The Benedik’s + COVID 19 + Social Isolation day’s 24/25…

So I sat down this afternoon to write this blog, wondering what I was actually going to write about.  Our lives are a little bit like the Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day” – it’s the same exact day over and over.  The only exception being the COVID 19 statistics and guidelines, which change by the minute during this national pandemic.   Near my desk in my bedroom where I sit with my laptop, is a small bookcase I took from my parents house when it was sold.   It’s tall and narrow and filled with items that are only special to me.  I have it leaned against my favorite picture of my pop on my wall.  As I grumbled and complained internally about my writers block, the entire bookcase filled with memorabilia just fell forward on top of me, spilling it’s contents all over my room.  I sat here dumbfounded as to how this occurred, as the usual culprit of strange incidents was sound asleep on my bed and didn’t even lift his head.  Then it hit me, well literally the bookcase did, but it dawned on me that I just got a sign.  Like a smack in the head from my dad telling me to get myself together and get over it (actually his exact words would be ‘quit your bellyaching spaghetti arms’).  Sitting at my desk, in my safe home, filled with my healthy family and tons to do, is not a problem.   Sometimes it takes a simple reminder, or a not so subtle one to wake up.  I am currently icing my arm. LOL.  No, really I am.   The many life lessons he taught me are just imbedded in the core of my soul.

Restlessness is becoming more evident in our home as the days go by – Brian has begun to send a text to our family group chat at lunch outlining the afternoon.   Today’s text is as follows: 3:00pm dog walk, 5:30 car ride 6:00pm Happy hour on deck 7:00pm dinner…  It helps to have this simple understanding of the afternoon/evening, but sometimes we have low participation from the troops.   Most days, no one replies to him, but at the appointed time someone will emerge from the teen/young adult cocoons and join in.  I’ve said this so many times, having all this time and nothing on the schedule is just foreign to us.   Over coffee this morning, Brian held up his calendar on his iPad – it was blank.  I said “wait, let me check mine!”,  my only entry was a reminder for my daily virtual yoga class at 10:30am.   Our new normal is full of free time. Another new phenomenon  I have noticed is labeling of food items, and signs/notes (mostly written by me) posted all over the house.  With all of us home, and one leftover thief  in particular home from college, this has become more frequent!  Something else that has made an appearance is the “Poll of the day” that is  written on the mirror in the kid’s bathroom. Apparently one of my comedians posts a new one daily.   I’m telling you we are all cracking up.

I am more and more impressed with our small town of Wyckoff, as we hunker down and deal with the ramifications of COVID19.  There is so much happening behind the scenes to support and encourage those who are in need.  Countless people in town (who knew they harbored secret sewing skills!) are sewing masks for hospitals, frontline workers, and community members in need, groups have formed to raise funds and work with local restaurants to feed the healthcare teams at the local hospitals, and local businesses who remain closed under the government mandates are fulfilling orders via phone/email/direct message and delivering directly to our homes.   Everyone is stepping up to the challenge to beat this pandemic.   We are fortunate enough to have a very dedicated and passionate mayor, who sends out an informative email every evening around 9:30.  Some days this is the ONLY news I will read.  The tone and direction of Mayor Shanley’s emails are both alarming and comforting.  He states the facts, the statistics, the shocking numbers of Bergen County and our town, yet he encourages and reminds us DAILY that we are in this together, that we are #Wyckoffstrong and we will get through it.

I wish I could turn off my ‘worry’, but I have faith that we will win this war, this new normal will be behind us and we will be stronger for it.  I have a sign on my desk that says; “Turn your worries into prayers – PHIL 4:6”, I am going to be very busy.

Stay safe, stay home, and be well.

XO KB

 

The Benedik’s + COVID19 + Social Isolation days 22 & 23

It’s an interesting time in our world right now.  I am finding myself laying awake worrying about things that I have never even thought about before, and I am having thoughts that just won’t go away.   I am not sure how to process some of it, but fortunately having a vast sounding board helps me deal. My panel of listeners consists  mostly of Brian, my mom, and my two yoga pals, but they listen and relate and most of all make my worries seem normal.  This is a new time for us all living in this social isolation, and boy does it make my mind wander!   The yogi’s and I did complete day 13 of our 30 day virtual yoga class today, and we are feeling bendy! The best part of yoga is still the before/after daily FaceTime catch up with my friends.   We have BIG PLANS for when we are let out of our homes.  BIG PLANS.

