Day 12 and 13

I am combining two days again. I just didn’t get around to posting yesterday. I made some phone calls I had been planning on, which took up part of the day. And I got one phone call I wasn’t expecting quite yet. My boss called to let me know we were officially furloughed and would not be receiving any more payments for sick or vacation time after this Friday. That means I will be at the tender mercies of the unemployment system for the foreseeable future. 

The good news is that I made my 1000+ word target on the first day of April. Just writing is taking my novel in an entirely different direction. And now, I have an excellent idea for a twist ending. Or a double twist ending. I will spend some time today on the project. I am grateful I have this because at least it gives me something to do each day. It’s kind of like a job, except I will probably never get paid.

Day 11

It’s late at night on the seventh day of this enforced vacation. I hate this, but I can’t complain. No one here nor anyone close to me is showing any signs of infection yet. I went to the store for necessities today and wore a mask and gloves for first-time. It still feels weird. Tomorrow I begin an online challenge to write 1000 words a day throughout April for my book. Should be able to do it. I certainly have no excuse not to, and it will give me a reason to get up in the morning. 

Day 10

I woke up at 4:30 for the second day in a row. My body wants to go back to work. But instead, I wound up falling asleep in the recliner until almost lunchtime. I watched some TV and now trying to get some writing done. I am still avoiding the news. I get snippets here and there, but I avoid watching most of the coverage.

I am going to take a look at twitter to get some ideas for my blog and maybe post a few things. It doesn’t matter much because so far nobody reads this except me. Perhaps that will change someday, but we’ll see. It gives me the freedom to go out on a limb and predict that by May 1, we will all start getting back to work. Enough is enough.

Day 9

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent I wrote this reflection for our Church website and am sharing it here. Enjoy.

Lord, If You Had Been Here

We can very much identify with the anguish Martha and Mary are experiencing in today’s Gospel. Martha confronts Jesus in a way with questions we might want to ask of him ourselves in our current situation. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

These might seem harsh or even disrespectful from our perspective, but we have to remember the relationship between Jesus, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was very human. There was a warm friendship between Jesus and these three siblings that shines through all these centuries later. Martha can ask this of her friend Jesus because they have gotten to know him in His humanity.  

In one way, this is what lent is about. We encounter Jesus in his humanity. In the words of St Leo the Great, “To pay the debt of our sinful state, a nature that is incapable of suffering was joined to one that could suffer.” Jesus indeed joined in the suffering and grief with the others who loved Lazarus. But presence is much more profound than mere commiseration.

His response to Martha is one we are familiar with but worth reflecting on, particularly in a time of hardship and suffering, such as we are enduring today on a global scale. “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

Jesu speaks in the present tense because salvation is not something that we are waiting for in the future but is rather ongoing today, this moment and the question for us to reflect on this Fifth Sunday of Lent is, “Do I believe this?”

Our prayer is that each of us can respond as Martha did, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

Day 7 & 8

Day 7

Today we received the last regular paycheck we are likely to receive for a while. It is going to be a bumpy ride financially from here on out. Rent is due on Wednesday, but I have yet to hear from them on the method of payment. We can probably make most of all our payment this month but next month is seriously in doubt. Something will have to be worked out. 

Congress is supposed to approve a badly needed stimulus bill for the President to sign, but one grandstanding Republican is trying to make a name for himself by being the lone voice holding it up to force a quorum. That means legislators from both sides have to gather in one place unnecessarily to please the ego of one person to absolutely no purpose. 

Day 8

Combining entries because yesterday kind of got away from me, and I wound up not posting anything. The Tea Party Doofus, who will now be remembered only for being a grandstanding jerk at a time when the nation is in crisis, was easily swatted side, and the stimulus bill finally passed. The President signed it yesterday afternoon. 

Today we didn’t even eat breakfast until 10:00. That never happens unless we go out on a Sunday and have to wait until after Mass. Our nights are getting gradually longer. The later we stay up then the later we get up. We are going to have to work on keeping a better schedule or I will not be able to get back on a work schedule when the tie comes. Right now, it is like we are living in a different time zone, and I don’t want to get too comfortable with that.

The choice we made to stay off the news sites is turning out to be the right decision. A recap in the morning and a recap in the afternoon keeps us up to date, but the rest of the day, we watch or do anything else we can to dwell on this thing as little as possible.

Day 5

Late evening on the fifth day. I got to spend two hours on Skype with my grandson today. Then a girl he knows called, and suddenly I wasn’t so exciting. I made a trip to the local market and Dunkin Donuts. I can’t get used to how empty the streets are at 11:00 in the morning. I am astonished at the level of cooperation in people staying indoors as much as possible and away from each other, at least in my neighborhood. But I can’t help but wonder how long it will last, especially as our leaders in government insist on conducting partisan grandstanding as if nothing unusual was affecting their constituents. 

I am thinking about taking the car out soon. It hasn’t been started since Saturday, and I want to make sure it is functioning correctly when I do need it. I don’t think I am likely to catch a virus driving around in my car alone with the windows up. There is also the looming possibility that this shelter in place order could become an enforced quarantine. That is something I am not looking forward to. Tomorrow I start working in earnest on my novel, and I may start posting some more short stories on a writer’s site I belong to.