Hello Her Voice Readers,

It’s difficult to know what to say during these strange and trying times. Never in my lifetime have I seen anything like this. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly created some drastic changes in our world.

People staying at home, all the kids out of school, no graduations throughout the United States, no visiting family and friends and so much more. And many, too many lives lost.

However, throughout all of this when I visit with family and friends (via Facetime, Zoom etc.) there seems to be a common thread I see woven in this COVID-19 pandemic tapestry. And that is that it has made us all understand and appreciate everything much more acutely.

For our grandchildren who are ‘home schooling’ they all miss their teachers, their friends and the activities they had at school. And I know when things get back to the new ‘normal’ they are going to greatly appreciate their teachers and the social interaction and not ever take it for granted again.

For our children it’s such a mix of emotions. Some still have to work outside the home but in most of those cases are able to practice social distancing as well as all of the other recommended ways to prevent getting the virus. But two of our daughters and their husbands with children definitely have to do things differently when it comes to having the kids at home and now home schooling. They have an even greater appreciation than before for the teachers and school staff, that’s for sure.

And we also have a daughter and son-in-law in the medical field so we continue to be concerned about that but we also know they are using every precaution possible for which we are deeply grateful. And our son is social distancing in Connecticut where he just finished grad school at Yale – of course with no pomp and circumstance.

For Marty and I…wow! Still working but differently for sure. We greatly miss our kids and grandkids and other family and friends. We miss our Friday night dinner group and the other Yankton friends we would get to see out and about. But what I don’t miss is the constant go, go, go. And thankfully, I’ve always loved to cook so having more meals at home hasn’t been an issue, however figuring out what to cook can be frustrating.

I do know this has really made me reflect on what’s important in our lives – our faith, our families and our friends. I will never take for granted again the time we spend with them because this has made me see that it’s a gift, not a given. This has made me more appreciative of the little things, like visiting with the folks at work, going to the grocery store and being able to chat with the people there. And being able to go out for dinner and socialize (although our restaurants have done a terrific job with their take-out service).

I’ve always thought that the good Lord gives us mountains to climb and valleys to rest and now this time at home is our time in the valley to rest. And when this pandemic is over, or the worst of it is, we will all then be able to climb the mountain together and celebrate and give thanks. And yes, there will be hugs and tears of joy!

I pray you all continue to be well and hope you find joy in the little things like I have.

God bless and take care,