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Coffee Talk 07.12.20

Good morning! It is sunny and beautiful here today, and we’ll be headed out to church in a bit. It *almost* feels like normal times, except I know when I get to church, we will all be wearing masks and sitting in family groupings spaced 6 feet apart.

Oh, well. At least we’re able to meet and worship together.

We got together with friends last night outdoors on their patio, and it was nice to get a change of scenery… and to not be the ones hosting and cleaning up afterwards, let’s be honest!

Someone asked in the comments of my Q&A yesterday how my friends feel about me mentioning them on the blog. I haven’t asked, so I don’t really know! I never mention names, though, so I don’t think they care. And my closest friends aren’t regular blog readers, that I’m aware of.

I do have family members and people from church who read along (hi! 👋🏻) but again, I try not to be specific about who I’m with when I mention what’s going on in my life.

It is a little weird, though, I will admit. When I’m out and about, I’m never sure who has read what I wrote or not; and when I’m talking to them what’s going on in my life, sometimes they’ve already read it here or in my daily email.

Then there are the times when I ask first if they read it, so I’m not repeating myself, and they apologize because they haven’t read my blog.

My standard line has always been, “Not a requirement for friendship!” I mean, I certainly don’t expect my friends to follow my blog, lol!

Anywho.

We got word this week that my son’s college is going to continue remote learning through the fall 2020 semester. UGH.

I think it’s probably the right and necessary decision, but it’s one more semester that he’s losing from his college experience, which already feels so short. I cannot believe he’s going to be a junior this year!

We are paying for his apartment whether he lives there or not, so he may end up spending some time there even though classes will all be remote. At least he can hang out with his friends and have some semblance of independence.

He has his own bedroom in the apartment, and he’s only 30 minutes from home, so he won’t be coming in contact with tons of kids, and I can get to him if I need to.

It’s funny, when he chose a college so close to home, I wasn’t pleased. I wanted him to spread his wings a bit, but now that Covid is becoming a defining factor in his college experience, I’m so glad to have him close to home where I can get to him if need be.

I guess it just goes to show, our plans are not always the best plans.

Our public school district still hasn’t made any definite decisions about how to handle the fall semester, but as of right now, sports and marching band practices are starting up on schedule, with lots of extra safety measures in place.

They’re talking about doing a hybrid approach of some sort, so they can reduce the amount of kids and teachers in the building at any one time, but the kids can still get some face time with teachers and classmates. And I believe there will be an option for full-time remote learning for those who don’t feel comfortable sending their kids back to school just yet.

My younger daughter, who is an upcoming freshman this year, wants to go to school if it’s open, so we’re going to let her.

She’s the one who’s in the marching band, and she’s been so looking forward to that. They’ve made all kinds of modifications and put safety measures in place, so I’m hoping it works out and they can get a full season in, but only time will tell.

My older daughter, for anyone keeping track, will be a high school senior this year. She’s been using a cyber charter school since 8th grade, so she’s already accustomed to remote learning and perfectly happy to continue with that.

Once again, I’m grateful for how the Covid timing has all worked out for our family. Caroline already doesn’t have the typical high school experience, so she doesn’t care if her senior year is all out of whack. And David is missing a chunk of his college experience, but at least it’s in the middle of it. Hopefully he will get to have a “normal” senior year.

Becca has definitely missed out on the most, with her 8th grade year getting cut short, and all the exciting events and trips canceled. Hopefully she will get a fairly normal high school experience, once we get Covid under control.

So anyway! That’s where we are.

I know there are others who are experiencing a much different Covid world than I am, and I don’t take my blessings for granted.

Please be kind to one another in the comments. I’m happy to hear how things are going where you are, and how you are handling it all; but when talking to one another, please remember that we’re all coming at this from different perspectives, with different experiences, and be gracious to one another. Thank you!

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34 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 07.12.20

  1. I normally never comment but just wanted to say THANK YOU for your last paragraph about being kind in the comments!!  If only more people would remember in these divisive and stressful times, it’s ok to disagree but it’s never ok to be disrespectful or personal in the disagreements. Thanks for that gentle but important reminder!

