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COVID-19: The Silver Lining

Life as we know it will never be the same. That's a fact. The devastation we are experiencing, and will continue to experience for months to come, is something that was only thought out on whiteboards by those who had planned for such an event. As of today, suffice it to say, every American has been personally impacted by COVID-19 one way or another, and by the end of this we will all know someone who has become ill or who has succumbed to the disease. For those of you who still think this is no worse than the flu, shame on you.

With all of the craziness around us, I encourage you to think about the positive things that are happening in our communities, and in our own homes. After being quarantined for 18 days I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items. The first thing I noticed was that everything seemed to have slowed down. I'm usually all about hustle and bustle, and that wasn't going on. Grace filled the aisles. Shoppers were gracious and polite. Saying please and thank you, and apologizing for getting too close to someone. It was like I stepped into a movie that was taking place in a different time, and it made me slow down and appreciate the small freedom of going to the grocery store. Albeit with a mask.

It also made me realize all of the things that I don't do or haven't done in years, simply because I'm always moving at mach speeds. Part of that realization came not just from being quarantined, but with one of my daughters home from college.

  • Eating dinner as a family. Our oven hasn't been used this much since we built our house in '97! And even with curbside pickup, we have used our patio table for family dinner more times these last few weeks than we have in the last few years. If you have kids, let them help you plan the menu for a week or two at a time. Whether they're 5, 10 or 20 years old, they'll have fun participating, it will make your shopping a lot easier and it will also save you trips to the grocery store. Bonus: If they help plan, they won't complain about what's for dinner. Well, hopefully.

  • Family game night. My daughters love playing games, but it's usually only when they are with their grandma. I'm usually too busy with work ... this quarantine made me realize that my priorities were out of whack. We even picked up a version of Monopoly that has been customized to our city, which was fun to play. Many universities also have a collegiate version, which makes a great gift.

  • And what about puzzles? If you don't have puzzles at your house, you most likely won't find any at your local Walmart. That part of the toy department was as empty as the hand sanitizer shelf! But don't fret. Sarah Ombry, whom I had the pleasure of meeting a couple months ago, created these VERY cool virtual puzzles. Sarah is with Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island and these puzzles will show you the beauty of this amazing destination. Plus, virtual puzzles are pretty awesome.

Gazebo (75 pieces)

Adirondack Chairs (150 pieces)

Horses (150 pieces)

Sunrise (200 pieces)

Mission Point Aerial (500 pieces)

  • Even college kids are getting into the quarantine puzzle mode. My daughter and her roommates had some fun putting this one together. A full football stadium ... now that's something we're all hopeful to see in a few months! If you have a college puzzle that you've created during the stay-at-home order, share your pics in the comment section.

  • Get outside and work in your garden. Plant some seeds in small containers and nurture them each day. I know there is still that white, flaky stuff falling from the sky in some parts of the country, but it will soon be gone. If you are impatient and want to see results quickly, green beans will begin to grow quickly.

  • No Easy Bake Oven. My daughter and I have been baking, with the real oven. What's another ten pounds at this point! It's something we've been able to do together and we've been able to share the treats with neighbors. Hint: If you plan to bake, make sure you add flour to your grocery list. It's one of the hard-to-find items. Yeast too ... if you are making fresh baked bread or rolls.

  • Do Good While Organizing. If you're like me, your closets and cupboards have never been so clean and organized! Take this time to cull the things you don't need/want and put them in your donation pile. Resale stores that benefit local charitable organizations will be in desperate need of funding when this is all over, and your donation will help while also giving you a tax write off. Many organizations are still taking donations during the stay-at-home order and are using no-contact precautions as you drop off your items.

Take Away: Find the silver lining in everything. The stay at home orders will begin to dissipate and, together, we'll get accustomed to the new normal. In the meantime, make new memories, help your neighbors where you can, and keep that positive attitude!

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