It’s hard to believe the pandemic has gone on for more than a year now. But in some ways, it feels like we’ve lived under pandemic guidelines for ages.
There’s hope on the horizon with vaccine availability. But COVID numbers are still rising in our area.
We still don’t know what’s ahead, whether COVID will ever really go completely away, what kind of “normal” might eventually emerge. But we walk by faith and not by sight, trusting God’s guidance and keeping.
I had mixed emotions about the vaccines. I feared that we hadn’t had enough time to see what long-term effects they might have. But then we figured the negative effects of COVID, with our health issues, probably outweighed the possible negative effects of the vaccine. Plus I don’t think quarantine conditions will lift significantly until the vaccine is more widespread. So when my husband’s workplace sponsored an afternoon of giving out vaccines in conjunction with a local pharmacy, and they had the J&J one that we wanted, we went ahead and got them. We had sore arms for a few days, but no other side effects so far.
Almost two weeks after receiving vacations, we went back to church in person for the first time in a year. Our church is small enough to socially distance inside the building. We’re asked to wear masks except during the service while sitting with our families. They’ve been meeting in person for several months, but left the Zoom option open for those who felt they shouldn’t come in person for health reasons. It was good to see everyone in person again, but it did feel weird. Maybe it will just tak a while to get used to beig around people again. Maybe it won’t really feel normal until COVID ebbs away enough that we can meet without masks.
Our biggest news this month is that my youngest son, Jesse, moved out into his own apartment. He was later to “launch” than usual due to going back to college for a few years, then difficulty finding a job, then COVID. He’s super excited to have his own place and he’s learning how to cook. 🙂
We’re adjusting to being official empty nesters. It will take a while to get over the sensation that he’s right down the hall in his room. We’re learning different daily rhythms in everything from how often we need to do laundry, what groceries to buy, how much to cook, taking on the chores he used to do, etc. Plus we just miss his everyday presence. 🙂 But we’re thankful he’s not far away. And, as we experienced with our other boys, the relationship continues and grows. It’s fun to see him take the next steps on his journey.
March also held my husband and sister’s birthdays, Pi Day, and the first day of spring—all reasons to celebrate!
We’ve had some discussions about possibly getting an RV. We finally decided maybe we should rent one for a short trip and see how we like it first. But I used an RV theme for Jim’s birthday card.
The RV design was from the Cricut, and the background was from a woodland scrapbooking paper set. I printed out the words via computer, cut them out with decorative scissors, and outlined them with a marker.
The other thing I’m creating this month is a new sewing/craft room! I had all my “stuff” set up in the smallest bedroom. When Jesse moved out, I wanted to move my things to his larger room. But first my husband patched up holes, painted multiple coats, and used a wet-vac to clean the carpet.
The whole house interior is painted beige, and after 11 years, it all need to be redone anyway. We want to switch to a light grey. We’re using the bedrooms and bathrooms to try out different shades. There’s an unbelievably wide variety of light grey shades, from yellowish to bluish to whitish to dull to bright. After a couple of tries, we found one we really like.
I thought it would just be a matter of moving a few bits of furniture and cabinets from one room across the hall to the other. But I forgot how much little stuff I had in there! We got the biggest portion done Saturday, but I have several little things to finish up.
Once I get the old bedroom cleared out, Jim will patch holes, paint, etc., in there, and then we’ll buy a bed and turn that into a guest room.
I am so thankful for my husband’s willing hard work, both with painting plus moving my “stuff.”
Jesse had a pegboard in his room on which he displayed his collection of airsoft guns. When Jim asked me if I wanted to keep the pegboard, I wasn’t terribly excited about it, but I figured it would be more trouble to take down and patch up behind it than it was worth. So we kept it and he painted it for me. Then I found tons of craft room pegboard ideas on Pinterest. And I discovered a whole new world of cute pegboard accessories!