  2. Glad to hear your son’s college made a decision, as it can be comforting to know what’s going to happen and prepare for it. My daughter just graduated from college and was living out of state for an internship that was cut short due to Covid. It’s terrible that she didn’t get to complete the full internship or have graduation, but the college worked diligently with the students to complete alternatives and still graduate on time. She has moved back home this week and has been on the hunt for a job for a couple months-guess what? Nobody hiring now! I think your son is in an excellent position to become comfortable with remote work that will set him up for any type of job market when he graduates-depending on his degree, of course. He will do well in the future for sure.

  3. hi! Great post. My church says we are all in different boats, riding out the same storm.

    How interesting your eldest was already doing cyber charter School!

    Here in Northern Cali, we are working from home and pretty much staying home. We are required to wear masks when outside or with people not from our own home indoors.

    The town opened outdoor dining June 20 but the County closed it down Friday nite based on rising numbers. This weekend people were still dining out. The town and restaurants just blew it off. Others got angry.

    People are VERY divided on this and we actually got press releases from the Sheriff’s Office. Its in the newspapers.

    This is so difficult and different than 9-11 when people banded together.it makes my heart hurt.

    I wear a mask because I need to (underlying health issue). Im tired of mask protesters shaking their fists at me with signs reading masks are for Halloween. Local intersection near my suburban home.

    Can’t we band together? Can’t you be for me? Can’t I be for you? While we recover, vote, listen and change? I’d like to believe it can be so.

  4. Have a wonderful day! We are not quite back into lockdown again. *sigh* Covid-19 is on the rise here. My daughter is in college and flourished with the distance learning. She was struggling with new people, new places. I wanted her to get the full college experience but like you I’m kind of glad that she stayed close to home. Be safe and well.

  5. Thank you for sharing. Our kids both go to private schools, and their schools plan to open at 100% in class learning. So thankful that we are blessed to send them to private schools. Their class sizes are already small, and we don’t have to worry about busing logistics.

    I like how you stated “once we get Covid under control.” People seem to think it’s going to go away. Unfortunately, it is here to stay, and people need to accept that fact and start living their daily lives again. We are trying our best with the limited activities offered and with all of the restrictions. We to have resumed attending church again. We’ve actually switched churches as of now. Our church had no music or singing, which I found depressing. We tried another church and they play music and sing hymns. They also take reservations, so we are guaranteed a pew. Even with the limited seating, the temporary church capacity (250 people) is not full. I find this sad as people are still choosing to stay home. I understand some can’t get sick, but at the same time, at what point do they feel they can leave the house? COVID is here to stay.

    1. YES and AMEN to your comments about learning to live life with COVID in it. Lockdowns did nothing to eradicate the virus and in fact almost guaranteed the pandemic will last longer since we have no large-scale immunity yet. I also find the sparse church attendance sad. My church does not even get close to its 50% capacity number. It troubles me that at a time when we desperately need faith, prayer, and the consolation of our faith families, so many people are giving it up. I had hoped to see my fellow parishioners running back into the church as soon as it opened, but it seems like watching on Facebook Live at home is just too easy and comfortable to give up.

  6. Great Post! We are all having a difficult experience but everyones experience is different. Can’t we be just kind to each other? Show a little empathy, and try to understand and listen. Thank you for sharing! Glad you and your family are well and doing OK. We are also having a sunny Sunday, hope All enjoy the day!

  7. Thanks for sharing your what is going on with you and your family. Our life as a family is all different also. But we live our lives one day at a time. With wisdom and strength God will help us thru these troubling times. My God bless you and your family.

  8. Glad your kids are all settling into the new normal. My daughter graduated from college last Dec and had high hopes of getting a job in her field and had several good interviews, then Covid hit and that all came to a stop. She’s pretty down, because as a 24 year old, life is much different that what she’d hope. No job opportunities, no going out to local bars with friends. no music concerts. It’s pretty much work and back home, especially because Texas has hit another spike and probably opened up too soon. Just when we thought it was safe to get out and about again, it’s now worse than it was in the spring. I’m back to working at home again so it’s very different for us. But like you said, we all live in diff areas and coming from different perspectives. Stay safe! 