I skipped my morning routine today so that I could get to the grocery store as soon as they opened.    I had my list organized by department, my gloves and new mask (our neighbor sewed us all matching masks made out of Brian & Tyler’s old clothes – thank you Leslie!) and my Clorox wipes ready to go.   What I didn’t expect was the LINE wrapped around the store.   I was glad that they were limiting the number of people entering at a time, but I was not prepared for the cold and froze my ass off.  It’s all good though, I managed to fill TWO carts, and was on my way in TWO HOURS.  Something happens to me when I get in the grocery store during this pandemic.  I think it’s called PANIC.  I know they won’t close the stores, and we will have access to food and necessities as these days go by, but I am just overcome with an urge to keep stocking up.  (I really could use a third freezer Brian!)

I don’t remember a time in our family that we did not have full schedules.  It has always been a commotion, finally slowing down just a little when Tyler & Caroline went away to college.  Brian, Riley and I fell into a simple routine, and most weeks it was just me and Riley home with Brian’s work travel keeping him away.  I didn’t really ‘plan’ menus anymore, and we ate out A LOT.   It seems like we have time traveled now.  Everyone is home, I am cooking and baking WAY more than I have in years, and we have a full house.  Yes, we are trapped home with social distancing, but the simplicity of everyone just being home, is actually really nice.   And as we approach one month of quarantine, the kids get it.  I know they are unhappy, but they understand why, and have come to terms with the seriousness of this pandemic.

The weather was a TOP 10 today – when Riley was little she would refer to a day like today as a “sunshiney day”, and that is exactly what it was.   A great number of people  were walking, running, riding bicycles and walking dogs in our neighborhood.  Everyone maintained the 6-8 feet social distance,  avoiding each other like the plague.   Something had changed though – while the weather was an instant mood lifter, and there was laughter and smiles on those enjoying the beautiful day, there is a sense of unease and uncertainty surrounding our community.   We have been warned that America is bracing for its hardest week during this pandemic, so I think that is weighing heavy on everyones mind.   I will once again quote my pop, “Do not be afraid of tomorrow, God is already there…”

Stay safe, stay home, and be there for one another during these trying times.  We rise by lifting others, and this is the time to RISE.

XO, KB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Benedik’s + COVID19 + Social Isolation Day 20 & 21 (!!!)

Someone complimented me a few days ago, and told me  that they loved my blog, and the ‘positive spin’ I put on things while writing during this COVID 19  pandemic.   In addition to that, my mom refers to it as my ‘column’, and my dear Aunt Maria said I write like my dad.  All of these kind words make my heart swell, and I am humbled, but not quite deserving.   In the beginning, I had plenty of funny stories to tell, mishaps that occurred during our days, and fun ways we were passing the time.   As we approach our fourth week in quarantine, with no end in sight, it’s gotten a bit more difficult for me to write keeping things positive.   I started this blog in 2016 when I lost my dad.  While it was not a daily blog, I wrote when I needed to share something about my grief journey.  It was a kind of therapy, and as I write this now, it is playing the same role.   Frankly, I am losing my sh** like everyone else.  Taking a moment, or a day to myself,  like I did today (not so easy while we are all home) to re-group and re-focus was essential.  I did not watch ANY news today, and I didn’t study the statistics or numbers – it’s not necessary, we are approaching the peak and it’s not pretty.   Today, I just felt sad.

Fortunately we had a beautiful day, and everyone got out and exercised.  It’s been a very long time since my family had a catch on the front lawn, and the dogs were treated to a marathon walk.  On their walk, Brian was saying “hello neighbor” to people  who are NOT our neighbors, and the girls were just shrieking with laughter.   I took a walk alone, and with every person I encountered at a “social distance”, it became even more clear we are all in this together.  Our community is in a battle to the end, and we have got to play our part.   I miss my people.   I miss life as we knew it.

Our big adventure yesterday took us to the new Krispy Kreme Donut drive through, masks & gloves on, and a dozen donuts to bring instant smiles to our faces.  The kids are all convinced it was Brian who consumed the most, and I must admit I do too – but really, in the scheme of things?  Who the hell cares at this point.  It created HAPPY, and in my mind, that is what we need to do, as much as possible.

Here is a closing thought, when all this is behind us, and we have our freedom back, who will you hug first?  For me, there is no question, I will be racing out to Long Island into the arms of my Mom – because that is the only place I want to be right now.

