A guest post by Kris Strid (wife of our founder/mother of our CEO and COO)
I live on a well-traveled road next to a university where I take morning walks and mingle with students. I love living near the campus where we can attend sporting events, lectures, art shows and go to Sunday Mass.
Beyond our road is a highway whose distant hum usually lulls me to sleep late at night. Light traffic on our road seems to start close to 5 am, when I wake and roll over for an hour or so, until the neighborhood dogs begin to say hello to each other. By 8 o’clock our road is busy with college people, delivery trucks, construction vehicles, Moms chauffeuring kids, and commuters driving to work.
But now, the missing highway-hum disturbs my sleep, and the deafening morning silence wakes me before the dogs are even out to play. I feel unsettled and my anxiety does not allow me to roll over.
Our road is quiet. The students are gone. A few Saturdays ago I watched them pack up their cars. They hugged and cried, as they took group photos and vowed to be back. The campus is empty now. My morning walk seems long and lonely.
Today I ordered delivery from the grocery store. I asked for two onions and two bananas. I received two large bunches of bananas and two bags of onions. Later, I traded onions and bananas for coffee, with friends who picked up and dropped off at my back door.
My kids and their kids wave to me from their cars in our driveway. How I long to hug them, and cook Sunday dinner for them all.
I wonder what they will remember of this crazy time. Will it be like our “Day Kennedy was shot” or “9/11?” Will 2020 be the year we stopped shaking hands, stopped seeing teachers in person, started working from home, stopped going out to dinner? Or will it be the year that we started to enjoy the outdoors together, wished we could go to church, did family puzzles, cooked our own meals?
We are on quarantine day 12. We have been eating meals from the freezer, walking at least 2 miles per day, and have watched way too much tv. I am on my second book and I seem to snooze every afternoon. Tomorrow I plan to make onion soup and banana bread.
But the best part of my quarantined is day is at five o’clock. That is when I do a Krissy’s Story Hour that my son Paul has set up remotely on Zoom meeting with my grands and my brother’s grands. We can all see and hear each other on our computer screens, each in his own square. I see some of the kids in Boston on the couch under blankets with their mom, others in Pennsylvania sit closely up to the screen intently, while some wander while they listen.
I am reading a perfect book, A Day No Pigs Would Die. The kids are learning what a Vermont farm boy’s life was like in the 1920s – young Robert and his Shaker family had no frills for sure. We talk about what Shakers are, and find why a cow and a pig can’t sleep near each other, we fall in love with Pinky the pig. Together we learn what “rich” and “poor” means to these country people in 1928.
I remember the sad ending of this story that I read thirty or more years ago to my own kids. All seven of us were driving to Maine and had been in the car for 9 hours. As we approached our destination In Tenants Harbor, I had three or four pages left to read. They all begged their dad to keep driving, so I could finish the book.
This week, I know these kids and I will cry with Robert, and like their parents did, they will understand what Robert had to do to become a man and honor his father.
What a miracle we are experiencing together as I read long distance from my kitchen. I hope this is something that these kids will remember about 2020!