As I type this, it is 1:37 p.m. on Monday, June 15 and my first day back at the sports desk in the Clay County Progress office. When COVID-19 halted sports, my life changed drastically. It was as if someone pulled the emergency break while I was hammer down on I-40.
Before I could even process what was happening, school moved from brick buildings on a campus to my living room, barn, guest room or bedrooms depending on other planned activities.
So while trying to write content for the paper, I was trying to figure out Class Dojo and Google Classroom. Thankfully my kids had somewhat of an idea of how things worked and patient teachers were able to fill the gaps.
The end of the school year meant assignments slowed for my two temporary home schoolers and ironically myself too. Their like of work meant an early summer break while my lack of work meant an unexpected vacation.
Mornings consisted of a steady blend of breakfast and cartoons before getting started on the day’s chores and projects. Some days were filled with time in the garden and others with tasks like making and hanging bird feeders or transplanting trees.
My daughter has taken a liking to helping my dad fix small engines in his backyard workshop for people in the community. While I’m glad she likes getting her hands dirty and learning how things work, it’s still a slight shock when your 12 year old daughter complains about a poorly thought out engine design and how it creates issues when taking off the carburetor.
The chickens are seeing a lot more of my son. He has been given the task of making sure they have fresh water throughout the day. He’s gone from a little guy who was afraid of the rooster to Farmer John who will tuck a rooster under his arm.
I decided to start a YouTube channel called Farm Learnin’ to document our adventures in gardening and such. We have enjoyed being able to document our days for extended family and hope to be able to use the channel as a kind of home movie vault.
The thought of an above ground pool to pass the time was a great one. That is until we actually tried to find one to buy. Apparently you toilet paper hoarders stocked up on pools too. In the face of defeat we headed to the neighborhood creek. The same creek that I sought refuge in as a kid is now a favorite spot for my kids. It’s the perfect pool. Always fresh, cold water. Never needs treated for algae and no worries about the winter months. Sure you might share the deep hole with an occasional black snake, but they don’t take up much room.
I’ve also been planning for the months ahead. After cleaning my flue and relocating my small heater, I took to the interweb looking for a larger replacement. Thinking that more BTUs were just a few clicks away, I was slapped with the reminder that this is 2020 and nothing goes as planned. It just so happens the heaters with a rear exhaust that would fit it the space without major modifications are all out of stock. Maybe the folks who got all the pools got a free wood stove with each purchase.
Fast forward to this morning. I walked into the office with a strange sensation. I felt like it had been years since I sat at my desk while simultaneously feeling like it had only been for the weekend.
Those few minutes perfectly described this year. It’s as if someone is playing with the remote control for life and is pressing pause and fast forward at the same time. The last three months seem like a dream yet I see evidence that it was real. I guess this is the closest I will get to the sensation of losing time during an alien abduction. At least I hope so.
But if E.T. decides to beam me up one night, maybe he can leave a pool or heater for my troubles.