Let’s keep those prayer chains going, and hope that the miracles we need are soon granted.  Stay home,  let’s flatten this curve together, and remember who is in charge.

XO, KB

 

The Benedik’s + COVID 19 + social isolation days 19/20…

This morning I was up at 5:00am – the dogs were very restless last night, and I was fighting what I think is a lingering migraine headache.   Haven’t had one in ages, but I am not surprised that one would make an appearance now.  It was easier to get up and get my day started, than lay in bed and dwell on all the ‘what if’s” and “what now’ s.

The window directly in front of my chair, where I start the day with my coffee, allows the first speck of the sunrise to come in to the room, as it gets higher and higher, I usually have to close my blinds if it’s going to be a spectacularly sunny day.   I have written many times how special a sunrise is to me, and if a tiny glimmer through the trees behind a neighbors house is all I can get?  I’ll take it.  I thought there was nothing this morning though, just daylight arriving without much fanfare, until I moved to the kitchen window and there is was.  Thank you Mother Nature, for another beautiful start to my day.

In one of the groups I follow on Facebook, I read a post by a lady that lives in our town, who was looking for some assistance in getting groceries delivered during this pandemic.  She mentioned she lives alone, has no car, and gets by on ONE monthly disability check.  Anyone who has been dealing with the grocery stores right now, knows its a challenging time for deliveries/online shopping and other shop from home services.  It bothered me for days, that someone in her situation was struggling to have food delivered.  I had a nagging feeling that there was more to this, that true help was needed and she was too proud to ask.  This morning, I dropped off four bags of groceries on her front steps, just the basics (or so I thought) to tide her over until I convinced her to let me help on a more permanent basis.  I sent her a quick text as I drove away, and the note I received an hour later brought me to tears.   She told me it felt like “Christmas”, that she hasn’t bought meat in over 6 months because she can’t afford it on her disability income, and how did I know that her refrigerator was nearly empty?   Today was the last time that will happen.   Welcome to the family Ms. Janis, we’ve got you covered.

While I was out delivering the groceries this morning, my good friend who owns my hair salon, went into her shop and mixed my hair color for me, and left it outside for me to pick up.   One of things I miss the most is having coffee with my friend, while she does my color every few weeks.   We were able to have a ‘car to car’ visit, 10 feet apart,  yelling out the window – it was the closest I could get to socializing, but that little interaction was good for my soul!  I have never attempted to color my own hair, but it was time for desperate measures.   I needed a little help, and for the first time in 32 years, Brian had to assist.  It was quite a scene, and I am not sure he is over it yet.

As we are delving deeper into this period of quarantine, it appears that the COVID19 cases are growing in number.  It is going to get worse when we reach the ‘peak’ that we are being warned about.   I know firsthand a number of people who are on their way to recovery, and have fought their way through this debilitating virus.   There have been patients at one of our local hospital who have come OFF the ventilator and can now breathe on their own.  Further testing and treatments are being developed.  Temporary hospitals are being built and set up, and reinforcements are coming from other cities to aide the over burdened healthcare workers all over NY and NJ.  Supplies are trickling in, from the most incredible sources, and the tri-state area is FIGHTING this war.    We are blessed to have doctors and nurses and all the other essential personnel giving 150% selfishly, at the expense of their own health and that of their families.   The overwhelming sense of pride and gratitude I feel on the ‘sidelines’ is indescribable.   My dad always said the only prayer you ever need to say, is ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ and I say that for all who are fighting many times a day.

Remember, you are not “stuck at home, you are SAFE at home”.  Stay home.  Stay Safe.

xo, KB

The Benedik’s + COVID 19 + Social Isolation day 18…

 

Today was day 3 of cloudy skies and rain, anyone who has ever doubted the power of the weather on a mood, should do so while under quarantine!  It didn’t stop the walkers and runners in the neighborhood though, with all the parks and school tracks closed, our neighborhoods have become our exercise tracks.    I was working at my desk this morning which overlooks the street in front of our home, and as usual Kooper and Kody were staring out the window.  Someone I had never seen before was pushing a toddler in a stroller past our home.   I immediately launched into my “sshhhhh, be quiet, no barking, lay down!” speech to the dogs so they wouldn’t start their noise making antics.   (We never want to be THAT house on the street…)  My window was open, and I heard the lady singing “How much is that doggie in the window” to her child, and then she said “Oh no!  They aren’t in the window today!”    So, maybe we ARE that house on the street, but this made me smile. Whoever that was, look up tomorrow, they are sure to be watching out the window.

