.
Apart from daily walks for exercise, and hanging out in our yard, the hubs and I take this one long, tiring day every 2 weeks and make bandit runs to all the stores to gather everything we’ll need. If we forget something once we’re back at home, we make do, get creative, or go without until the next officially sanctioned bandit run.
Don’t get your hopes up, by the way. That’s a FIRM 2 week rule here. Ive tried to beg and plead but each time have met with stern refusal. No quickies to grab cream for your coffee or more “good” snacks. You’ll drink your damn coffee black and have another apple and you’ll like it like you liked staying in for recess because “some people aren’t following the rules so now everyone has to stay inside”.
In other words, you’ll choke down the dark, bitter but caffeine laced drink and plot revenge on Billy and Janey for talking during reading time. Oh you’ll have your day in the sun, but baby, it ain’t any time soon.
Today is our bandit run. Shopping for 6 adults for two weeks worth of food and supplies is exhausting. It requires thought, and planning and lots of lists. Our youngest and I stayed up in my bed together until 2am, planing out 2 weeks worth of dinners, and creating the shopping list from the menu.
We drank stout cups of coffee black enough to sprout hairs on my chest, stashed antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer in a small backpack, along with water bottles and asprin and headed for the car.
We started at 10am and finished at 4pm, hitting four different stores and stopping home twice to offload before stripping down, showering and donning clean clothes. Thank God for the four strong young adults who met us in the driveway each time to act as sherpas.
I was so tired my lips were numb and my legs were trash. I felt like I was dragging cinder blocks on my feet. Hubby lay stretched out on the floor, foam rolling his back and I think possibly drooling.
But now I’m in flip-flops, sitting on a swing with my dogs, staring at my chickens and turkeys and ducks and goats. One in particular (Cookie, the littlest) happens to have become the resident escape artist, leaping over the fence to graze on oak leaves despite an ample supply of hay and feed. When I turn around, there he is, munching an oak leaf right next to me and looking like the picture of innocence. I’ll catch him in a bit but for now its sunny and breezy and perfect and I think I’ll stay right where I am.
I know this won’t last forever. I know eventually we will all be back to the rush and press of high speed life. I also know I’m grateful for the unexpected gift that slowing down and staying home together has given us. Slowing down is really quite wonderful. There is time. Time to watch the sun set, the kids bump a volleyball around after dinner, and one naughty goat leap gloriously through the air and over the fence for the millionth time today.