March 31 – Day 14 of COVID 19 Experience


I hate to shop.  I hate shopping.  Crowded stores make me crazy.  Rude people make me nuts.  I don’t like crowded parking lots.  I hate being pressured.  I hate making important decisions on the spur of the moment.

There was a lot of hate in my world today.

Jerry and I spent the majority of yesterday making lists (I do love lists!).  We inventoried all the food, personal hygiene products, and cleaners we had.  We made a list of all the projects we wanted to accomplish in the next couple of months and what materials we would need to get them done.

And then, today, we went shopping.

We went shopping at the beginning of a panic brought on by the pandemic.  Jerry and I braved the virus in order to stock up on basics for the house and then some pretty unusual items as well.  This is how the day went.

7am – Walmart

It was dark when we pulled into the parking lot with our list of things we needed.  We were greeted with an apocalyptic scene right out of a movie.  8 out of 10 people in the parking lot had on masks and gloves.  They were moving slowly in the dark parking lot, pushing carts to their cars.  Once inside, things only got worse.  More masks, more gloves, empty shelves.

Believe it or not, the building was full of happy people.  Staff were helpful.  Shoppers were kind.  It appears as if the pandemic is bringing out the best in some people.  I am proud to report that I found a lot of them at our local Walmart this morning.

9am – Home

We returned home to a nightmare.  We now had to bring in everything and put it up.  That wasn’t really a problem.  The problem was that we had been planning on organizing the pantry since we moved in, but we hadn’t done it yet.  There has always been something else to do or spend money on.  Today. we bought plastic storage containers and were committed.  The fact that Walmart only had flour in 25 pound bags really helped with this.  We had to come up with a better plan, but did it really have to happen on this day???

Evidently it did.

I rearranged the pantry so that breakfast stuff is in one location.  Pasta is all grouped together.  Vegetables are in one place and all the cans are stacked neatly so you can read what is in the can.  You get the picture.  I couldn’t complete my task because all of the containers had to be washed and dry before I could finish.  And so I washed them and left them to dry while we went out for our next shopping excursion.

11am – Tractor Supply, Hobby Lobby, HEB, and Lowe’s

Yeah.  This was a big one.  We had purchased all that we needed food-wise, but now we needed to get the materials we needed to maintain our sanity.  Jerry and I have decided that we are not going to leave White Rock (the name we call the house) until the end of May.  We are giving the world 2 months to figure this mess out.  We know that we will give the world more time if it needs it, of course, and that we will return sooner if that is the outcome we are blessed with.  For now, May 31 is our goal.  We shall see how that goes.

There are a couple of givens.  We need food or we will starve.  We need things to do or we will go crazy.  This trip was about not going crazy.

We purchased materials so we could keep busy.  This is what we are hoping to accomplish:

  1. we need to replace the vanity lighting in the master bathroom.  When we installed the upper part of the apothecary hutch, it blocked the wall mounted light fixtures.  We have a plan to replace the fixtures and install a beam to bring the lighting forward away from the wall.  We will be using the ceiling joists from the old house.
  2. I need to sand down the pieces of wood that we removed from the roof of the old house.  We will then install them as an accent wall in our master bathroom.  We bought hooks at Hobby Lobby for our towels.  I will probably get some shelves to go above the hooks to add color…
  3. There was an antique wardrobe in the old house when we bought it.  It is made with square nails and it was in this wardrobe that we found the old Bibles they brought from Scotland as well as old letters and land deeds.  I don’t know if they brought it from Scotland or bought it here, but it is a very old piece of furniture.  It has been painted in the past.  I am going to sand it down and see what we have.  If the wood is beautiful, I bought furniture wax paste to finish it.  If it needs something, I bought stain for it that I will finish also with the wax.
  4. We have the lumber and fencing we need to build the chicken coop and their little yard/pen.
  5. I have three of the old stadium seats from the Mertens Baptist Church that I am refinishing.  The chairs are a veneer and on one of the the chairs, the veneer is peeling back.  I am working on it and will refinish them when I have that issue resolved.
  6. We will be building more raised beds in the back yard for our temporary garden.  Those will be converted to flower beds in the future or will be relocated.  We are using the stone left over from the chimney.  We bought more compost today for those beds.
  7. The metal tables and chairs we have outside need to be refinished.
  8. We have four exterior doors.  We purchased the cement and mortar we need to build steps for each of them.  We will be using the left over stone for these projects as well.
  9. If we get around to it, we need to work on the office and north pen floors.  This is going to require a lot of cleaning out (in the office) and furniture relocation (north pen) if it will happen.
  10. Our gun closet needs to be built out.  We will be building gun racks and installing shelving and hang-up bars for hunting clothes in the gun closet.
  11. Poison ivy eradication.  As God as my witness…  Seriously, I hate this stuff and it is everywhere.   We bought another bottle of concentrate that makes up another 84 gallons of poison.  You will find me in the yard attached to the sprayer.

4pm – Tucker Lumber

After dropping all of that mess off, we had to run to Tucker Lumber to purchase the cement and mortar mix.  We thought we would have to do it in two trips.  Luckily, it only took one.  Whew!

5pm – Home Finally!

Once home, we unloaded the concrete and mortar.  Twenty bags each one weighing 80 pounds.  Great workout.  So thankful that Jacob helped again with this task.  He had been great about helping us unload from each of our shopping trips.

When we were unloaded, I cleaned the kitchen and mopped the floors so that we could try to get rid of any COVID 19 (if any) we had tracked into the house.  Hot showers were our final reward.

Physical and Mental Preparedness

It was great to finally be tucked in and ready to work for the next couple of months.  I am blessed that we have enough food and that we are not concerned about that.  I mean, we may not be able to continue to eat like we normally do.  We will absolutely run out of things and have to do without, but we will not starve and for that, I am truly grateful.  Not everyone can say the same.  I want to say it again, I am very grateful to be in this situation.

So, physical needs managed, we turned to the psychological needs.  Jerry and I are both task driven/oriented people.  We get great enjoyment from crossing things off our list.  A goal is a great thing, not because it brings glory, but because it brings focus and then completion.  It makes us feel better and I suppose, in control of something.  That may be a huge thing going into the next couple of months.

We will be watching the news like everyone else, but we will be focused on the projects mentioned above and on our leadership training project that will be kicking off soon.  Ours days will be filled with helping others and being creative.  We will be outside doing physical labor and inside doing cognitive work.

I encourage you to find something to do that you have wanted to do for a while and just never found the time.  It will be rewarding and you will feel better about your days if you are achieving goals you set for yourself.  And while you are at it, pick up the phone and check in on a couple of people.  That will help with feelings of isolation and make you feel better that you are helping someone else.  We are in this together, you know, so…

Y’all take care of each other.

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