When deciding which ‘happy’ souvenir shirt to wear today, I decided to focus on one of my many Fordham University sweatshirts.    It feels like yesterday that we had moved Tyler in to his Freshman Dorm at the Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx.    Sending our first one off to college was so exciting!  Now, he is approaching the END of his senior year.  It is a bittersweet time for him.  Due to COVID19, his last semester is being spent at home, taking classes virtually, completly isolated from his friends and all things related to senior year.  It was especially disappointing for him (& us) when commencement was postponed until further notice, but we are hopeful they plan something for the Fordham  Class of 2020 when all the restrictions are lifted.  I am so proud of him for his resilience and attitude during this period, but I know deep down he is crushed.  I remember saying to him when we left him at his dorm 4 years ago, “do great things Tyler” and he most certainly has.

The COVID19 snacking situation has gotten a little out of control this past week.  Today I had to tackle the main pantry in the kitchen, and make some sense of it.  No one is using a chip clip and it’s driving me batty.   Under ‘normal’ circumstances this probably wouldn’t bother me, but come on!!!  I was forced to post a reminder today.  We’ll see if anyone listens.  These are not little kids!

We celebrated my nephew and godson’s 12th birthday tonight “virtually” with all our families on FaceTime.   It was especially great to have Brian’s parents see all their grandchildren together, even on the computer screen.   We were impressed with their technical savvy, and despite a few glitches we made it all work.  Happy Birthday Chase, we love you!   These virtual visits are the glue holding families together right now.

Every day that we are in isolation practicing social distancing, we are doing our part to flatten the curve.  Yet the daily statistics are alarming, and it is predicted to get much worse within the next two weeks.  It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy and hysteria that is being portrayed on the news and social media.   At the same time, communities are coming together and fighting this with all they can.   I am filled with pride watching friends and neighbors getting together to feed the healthcare workers at the local hospitals, donating supplies and money, making sure the senior citizens have what they need, and organizing car parades for isolated birthday boys and girls.   There is so much GOOD, despite so much SAD.

I have a book of my dad’s that I turn to from time to time, it is filled with highlighted scriptures and passages, and some of them have notes written next to them in his unique handwriting.  A few days ago when I was reading through it, missing him tremendously, this one particular passage struck a chord, ‘I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances’ – Philippians 4:11.   It is taking a whole lot of strength to be content during this pandemic, is being content even possible?     So that is what I am going to try to do.   I can’t help but wonder when and why my dad needed to remind himself of that59A5247E-2E94-40CE-9BA6-2E7ED69B2C6D.

Stay safe, stay home.  It is what it is.

XO, KB

 

 

The Benedik’s + COVID19 + Social Isolation Day 17 (!!!)

Early this morning, once again as I was having that first cup of coffee, I watched in awe the news coverage of the US Navy medical ship COMFORT arriving to NY harbor.    What a powerful image it was, and after a little digging online, I was able to locate a New York harbor webcam (www.portnywebcam.com) which enabled me to watch it sail down the Hudson River until it was docked.  It was a majestic sight -surrounded by Coast Guard & Police escort boats, and police helicopters hovering above.  It was especially beautiful as it passed by the Statue of Liberty, the gateway into our city.  It is a massive ship, and having seen it in it’s dry dock last summer at the Norfolk Naval base in Virginia, I never expected to see it here on such an important mission.   The last time it was in New York City was shortly after 9/11.  What an important role this ship has played during the toughest of times.  I couldn’t get the image of that ship out of my head all day, so much so that Brian and I took a drive to the NJ side of the Hudson River, so I could see it in person across the river, once again.  God bless all those who arrived on that ship to provide assistance, certainly an overwhelming feeling of pride for our military.

In keeping with yesterday’s post regarding my souvenir’s, today’s shirt comes from our happy place in Virginia.  About 15 minutes from our summer beach rental in Sandbridge, VA is ‘The Lucky Oyster’.  One of our favorite ‘go to’ spots (plus, they have the best shirts!) to eat at while at the beach.  If we were there tonight, we’d be having a bucket of beer and a whole lot of clams, maybe even stopping there on our way back from visiting the Naval base in Norwalk…  (How was that only seven months ago?)  I am going to keep wearing the ‘happy’ – it certainly worked today.