  9. Hi. I don’t know if it’s too late but if you are  looking for ideas for the blog I might have one. I always loved before and after photos and things of that nature. Or why things work and why they don’t. Maybe examples of an outfit that doesn’t work, change one or two things and show us what does. I think that would be so helpful! Just a thought. Have a great day 😊

  10. Always enjoy your coffee talks. I am in Canada and it is interesting to see how other parts of the world are dealing with things at this time. It is a time for love, grace and compassion during these difficult days. This virus is moving at different capacities depending on where you live and the protocol’s put in place. Prayer for safety and good health for all:)

  11. I always love your coffee talk! I have a daughter that will be a Jr this year in high school and she also participates in Marching Band. They are also doing practices with major safety precautions in place. My fingers are crossed 🤞🏻 that they will be able to perform and compete this Fall. We find out our school district’s plan this week for the upcoming school year this week. It should be interesting!! Music is such a part of our daughter’s life that it will be hard if she has to miss out on those classes. Our state is having increases in cases and people having been as good at wearing masks. Hopefully cases can get under control before the Flu season hits in the Fall. I wish you and your family a great week!! 

  12. This is definitely an unprecedented time for all of us, and the overall landscape does vary, depending on where we live.  I have to keep reminding myself that the only thing I can control is mine and Larry’s actions.  We cannot travel anywhere, no matter how much we would like to get away.  We know that we have to wear masks and that we really have to social distance from everyone, so that’s what we have been and will continue doing for however long it’s deemed necessary.  I would love for our neighbors to wear masks and practice social distancing, but they don’t, thus we can’t hang out with them.  It definitely gets lonely having to stay to ourselves, so I actually look forward to doctors appointments and grocery shopping, just to see other people.  I do hope that Becca will be able to be at the high school and experience so many fun activities with the marching band.  I know that David is happy to be starting back to class, even though it will be online for the Fall.  Caroline gets to keep on with her usual academic schedule.  Is Paul still working from home or has he returned to the office?  My employer for 32 years shut down corporate headquarters, where I worked, for the rest of this calendar year.  It is mind boggling knowing that everyone is having to telework.  Enjoy the rest of your day!

  13. I teach at University of New Hampshire, and they are saying we are going to teach face-to-face, but students can decide if they want to come to class or take the class online. The administration hasn’t really helped us figure out how to teach a class (and for me a foreign language) when some students are in class and some are on line (but part of the class.) Zoom from the classroom? I may be able to teach completely via zoom, which is not ideal, but safer (in my opinion). Teaching a foreign language in masks and trying to have students in small groups for conversation but 6 feet apart will be very difficult. So many unknowns.
    Many faculty are not comfortable teaching face-to-face since students are not going to social distance outside of the classroom (we can see that already for the students who are living off campus in apartments, and they are walking around, no masks, no social distancing.)
    We wear masks when outside around other people, but not everyone does. We are both over 65 so considered higher risk. My mom has Alzheimers and is in memory care, and I haven’t seen her since mid-March. She doesn’t know me so she doesn’t miss not seeing me. (A silver lining). They are still closed to inside visits, only outside, 6 feet apart, masks, so not beneficial to her at all.
    We are able to have some friends over around the pool (since we can keep our distance), and we are so thankful for that. We so missed our friends when the weather was cooler.
    We were able to drive to North Carolina to meet our new grandson, and we were so careful on the drive – minimal stops, masks, brought our own food, etc. The rest areas all were requiring masks inside, and they were very clean.
    Stay safe and healthy. There will be an end, of some sort, at some point, but it will be later than we think.

  14. Great post!! We are all in this together even if our experiences are different, I m with you, if we can all be kind and understanding things will go much smoother!! ❤️
    Have a blessed day!

  15. I know it’s hard on the kids. Their peers and social life is so important to them. 

     Who knows when we will return to normal. We cancelled our Greek Island trip for Spring 2021. 😢 I would rather cancel and get my refund now. We can always book when travel becomes safer. Our restaurants are open but we have not gone yet. I only go out for necessities – food…wine…🤪

    My husband & I decided are #1 priority was to keep ourselves safe. We have masks and wear them when required but people here are really good about keeping their distance.  Our grocery stores have arrows you follow and the cashiers are all behind plexiglass. Our numbers are low and we hope to keep it that way. I think the young will be the ones to cause the surge as they enjoy the beaches, parks and parties. It’s hard for them to miss out on a summer and let’s face it, they feel indestructible. Lol If we all are cautious we can get get on top of this virus sooner. 