We haven’t really watched anything out of the ordinary this month. I’m still working my way through Lark Rise to Candleford on my exercise bike, but I m nearing the end of that.
I’m not a big fan of podcasts—I’d usually rather listen to audiobooks or music. But Hope has mentioned the Literary Life Podcast. When I checked it out, they were discussing Silas Marner, which I was listening to at the time. So I listened to and enjoyed those sessions. Then it took me a while to decide which classic to listen to next, so in the meantime I listened to Literary Life’s discussions of 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, which I had enjoyed reading a few years ago, and Why Read Old Books. I’d like to listen to Why Read Fairy Tales sometime.
This month I’ve completed (titles link back to my reviews):
- Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (audiobook) was actually completed right at the end of February, but reviewed at the beginning of this month. I had never read this Dickens classic, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t like it as well as David Copperfield, but it was good.
- Silas Marner by George Elliot (audiobook). A man is betrayed by his best friend and falsely accused and disappointed by his church. He becomes something of a recluse, suffering another great loss, but taking in an orphaned child that changes his life. Very good.
- Hudson Taylor and Maria: A Match Made in Heaven by John Pollock. A brief biography of the famous missionary who began the China Inland Mission, particularly in relation to his first wife.
- The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones, novel. The Tennessee governor’s family experiences a stunning loss and is helped by the governor’s mansion’s long-time gardener. A good story except for a couple of flaws.
- Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies. Good perspective and tips.
- The Warden by Anthony Trollope (audiobook), the first in his Chronicles of Barsetshire series. A meek warden of a local hospital is caught between a young reformer who thinks the funds are being mishandled and the staunch archdeacon who takes opposes the reformer. Took a while to get into, but I enjoyed it.
- Be Holy (Leviticus): Becoming Set Apart for God by Warren Wiersbe.
I’m currently reading:
- Barsetshire Towers by Anthony Trollope (audiobook)
- Preparing for Easter: Fifty Devotional Reading from C. S. Lewis.
- The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion by Annette Whipple
- How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren
- Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof
Besides books reviews, Friday Fave Fives, and Laudable Linkages, I’ve shared on the blog this month:
- Putting Ourselves Forward.
- Rejoice . . . with Trembling?
- How to Quiet Your Soul.
- Disagreeing Like a Christian.
- Easter Teaches Us of New and Better Life.
This is one of my favorite times of year, changing from winter’s gloom and coldness, grass and trees greening up, buds forming, more daylight. Winter is having its (hopefully) last hurrah with temperatures in the twenties again at night this week, but the weather is often delightful during the day. We feel a little like bears coming out of hibernation. Somehow, more warmth and light gives us new energy.
How was your March?
(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Senior Salon, InstaEncouragements)
I love this time of year too! How exciting about a craft room for you; that’s one of my dreams one of these days 🙂 And I will be following your RV adventures with interest! March has seemed fine here; decent weather, not a lot new really. The latter part of this week will be busy for me (I know, that will be April) with all the Easter church services. Happy April to you!
One of these days I am going to start doing a “month in review” post! Alas, not this month. I enjoyed the look back!
Your perseverance as a blogger inspires me.
And we are sitting in our empty nests together. Our youngest will return from boot camp just long enough to buy a suit for his July wedding and then he is gone for good!
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A new craft room! Exciting. I wish much creativity in it. I enjoy seeing the cards you make.
Good for you for getting the J&J vaccine. I shared your thought process and came to the same conclusion. Hubby and I just got our first shot of the Pfizer vaccine last Saturday. We still have a way to go until we are fully protected, but it won’t be too long.
Congratulations on your new official empty nest status. It did take a while for us to get used to it, but now, we love it!
I enjoyed reading this, Barbara. Lots of changes going on at your house, but they sound mostly good, so that’s good! I hope you write about testing out the RV … we’d like to get one someday, but I think I’d prefer to try before we buy too. I’m into Leviticus in my daily Bible reading plan and could use some of Warren Wiersbe’s insights about now!
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