We are all missing our family and friends during this time of quarantine, and tonight Brian and I scheduled a “virtual” happy hour with our good friends at 5:30pm.  It certainly wasn’t the same as sitting on the beach, on their front porch or on our back deck, but seeing their faces and hearing their voices, was such a tremendous lift to our spirits.  We have scheduled another one for Friday that will include all the “kids” around our fire pit on the deck, albeit via FaceTime.

Today was one of the better days for me since we’ve been home – can’t pinpoint exactly why,  I didn’t sleep much last night and I even took a break from my virtual yoga class due to a multitude of yoga aches and pains.  It could be the happy plant I bought yesterday, (maybe it’s working already!), wearing my happy shirt from the Lucky Oyster, our virtual visit with our friends, or the sense of ‘comfort’ that sailed into NY harbor this morning.  I was also blessed with a ‘sign’ from my pop this morning, which always puts a bright spot in my day.  So whatever/whomever made today a good one, thank you!  I am in a good frame of mind, and it is most certainly welcome.   It is what it is.

Stay safe, STAY HOME, and be well…

XO, KB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Benedik’s + COVID19 + Social Isolation Day 16.

 

When I woke up this morning, my biggest decision was what to wear for yet another day home.  Sweatpants?  Leggings?  Workout gear? My outfits haven’t varied much since we have been home.  In digging through my tee-shirt drawer, I came across my piles of “souvenir” tee shirts and sweatshirts.   Anyone who knows me, knows I am a huge souvenir gal.  I have to get something from everywhere – magnets, shirts and mugs from our travels and the concerts we’ve attended.   Brian used to give me a hard time about it, was it necessary? did I really need ANOTHER shirt?  But after 32 years, it’s one of things he is resigned too now.   This morning I decided, you know what?  During this stay at home time, I am going to break out all my souvenir shirts.   A perfect way to remember fond memories and fun times, and hold on to the hope that we will be traveling back to those special places and attending concerts once again.   My sweatshirt from the Thomas Rhett “Very Hot Summer 2019” tour was the lucky winner today – how I wish Brian and I were in our seats at MSG right now!

I ventured out to Wegman’s to grocery shop this morning as early as I could get myself moving.  It was packed, and I questioned my rationale to do this on a Sunday morning with all the crowds.  Wegman’s is so impressive with the way they are handling the COVID 19 situation.   They have security ALL over, sanitizing carts, wipes, gloves, and extra precautions being taken in the aisles and at checkout.  It is the ONLY grocery store I will go too now, for these practices alone.  I power shopped, raced through as fast as I could, and made a quick stop in the floral department.   I am thrilled with what I found there – something called a “Happy Plant”!   I have no live greenery in the house, and according to the label,  “Warning: this plant will boost your mood”.   I am so excited to have a real live instant mood buster in my kitchen.   And if it works?  A bargain at $7.99.

I seem to be buying a lot of groceries – maybe because it is the only public place we are allowed to go, and actually see & interact (at a distance) with real live non-family members.   I have this internal urgent need to stock up on everything, just in case.  Just in case what though?  If I get sick?  If we are banned from going out to the grocery store at our leisure? I don’t know why, I just have this nagging feeling of unease, and I just need to be prepared.  It’s part of my role, and although nothing will go to waste, our shelves and closets are filled to the brim.

We learned today we will be quarantined for another 30 days – and to be honest I think I was the one who handled it the worst.   I was washing the dishes after dinner, and when Tyler shared the news with me, I felt sick.  I miss my mom.  I miss my sisters and my friends, my routine, and man am I feeling ugly!  I’ll do anything to keep my family safe, and most importantly do what we need to do to flatten the curve, but it’s not easy.   I guess we will be having Easter in our pajamas.  It is what it is.

Father McShane, the President of my son’s college, Fordham University, sent out a beautiful note and prayer this morning to students and parents.   As I read it with my morning coffee, he closed with the following – he reminded us of the CALL  that we have all received: Natus ad Altiora, “Born for Higher Things”, for we have all been called to higher things.  This is the time to take that to heart and do what we need to do, and challenge our selves to do our best.