    Be kind! Be safe! And, smile! This too shall end. 

  16. Great post. I live in Florida where we’re
    experiencing a surge in cases. However, I don’t believe the state opened too soon – the shut down was to flatten the curve and now I believe in flatten the fear. Our state has hit the pause button some some activities (bars,large gatherings) Many churches that resumed in person services are back to on-line only. My opinion – we have to keep moving forward in life and learn to control the Corona Virus situation and mitigate it as much as is reasonably possible. This is a big state – we don’t always need to treat the rural areas the same as the heavily populated areas. Thanks everyone for the civil discussion, Take care . . .

    1. Thanks for the message to be kind! And understand how hard it is when kids have disappointments. My daughter who just graduated from college (typical disappointments, lost internship, campus job, and so on) has two solid job interviews this week, so keeping fingers crossed! Good things can happen, yes!

  17. I like what someone commented, “we are all in different boats but part of the same storm”. I also think of how everyone grieves a death in a variety of ways and stages…. this pandemic has also forced many into a grieving process. We’ve all lost something or watched our kids lose important celebrations, job loss, weddings cancelled etc. There is so much. Our first grandchild was born in March at the beginning of lockdown. We’ve held him once and haven’t had the start of grand parenting that we envisioned. Anyway, lots to be thankful for and agreeing our country needs love and kindness to get through this together.

    1. Beautifully said Nichole.  I too have good days of optimism and then days of despair of when will this be over?  I think we will have to adjust to a new way of life and cope with this being our new “normal”.  This new way of life will not be immune from difficulties but I know I will have peace through my faith in the Lord even during difficult times.  We will overcome the storms by staying positive and focusing on what we can do and what is in our control.  Leave the rest to God.  It is so important to give ourselves grace and be kind to each other.  None of us know what others are going through.  A friend of my mother’s was diagnosed with bone cancer; what a tough time to be dealing with that.  Our cases and death rate are low here; its a mix of half and half of folks wearing masks.  It seems like the youngsters who are opting out of socially distancing and masking; perhaps they feel like it won’t happen to them?  One hospital has had an outbreak and is closed to any new patients coming in from Emerg and surgeries in that hospital cancelled to contain the outbreak.  Thanks to all for sharing and their kindness. 

  18. Thankfully, we live in an area that quickly backtracked from phase 2 to phase 1 when the spike began to happen. Masks are mandatory as well and the numbers quickly improved. I think we forget that one of the primary reasons for trying to flatten the curve was to not overwhelm the hospitals. Unfortunately, in areas that opened quickly, that’s what is beginning to happen.
    On a brighter note, an Instagrammer I follow asked followers to name good things that have happened in their lives in recent months. I’ve rediscovered breadbaking and am working at mastering sourdough. My youngest (adult) son is here with us and we’ve gotten very close. It looks like I’ll be working from home for a long time but I love it and save time commuting! I’m compiling a list of things I might want to do; learn some new things, etc. and spice it up a bit! I work very hard at trying not to spend time thinking about how things used to be or how I wish they were different now or in the future. Instead, I do my best to stay in the day, engage in the day and am grateful for the little things. As they say, the present moment is really all we have so I try to stay in it.

    1. I love your attitude! I made a copy of what you wrote about “not spending time thinking about how things use dot be or how I wish they were different.” What a great perspective. Have a wonderful day!

  19. My son will be a freshman and is also in marching band. They are going ahead with their camp at the school with extra precautions as well. I am glad that they will get to have something semi normal!

    Our district has been great communicating the timeline for the process of planning and we should have it by the end of the week. My 5th and 9th graders want to be back in school.

    I work for our local public library and we started with curbside pickup in June and have recently added appointment only browsing and computer time. It has been an odd summer …we are usually run off our feet with summer reading program.

    I enjoy your blog posts and updates !

