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Staying home has been a blessing, despite pandemic

By Abby Thompson

Guest Columnist

 

I have a confession to make: I love the quarantine life.

There, I said it.

Some people may disagree with me, and that is fine. However, I must make it clear that I have enjoyed every second of this “stay-in-place” order.

I have always been a homebody and one who doesn’t go to many places besides Walmart, Kroger, and any place that has Mexican queso dip.

Being an only child taught me a lot about being independent, and being happy with who I am. For that, I am grateful. It has also made me appreciate my parents and love spending time with them.

So,  since this quarantine first started, my husband and I have been living with my parents and his parents. We did have a condo in Oxford, but we found that it would be best to move out of Oxford during this time since he works in Batesville, and we have family in Water Valley and Grenada.

I will say, though, that moving from Grenada to Water Valley just about every day, and living in a suitcase 24/7, is sometimes exhausting. I remind myself how blessed we are to have not one, but two, places we can comfortably call home.

Not to mention we are now proud owners of over 20 chickens, 50 quail, and 12 rabbits (and counting).

That has been an experience, let me tell you.

There is nothing quite like waking up and walking to your backyard to feed chickens, hearing them cluck and run in circles from excitement. Having fresh eggs is also a huge plus, too.

I know I may be in the minority by saying I’ve loved the quarantine life, but it has given me a lot of time to think and process what life is really all about.

My husband, Grant, and I are about to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary Aug. 10, and I can honestly say that I had no idea that this year would hold all it did.

Many people told us that the first year was the hardest year, but I disagree.

While I know that we haven’t been married that long, it has been the biggest blessing of my entire life, aside from making Jesus my Lord and Savior.

Grant is a full-time firefighter for the City of Batesville, and when he gets off of those shifts he manages multiple family businesses in Water Valley. It means our time together is sometimes limited.

I’m currently in school finishing my master’s degree, and also substitute teaching, so I usually have long days filled with teaching, school and homework. Because of that, we make sure to cherish every minute we have together.

Grant has helped me become a better “me.” I have a very, very stubborn Type-A personality, and he is very much the opposite. He goes with the flow, and I just have a hard time doing that.

We balance each other out very well in that category. He helps me not be so uptight about things, and in return, I somewhat help him try to be more orderly.

He has been my constant and has loved me “for better or for worse,” and “in sickness and in health.” I’ve gone through a few health issues this past year, and he has prayed over me and with me, held my hand, wiped my tears, and has reminded me of how powerful our God is.

I truly think that if we can make it through the first year of our marriage being in a global pandemic, we can survive anything.

In regards to COVID-19 and all of the news updates being flashed on our TV screens constantly, I have had time to reflect on this as well. Being a spiritual woman, it would be very easy to get upset with the Lord and question His power and sovereignty and ask why this was allowed to happen.

But, I think I know why. So many people are so quick to judge, so quick to make assumptions about people. They try to control situations, manipulate them to get what they want, and are always seeking attention. I think God is getting tired of all this nonsense we have been causing down here, so He quite literally has sent us to our rooms.

Sometimes, I have a hard time sitting still and being with my thoughts, but in my stillness, He has taught me a great deal. Life is so much more than what we think it is about.

It’s not about how much money we make.

It’s not about what cars we drive.

It’s not about the job we have.

It’s not about our physical appearance.

It’s not about what Karen, or Billy, or Susan is doing.

It’s about something more – something so much more.

I have seen neighborhoods, towns, counties, and families come together.

Maybe, just maybe, this is what our country needs.

May we always remember what this season of stillness has taught us so that when it’s time to finally get out of the house, we have a place people can call home.

This unexpected and extended time with my family is treasured. I haven’t had to be alone while my husband is on shift at the fire station. My dad and I have had a chance to take morning walks around our neighborhood again, and my mom and I get to do workouts together.

I’m trying new recipes in the kitchen and baking nearly every day, so if I come out of this quarantine a few pounds heavier, just know I’ve been knee-deep in banana nut bread and homemade cookies daily.

My mom may have me rearranging house furniture 52 times a day, but I’ll look back on this time one day and have so much gratitude.

“This is something we will be able to tell our kids one day,” my husband tells me.

My hope and prayer after all this is over with is that people will be easier on each other. That we won’t be so quick to judge or get offended. That we will find joy in simple things like the sunshine, or a hummingbird buzzing around, or the cluck of a chicken at daybreak.

Abby Thompson can be reached at arvance@go.olemiss.edu