It has been some time since I invited you into my home for a story. Let me give you the cast:
College son #1 who is a senior at a tech college. His hands-on education just ended as he has gone to online classes. He knows he won’t walk the stage to graduate but he’s okay with that. His NASA internship due to start in June is uncertain. He was sent home over two weeks ago and classes begin on Monday.
College son #2 who is a sophomore at a college near Boston. He was home on break when this all went down, and was told to stay at home. He had only brought a few things home (including his desktop computer–whew!) so he misses his math textbooks. He carries 20 credits so now and again he has to firmly remind us that he is in the college pressure-cooker and needs to focus on his work. He is the one who most misses the social interaction.
The word is that college is closed to them for the rest of the year. Keep in mind these sons were homeschooled and college was their first chance to ‘go to school’ and have a robust social life.
Daughter moved back, Uhaul truck and full car, from Maryland on Tuesday. Another son who lives in Maryland helped her drive up. Everybody unpacked her household effects into the barn on the next day and the day after that son #3 rode his Suzuki back to Annapolis, where he has no job, but has some savings, a ladyfriend, and the opportunity to serve his community. He is assistant manager at a specialty ice cream-chocolate-fudge shop in a tourist town, shut down for the duration. Daughter is welcome here and is converting the girls’ old room into an apartment for herself. She is looking into teaching jobs for the fall.
At home we also have the two formerly bored former empty-nesters, who now find food disappears a lot faster and clean towels are always in short supply. It is good to hear laughter and bad puns again. The governor of Vermont names the forest industry as essential in regards to fuel supply (firewood, woodchips) so his work may continue in some fashion. He keeps our part-time employee occupied for now.
This year he also began to teach at Vermont Technical College, a one-day hands-on course in forestry that, to his dismay, has to go online entirely. NEver mind practice in the field; he has to teach solely by lecture and conversation. This shift is taking a lot of hard work, but it sounds like he has found his way out of the corner.
Two years ago I became the music director of a small Christian school. We closed the doors at the end of the day on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. We had three days to put something together and I have just finished my first week. In that week, roughly keeping pace with the extraordinary rate of announcements of further changes to life in Vermont (the latest of which is that schools are closed for the rest of the year) I have come to realize my program needs to make a profound shift. Since all my families are forced into homeschooling now, they don’t need the extra burden of keeping up with a music lesson weekly. Some of them have to work and can barely get through Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. I am not assigning anything, at least not to the Elementary School children.
What I am doing instead is offering (optional) live classes that will be sing-alongs of cheerful, fun, uplifting songs. I also plan to have have a family sing-along one evening a week. Beyond that, I will be pulling together a virtual choir performance with at least my choir and possibly opening it up as far as I can reach. I’ll launch that this week.
So, that is the cast of this blog’s drama. Our two other children got married within the last six months–my youngest daughter on March 1, just before the madness began. Such amazing timing! Hence, she is able to finish up her senior year of Art school in her college town, where her husband has just entered the city police force. They would not be able to see each other until this was all over if they had not tied the knot.
That’s it for the first installment of the News from Heart’s Content.
I would love to hear your story in the comments. And if you want to read the comments, I believe you have to click to get to that page. Perhaps it is time to upgrade my Theme from the one I picked up in 2010, to one that actually displays comments!