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Family Time, by Diane Chase

Don’t forget teachers

Do you remember back in the day when the world first shut down? To jar your memory, it will be a year this March. If you are a parent or caregiver with children in the home, do you remember wondering how in the world you were going to juggle kids, teach school and earn a living? Do you remember ...

Are our children being robbed?

I’ve heard more than a few people using the term “robbed” regarding children during this pandemic. Though mine may not be a popular opinion, I have to disagree that my child is being robbed of anything. Nothing has been stolen from children, though everything has changed. To me, ...

Signing up for a COVID vaccine

I want to start with the fact that I love my mother. Now everything else below will be a rant on how ill-prepared I am to take care of anyone. Don’t worry about elder abuse here. I’m fine. I felt the same way when I was handed over each of my children. How in the world does anyone feel ...

COVID shaming

It was just a matter of time that I’d have to come back to the reality of living life during a pandemic. I just wasn’t expecting to do it as a statistic. (I’ve asked permission to share this journey for anyone thinking I’d release private information without someone’s knowledge.) ...

Learning when to take advice

When my children were growing up, I have to admit I took a few cooking shortcuts. I didn’t question if there would be long-term consequences to any hastily prepared meals. I had to get food into mouths. Sometimes meals were eaten in the car. Gasp! (I understand it isn’t healthy, but it ...

The one-upmanship of animal infestation 

We live in an old farmhouse, and somewhere listed in our deed I’m sure to find a sentence indicating that our space will be shared with wildlife at one point or another. Wildlife can be loosely defined as any undomesticated animal, right? No, I’m not talking about my family.  I ...

Where do we go from here?

I’ve been wondering for a while if it is too late to love thy neighbor? Have we truly reached the point where we can’t even agree on what is right or wrong? Is it all about the payback? Social media has never been a factual place to receive news, so please bear with my thought process. ...

What is essential?

Since the beginning of quarantine in March, the word “essential” has been tossed around by government officials, businesses and individuals. People and their livelihoods were labeled either essential or not. People lost jobs because they were not essential. Other people felt belittled ...

Goodbye to 2020 … please

My family and I have been fortunate. I count my blessings every day and that includes a headcount. I’m not meaning to sound cavalier, but since the beginning of this pandemic, I knew it was just a matter of time before my circle would tighten, interweaving with those affected by this virus. ...

Celebrating the holidays

Looking back on the lessons learned from 2020, I’ve decided I’m going to celebrate all the holidays. As many as possible. I’m sure there have been more than one cultural clash, but I do enjoy a reoccurring theme of peace. Before I get accused of cultural appropriation, please ...

Taking back joy

When did so many people become efficiency experts? It isn’t anything new to try to pare down belongings or try to justify moving and never opening the same 10 boxes of my mother’s china. Marie Kondo’s popular show, “Spark Joy,” deals with efficiency and decluttering techniques. Did ...

Coping skills or denial

Last fall, pre-apocalypse, I was having a true pile-up of issues. Appliances, plumbing and car all needing repair at the same time. Job changes and sole caretaker responsibilities were evolving into unchartered territory. It’s something we all go through. In some ways, it may have been ...

Quarantine

When my son’s college went virtual this fall, we asked him what he wanted to do. Running away and joining the circus wasn’t an option. He needed to find a job, and we didn’t care where it was. He ended up with an internship in Rhode Island. It seemed to click all the boxes. He got ...

Not showing up for every argument

I’m learning a lot about myself through a pandemic, job losses, deaths and school closings. I’m not only experiencing various emotional rollercoasters, but sometimes it feels like I’m jumping aboard all the carnival rides. The one consistent issue I’m working on is not showing up for ...

A little bit selfish

I have spent the last million years of quarantine, the various Defcon stages, and the reopenings-closings making sure that everyone is OK. I’ve formed study groups, given up my office, and helped neighbors and friends. I’m not patting myself on the back, because I am not alone in this ...

Use the good dishes

I’ve participated in a few family relocations: my own and my parents’. With each move, there have always been a few boxes never fully unpacked. The contents may have made a brief outing from their tissue paper beds but were quickly stored in the original wrappings for the ever-elusive ...

What happens after the election

The country is voting for president. Through a virus, pandemic, deaths, quarantine, riots and chaos, there have been hard lines drawn in the sand. These lines have always been here. In the past, those lines were just ignored or stepped over while we smothered our thoughts with gravy at the ...

Trash panda

I recently learned that a nickname for a raccoon is a trash panda. Yes. I want to string those two words together all the time. I’m thinking of stickers and flags to replace window decals and political signs. We could start a club where we make plaques for our children’s rooms (Ok, just my ...

Socializing in the new world

A few weeks or months ago, since I no longer can keep track of time, I had connected briefly with the parent of one of my children’s friends. It was brief and conversational, a reconnecting of acquaintances. As parents, we had never socialized, but our children had been friendly. We hadn’t ...

One person’s trash

I am a huge fan of upcycling and repurposing, whether it’s clothes or furnishings. I am probably an even bigger fan of looking through antique and thrift stores, tag sales and odd markets for the perfect piece to fit in my strange collection of goods. I can look around our house and tell a ...