  20. I’ve been feeling a little down and anxious lately. Here in CA the numbers are rising and now it’s hitting closer to home. We know people who are fighting the virus and it’s scary. Someone in my husband’s office just tested positive, so now we are faced with whether or not we should all self-isolate in our family just in case. IDK. People are so divided with their opinions about it all and no one seems to be able to have a conversation anymore; it’s awful. I was just starting to “get out there” again, but now it looks like we’re moving in reverse. I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for next week that I canceled because I’m nervous about being around people who might be sick. And a “girl’s night out” was changed to a Zoom happy hour next week because none of us feel good meeting at a restaurant. We still don’t know what is going to happen with our schools reopening, but I personally do not feel comfortable going back 100%. Under normal circumstances, my classroom is a petri dish of germs and I doubt that it will be any different despite them lowering class size, installing hand-washing stations, and wiping down desks. I already was hyper-vigilant pre-COVID about washing my hands, making my students wash theirs, using disinfecting wipes, etc… I hate that the government’s position is to just throw teachers in the “lion’s den” so to speak and hope for the best. Anyway, sorry to hijack your blog post here. In regards to fashion, I just ordered two new pairs of cropped leggings and tanks from Athleta (nothing on sale though 🙁 ) but I figured I needed some warm weather “leisurewear/loungewear” since I”m not going out anywhere except the grocery store and our weather has suddenly turned HOT in the last week. 😀

  21. My oldest son will be a college Sophomore and he is going back to in person class and dorm living.  My other two kids are in our public high school.  They start school August  4 as distance learning at least until Labor Day and then the school district plans to reassess  having some in-person instruction as well. 

  22. Greetings from Australia. I enjoy your snapshot of daily life and your commenters writings as well. It does seem highly likely that covid is here to stay for a good while, and it is impacting our lives just as it impacts yours, with similar experiences for young people and a rise in unemployment. We are lucky that we have a unified national cabinet ( state leaders of all stripes meet together regularly and decide the general way forward for the whole nation) and readily available federal govt financial support that was instituted very quickly. We have had some outbreak blips, we are in the middle of one now, but I can’t imagine outbreaks on the scale you have been dealing with. I hope commonsense and science guides us all. 

  23. I always enjoy your coffee talk:) I’m in Canada so it’s interesting to hear all the different perspectives about the virus and how each area around the world is dealing with it. We had zero new cases and zero active cases for about 20 days, I will say it was easy to let our guards down but then we had 5 new cases over the past two weeks that were travel related. I’m thankful for our provincial leadership right now and hope we have learned from the first wave and will be able to avoid a second wave if possible. Everything is pretty much open( except churches ,  movie theaters and no large gatherings or sporting events, doctors offices are closed and are doing phone appointments only and scheduled visits if necessary) and no social distancing for crowds 10 and under only) and are all under new guidelines and protocol, masks are up to the individual but we do have stores where they are mandatory. I find people are still very cautious and not all running back to dining out and ignoring the social distancing rules( there’s always a few rule breakers🤷‍♀️) it certainly is a time to show grace and compassion and I hope for me when I look back at this time I will be able to say what I’ve learned. Wishing safety and good health to all ❤️

  24. Thankfully my sons are out of school and living on their own so I don’t have to worry about school. My husband and both sons continue to work through the pandemic but I was furloughed from my ministry job at a Catholic parish in May and not sure the parish will be able to afford to bring any staff back this year.  

  25. I’m glad you are able to get to church and get out a little more.  I think we will all be so much more appreciative of the things we used to take for granted once we can get out and about again.  I feel for all the kids and young adults with their schooling impacted by all of this.  My oldest is transferring from a 2-year community college to a 4-year university.  It’s more complicated than it would normally be.  My daughter is going into her senior year of high school, and she’s already missed some of her “last time” to do various things.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s hard for them to miss out on things.

  26. I really appreciate reading everyone’s experiences with the lockdowns and COVID in general. Please, please mention what state you live in! It would make your comments a little more meaningful. I love hearing how things are working out in other parts of the country/world! I live in New Jersey and we just cancelled a much-anticipated vacation to….Myrtle Beach! We were holding out hope that things would get better there, apparently not!! I really miss seeing my PA grandkids on a regular basis, but starting to spend a little more time together. Stay well and strong, everyone!!!

  27. Can you please share the link for the cute loungewear outfit you are wearing?  I love this.

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