Wednesday, August 26, 2020

March 2020 - Entering Covid Quarantine and the world turned upside down

Who knew that a week after dad's funeral we would start a temporary lockdown that turned into a longer temporary lockdown...that is still continuing to a point as I write this. 

The world felt like it was turning upside down as more and more of what was considered normal was being converted to what eventually became a new normal. 

I drew this picture representing my 2020 new years mantra to have hope and to allow hope to rise above whatever I was going through. I never knew how timely or needed this would be. 


Ashley never got to go to what ended up being her last day of school ever. She was sick that day and after school we found out that she wouldn't be coming back...they didn't know how long but for now final's week was postponed and how school would finish nobody knew at the moment. 

Jacob drove back from Idaho when the campus shut down and everything, including his job went on-line. Taylor was living in LA and everything went on lockdown and it was hard to get food and his job went on-line and his lab was closed so he moved back home. Taylor Rose also moved into the guest room so we had a houseful. 

The stores were starting to run out of food as people started to go into panic mode. So we took stock of our food storage as we prepared for what might be a long visit with feeding family with unknown food supplies. Luckily we had cans and cans of staples stockpiled in case we needed it. 

When we started quarantining there was a lot of rain so we just stayed in the house a lot but when it got sunny we took the opportunity to meet up with Jolene and Delilah and take a hike in Sycamore Canyon.  Later on they closed the trails as well as everything that was considered non-essential (clothing stores, malls, amusement parks, churches and anything that promoted the gathering of people)

It was nice to be outside during the fear and uncertainty we were living in. 

Taylor is helping Ashley jump over the mud puddles. 

We got a visit from Jared, Vanessa and their cute family including their newest daughter, so sweet!

During quarantine I learned how to participate in a zoom meeting. All our church services went to zoom and every Sunday we log in for a zoom devotional and then we do sacrament meeting her at home. A boy in our ward even started selling sacrament trays using his 3d printer and its been very useful. 

I just got called to be Stake Relief Society president. I was sustained while I was at my dad's funeral and set apart the week before the shutdown. I was supposed to speak at Stake Conference but we never had it. So our presidency has been doing remote zoom meetings, emails to wards and trying to be creative while supporting the members at the same time.  

My project for the next few months was sewing, selling a little and donating lots and lots of masks!

I had the idea as my friend Penny Smith was going to start chemo and was worried about Covid. I had seen that people were making masks so I researched it and tried out a pattern and came up with some prototypes. 

Material was hard to come by so I put out a request to the community through Facebook and I was overwhelmed with donations of fabric that I couldn't buy at the time. I bought some but it went fast and it ended up becoming more and more elusive. 

I joined with other sewers and made hundreds and hundreds of masks to give away. I took donations to help with supplies if people wanted to donate but the majority I gave away for free. I gave them to nurses, nursing home, first responders, immunocompromised, foster families and just regular people. 

More than once Virginia came out and stayed the day and we sewed together. I felt like I was running a sweatshop some days, ha ha. 

I had a bucket outside that I would put my orders in for people to pickup. A few people were sweet enough to give me some nice things in return which was very thoughtful and made it all worthwhile!


One of the positive things from having everyone at home is having more family fun time. We've been playing games and watching movies in the evening and enjoying our time together. There is a lot of cooking going on but every night feels like Sunday dinner and we have had some great time getting to know each other better. 

Jackbox accurate... ha ha. 

We've done more baking that normal and one night Taylor Rose and Ashley made yummy funnel cakes for dessert. 

After going crazy one week we drove down to get outside with Joel and Virginia (they were like our quarantine buddies since they were one of the few people we would see)

They have this great place to hike near their house. The parking lot was closed but people were on the trail so we went anyway.

Beautiful and just what we needed.

We haven't been able to see family in a long time so I liked this picture that Cheri sent me. Her boys are getting so big!

I helped a couple of organizations with sewing masks....masks....and more masks....

I sewed so many I broke two machines and had to borrow one from my secretary to continue sewing!!


1/16/50 - 2/21/2020 Saying Goodbye to Dad

Dad passed away February 21st 2020

I got the call about 9:00 pm from North Carolina which was in the middle of the night there. We knew the call would be coming any day. My dad's battle with cancer was over and he finally free from pain and the shackles of a body that was no longer functioning. 

This was right before he went into the hospital for the last time and didn't come home. He was passing out Halloween candy and this was his costume. 

 Mom most especially admired him for his courage during his 2 year battle with pancreatic cancer. He stayed upbeat and didn't complain. He didn't talk too much about his prognosis or the future but just tried to enjoy the day and the moment he was in. Whether it was a good meal or a phone call he tried to stay positive and present as much as he could while battling through pain and the breakdown of his body. 

We were grateful that all the sisters could make it out for the funeral and most of the husbands. We were there to help mom with the arrangements, sift through pictures for a slide show and reminisce and enjoy spending time together as a family.

It was very busy in the days before the funeral as we planned the program and went through thousands of pictures and multiple boxes of memorabilia. 

The service was beautiful. I agreed to do the eulogy (which he had written ahead of time) and ralized how hard it was once I was there and having to do it. 

Dad looked good, but not like himself. We felt his spirit with us though and felt he was with us. 

So glad that I had Jeff there with me. 

Jeff gave the dedicatory prayer at the graveside.

The ward was nice enough to put on a luncheon after the services and we got to meet and thank everyone for helping my mom and dad out, especially during his illness. 

Glad my sisters were there to mourn and celebrate his life together. 

The day after the funeral before Jeff and Joel flew back home we decided to go to downtown Raleigh. I was surprised that mom and dad had never been to the downtown even though it was only 30 minutes away. 

Mom seemed happy to get out with us and be there that day. 

We explored the history museum there that was free to the public...

We ate lunch at the food lab in town where you got to pick what food vendor you wanted to order from and we all got to eat what we picked together. 

Michelle and Reese left for home after this and Jeff flew home soon after.

Mom had her mind mad up that she wasn't wanting to move away from North Carolina so Angela and I stayed a few more days to clean up as much of her things as we could before we had to get back home. 

Luckily mom was ready to get rid of a lot of things and so we cleaned out a LOT of clothes and most of the boxes in the garage which was a big job. 

We divided up and mailed home a lot of our own memorabilia, we sold what we could on Facebook marketplace (due to Angela) and then gave away the rest which was picked up from the curb when Angela advertised it. 

This was all the trash and recycling we were left with when we were done and luckily a friend from the ward was willing to help mom bring it out to the curb for her. 

The last thing we did was go to Khols and do some shopping for mom...she didn't want to come with us so we just did the best we could and bought what we thought she would like and luckily she liked all of it! (Angela also tried straightening her hair for her to try something new).

We were glad to be able to celebrate dad and help mom while we were there. 

We also got to go through a lot of fun old pictures that were in the boxes.