By: Erin Rose Hennessy

I was browsing social media this morning and was greeted by the unwelcome news that a very popular ice-cream place in the neighborhood is closing permanently. Yet another blow to the small-business world that this horrible virus has dealt. Everyone is struggling these days with not only their own personal troubles, but the global trouble that everyone understands – how COVID-19 is upending our lives and altering them forever.

I was talking to a friend the other day and we discussed how because everyone, absolutely everyone, in the entire world is affected by this – we all can understand that this is difficult. We are all going through this together. That’s a unique situation in itself – because usually problems or catastrophes only affect a small population or one single person or family. Everyone else is on the outside, looking in, supportive, but they are not going through it with them.

My uncle passed away about a week and a half ago. He had been battling lung cancer for three years. He had a sense of wit and humor about it all and a true passion for music and the spoken word. Last weekend, my cousins and aunt hosted a virtual memorial for him. We gathered on Zoom for an hour and told stories, listened to music, and prayed. We laughed and cried, and came together in fondness and love for a great man.

The family I nanny for had a great joy this week – the arrival of their third child. A little spark of hope in all this chaos and a reminder that even when life looks bleak, there are rainbows and sunshine. As their parents were at the hospital welcoming their bundle of joy, the two big brothers and I watched as the rain, which had been pouring all day, stopped. The sun began to peek through, delighting them as they announced the sun’s arrival, departure, and arrival again. We watched as birds, squirrels, and rabbits emerged to find worms, ants, and seed on the ground to nibble on. The grass has become vibrantly green after the much-needed soak and the trees are beginning to bud. What a time to welcome new life!

I’m waiting on a package being delivered from Target Shipt – first time I’ve used this service. Each spring and fall, I compile a list of things I need for my place – and I had compiled this list before the pandemic started. I had not, however, completed the purchasing! So, now the last few items on the list are being shipped to me – free shipping! I could get used to that!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about things I’d like to do once the sheltering is over and we are starting to emerge, blinking, into the sunlight again. First thing? I’m going out to eat. I like my cooking, but I also like it when I don’t have to cook! I want to go to the bookstore. A friend and I had planned to go to Colorado this month, which had to be canceled – so we now have plane ticket vouchers to use. We’re considering returning to California the minute it’s allowed! I also want to replace my couch. I loved my couch for the first minute and a half – but it is now about ten years old, has been broken by boisterous children, and it catches my back in all the wrong places when I sit on it. I’ve been scrolling couches online and enviously coveting my older sister’s couch. I want one of my own! It was such a nice couch to spend two weeks on!

This morning is grey and dreary, but I hear the sun is supposed to come out later for a bike ride. I have made up for all the lack of biking last summer in the first month of biking this year!

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