Stay safe,

XO, KB

 

 

 

 

The Benedik’s + COVID19 + Social Isolation Day 15…

When I have my early morning coffee (my favorite part of the day), I love to check my “Timehop” app to see what we were doing on the same day in prior years.   Today, a social media post from 3 years ago struck a chord.  I wrote;  “Looking forward to the day when our family is all going in the same direction and we aren’t spinning in 100 different places” .  Well here we are, life as we know it has come to a standstill.  I certainly got my wish, but how I wish it was under different circumstances.

We have been home together for a little over two weeks now, and seem to have fallen into some sort of a daily routine.  Despite the crappy weather today,  we had a summer bbq for lunch.   Brian grilled hotdogs in the rain, and I made tater tots and macaroni salad – just like when they were little.  At lunch, we plan dinner, and the day goes on.  I found today a bit of a challenge without any outdoor activities – as the fresh air is essential for my mental health & clarity during this time.

During his daily news conference with our Governor, Phil Murphy, he referred to social distancing/isolation as “social solitude:”   I can tell you our family is feeling it all.  Distance, isolation, and solitude. It’s not easy, but I am trying to think of it as the gift of time, partnered with togetherness.   I think the kids get it now, that we are in this for the long haul, and that we are not in control.

I stumbled upon a passage today from Hebrews 1:11, Voice – “Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.”   Well, here we are, holding it together keeping the faith.  It is what it is.

Stay safe, be well.

XO, KB

rQFVoD%ATFG8%5jcQqWwSw

 

 

 

 

The Benedik’s + COVID19 + Social Isolation Day 14?!…

I am digging dip here for motivation and inspiration to get this blog written tonight.  The pandemic is causing statistics like we’ve never seen before, yet we are continuously being reassured by both the Governor’s of New York and New Jersey that we are fighting the fight.  At this afternoon’s press conference, Governor Cuomo spoke to an audience primarily made up of of The National Guard.  He spoke of getting a plan in place for the military medical ship that is arriving into New York harbor on Monday.  When I saw all these brave individuals sitting 6 feet apart in their camouflage uniforms, I was filled with pride.  This is not the fight they imagined they would be fighting when they joined the National Guard, yet here they were and they are going to fight like we are at war.  It really does seem like a war against this virus.  I could almost hear my Pop’s voice, a USMC Korean war veteran who was a MARINE until his last breath – “send in my Marine’s” they will fix this.   How I wish that were true right now.

All of our family seems to be handling the isolation differently.  We have figured out that getting outside as much as possible is the key to making it through these long days.   Fortunately most days have cooperated and we have had decent weather – had this pandemic arrived in the cold dark days of winter we’d be in trouble.   Or maybe it would help if its was freezing cold, as it seems SO many people in our community are breaking the rules and going out in large groups,  letting their kids gather in clusters and socialize,  and there are even people having company over to their homes.  The total disregard of the town/county/state guidelines are  forcing the MOST public of places to close completely.    We cannot enjoy the parks, the reserves or the nature centers, and our limitations are increasing due to the ignorance and selfishness of these residents.  STAY HOME – it’s what we have been instructed to do.  It is infuriating to see the complete and total disrespect for our community.   We need to flatten the curve.

On a lighter note, Day 5 of virtual yoga had a special guest today.  Kooper decided to observe, and then he decided to participate.  It’s fun trying to share your yoga mat with 85-lbs of German Shepherd.  Love his face in the pics – confusion and wondering where those voices were coming from? He misses our ‘people’ too.

FaceTime is still the most powerful tool to this isolation – catching up with family and friends ‘in person’ is incredibly helpful to the loneliness.  I am counting the minutes until I can be with my family again.  A few packages arrived from some late night online shopping, and even though no one will see my new kicks or fun jogger sweatpants, it served as a mood lifter nonetheless.

Since the beginning of the year, Brian and I have been making plans for May.   We have known for some time that May of 2020 was going to be a busy and important one for our family.  Within a 3 week period we would have a Sweet 16, a 21st birthday, our son’s college graduation, and it would cap off with my 50th. He would joke how he was dreading the month of celebrations and parties, as everyone wanted their own shindig (ME included!).   Those conversations seem like they happened months and months ago – so much has changed.  We can’t make any plans, and the ones we did make have had to be canceled.   I am incredibly hopeful we will be on the road to normal by then – our family will be grateful to just get together and BE, that is all the celebration necessary.  It is what it is…

As we keep all the healthcare professionals, essential hospital employees, EMS, NYPD and NYFD in your prayers, can you say a special prayer tonight for Danny Ribaudo – a special relative/friend of ours.  As Director of emergency services at New York Presbyterian/Cornell Weill Medical Center in NYC – he is in the midst of the hot zone on the frontlines, yet largely behind the scenes like so many heroes in this fight.

