It’s an unusual lifestyle we’re experiencing these days — nothing like anything we’ve experienced before.
We’re parents of adult children and grandparents of children who want to become adults. They live close by our house and close by our hearts. We’ve been accustomed to seeing them frequently and witnessing the progress of their lives.
Necessary efforts of social distancing, though, is making it difficult to assemble together.
In a world where some are sheltering in place, and some are practicing a self-imposed quarantine, we’re staying mostly inside, with only rare, careful trips to the grocery for supplies and the such. While our current limited mobility is not what we prefer, we’re accepting it and still managing to connect with our young’uns.
We called our grandchildren a couple of weeks ago and made them an offer. “We’re retired teachers,” we told them, “and we’re capable of giving lectures from our phone to you. We’re especially adept in the subjects of history and literature. We can provide worthwhile assignments, and also check your work.”
Our grandchildren claimed they had enough schoolwork in the way of online assignments and packets from their teachers. We didn’t even get a “but thank you, anyway” from any of ‘em.
Facetime and Skype, as well as the traditional function of phones, have provided us with frequent contacts. They’ve provided opportunities to get “out” while we remain “in.”
Her university cancelled her face-to-face classroom routine, and our Bowling Green granddaughter moved out of a dorm to an apartment. Like us, she’s somewhat self-quarantined as she continues with her classes online. Chatting with her by phone, we learned much of her time is also spent on her job as she works from the apartment. She’s fortunate technology is available so she can do what’s got to be done.
Grandson Number One told us one afternoon he’d calculated how long he should spend on his treadmill to negate the calories in a handful of gummy bears. His findings were causing him to re-think chewing the sweet stuff.
He and his sister made their family’s dinner one night. They didn’t send us anything to eat, but they did text a photo of their plates. The meal looked tasty and included fish, lima beans, cheddar/broccoli, rice, biscuits and no gummy bears. Their mom and dad reported they enjoyed the meal. The kids said they enjoyed switching duties with their parents who cleaned the kitchen afterwards.
My wife and I usually eat away from home several times in a month. For the last couple of weeks, though, we’ve not left the house for our meals. For variety, sometimes we’ve eaten in our dining room, sometimes in our kitchen, and sometimes in the living room while we’ve watched television. Perhaps the living room is not a good place to enjoy a meal. It can be especially awkward when my wife gets excited during a “Jeopardy” question and tries to out-shout the contestants.
She’s a marvelous cook. We’ve savored everything from Italian dishes to incredible country cooking. Because of her menus, I haven’t missed the restaurants.
She made one of her specialties, an apple crunch pie. We drove it to the home of a birthday-celebrating granddaughter and left the pie and a big bag full of goodies on her porch. She entered the age of double digits this week. The little gal will long remember this birthday. Rather than hosting a house full of well-wishers, she was somewhat secluded with her family at home. Our greeting to her was a short one and then we returned to our safe house.
At the conclusion of one phone conversation with witty Grandson Number Two, the little rascal told us, “Bye, and have a good apocalypse!”
Let’s hope this situation won’t come to that. We’re hoping to soon be back to the regular in-person visits with the family. Never will we take that for granted again.