Stay safe,

XO, KB

 

 

 

 

The Benedik’s + COVID 19 + Social Isolation Days 12/13

To be honest, I just couldn’t bring myself to write anything last night.  I was in a terrible mood and my mind just wasn’t able to focus.  I didn’t think it was a big deal to skip, it is a hobby, I am not a professional or skilled writer, it is purely working as therapy for me during this time of quarantine.  Yet I woke up to texts and direct messages on facebook asking me if I was okay? Someone said she looks forward to reading it every night, and was worried I had gotten ill.   Well let me tell you, my heart just about exploded.   The best part, my mom (who will be 84 in April), calls it my “column”….  God I love her.   So thank you for all of that – I am fine, just wasn’t feeling it.

Today, my two fellow Yogi’s (we had a new addition after day 1) did our fourth virtual yoga class while on FaceTime – Yoga by Adrienne’s 30 day program has been such a great find!  Not only are we trying out Yoga, it puts something on the schedule, and we catch up during and after our class.  Seeing my friends in “person” is so awesome.  It’s really a win win.  Looking forward to seeing how “bendy” we all are by day 30.

Despite the vast amount of food I have in the house, and how much I have been cooking and baking, we are continuing our efforts to support local businesses.  Today we decided to call in our lunch order to the Wyckoff Deli.  When I went to pick it up, they have a table outside where someone is waiting to take orders or to hand over phone orders.  There is virtually NO contact, and all the people who were waiting like me, all kept a good 6-8 feet away from one another.  It was crazy busy at the deli, and I was thrilled to see them hustling around filling orders, working non-stop.   When I got to talking to the other customers who were waiting, all strangers, I started to realize how much I miss the face to face communication that we experience on a normal day!  Talking to these people whom I had never met before, waiting 6-8 feet apart in the parking lot of our favorite deli, and just comparing stories?  It was fabulous – way nicer than you’d think.  One man actually said when it came time to pick up he and his wife’s lunch order they both raced to grab their keys, fighting over who got to leave and get the break from the kids.   I think everyone in the community is feeling a little caged in – but it’s what we need to do to flatten this curve…

At one point today, I remarked to Brian that I was just feeling bored.  That the thought of another day doing the same thing was weighing heavy on my mind.  He quickly said to me, “You need to manufacture your motivation Kel.”  (Hmmmm…. that could be the Brian quote of our isolation period!).  But after a minute or two, I realized he was right.  Plan the day, get outside, do something different and fun, and keep news watching to a minimum.  My internal gloom didn’t last very long –  I had to quickly remind myself how lucky we are.  We are home, in a safe place filled with things to do, and most of all, we are all healthy.  We are not going to work in a hospital, we are not on the frontlines fighting this pandemic like so many of our friends and relatives.  I pray all the time for all the medical professionals that have given endlessly to this fight.  It is an inconvenience, and a challenging time for our country – but we will make it through.   I am already planning my day tomorrow – manufacturing my motivation.

Having the kids home has brought back all sorts of bad habits I thought the kids had outgrown.  Tomorrow, we are having a refresher course – on the agenda?  1) Why and How to use a CHIP CLIP to close a bag of chips/cookies/crackers,  2) How to put opened blocks of cheese away in a ziplock bag and 3) How to bring dishes that aren’t supposed to be in your bedroom downstairs to the sink/dishwasher.   We will see how they do, I am expecting great things from my cherubs.

I am hoping we have a beautiful day tomorrow, as I am so engrossed in a new non-fiction book that I would love to read on the deck.  Written by a neurosurgeon, he shares how he combines his faith with his medical skills. So far, I can’t put it down.  I am sure there are thousands of nurses, doctors, and other necessary medical personal that are doing the same during this frightening time.  If you are looking for a great fiction read,  I finished ‘The Neighborhood’ and was shocked at the ending – it was SO good I had to re-read the last chapter to make sure I understood the conclusion properly.  It was that enjoyable.

Let’s hope we wake up to sunny skies, and good attitudes, and frankly a miracle.  It is what it is.

xo KB