Or perhaps we should call this column On the Down Low for the foreseeable future, friends, since we’re all keeping a low profile these days. There’s not much going on around town as we embark on the unknown together during these historic times. Still, fellow Santa Claritans, we are extremely fortunate to live in this town, in this county and this great state. We can be proud of our leadership and proud of each other for meeting these unusual circumstances with speed, an open mind, and love.
As everything has closed around town, we all find ourselves in the same boat, asking the same questions, and adjusting to this new reality.
What? We have time on our hands?
What? I don’t have to drive the kids all over town and be at this meeting by when and across town by then?
What? I don’t have to sit in traffic for three hours a day? I can work from home, school from home, and sleep a little more?
This is perhaps the magic ‘pause button’ we’ve all wished we could press from time to time, yes?
It’s unfortunate it takes something like a global pandemic to force the world to slow down and take stock of itself, but let’s take this opportunity, folks. While the wellbeing of our families and friends is top priority (and the very reason we’ve all taken such drastic measures to protect each other), this unprecedented moment in history could also be a once in a lifetime chance to regroup, rethink, refresh, revitalize, reorganize, and reimagine ourselves and our lives.
Again, taking the spread of this virus as seriously as possible is paramount, but it gives me real joy to go on my daily run and pass multiple families along the way. It used to be that only a couple a weeks ago I would pass a total of three people on a three mile run. Now, I’m passing three and four full and complete families along the way…and I don’t just mean core family units, I’m talking multi-generational families out for a stroll in the sunshine. This is a beautiful thing. Grandparents walking hand in hand with grandkids while mom and dad push the stroller. Talking, laughing, meandering. No one’s in a hurry. This is a silver lining if I’ve ever seen one.
As my wife and I ran past the park (something we don’t usually get to do together either), there were kids proudly doing cartwheels for their mom, dogs catching frisbees, and a family playing a baseball game. I don’t wish for anyone to suffer during this pandemic, or ever, but the nuclear family has been suffering at the hands of our nonstop, hustling-bustling society for years now and this global emergency could go far toward healing the issue. That would be my wish, anyhow.
As far as things to do with each other, the kids and I helped completely redecorate the dining room in anticipation of my wife working from home beginning this week. Her request was Hogwarts and Harry Potter themed. We had a lot of fun and the result was better than any of us expected.
Over the past week or so the family ratatouille recipe was perfected, oh yes, cookies were baked, and french toast was elevated to new heights with the use of croissant bread. (I believe I stumbled upon the greatest thing to happen to french toast since sliced bread: FRENCH French Toast, I call it!)
In addition to his ‘distance learning’ school work, I gave my son an assignment which has turned out to be a lot of fun as well. His orders were to play with every single toy in his room at least once, and decide whether to keep it or donate it. He has since pulled out tons of untouched toys from under his bed and chest of drawers. We’ve laughed at some of the amazing discoveries and old favorites he’s uncovered from the dark recesses. Who knew cleaning and reorganizing his room could be so fun! (Wink, wink.)
The wife and kids took an impromptu trip to the beach today, which allowed me some quiet time to sit and write this column…the screen door open, birds chirping, and the fresh green leaves we’ve gotten from all this amazing rain up against a robin’s egg sky and billowy white clouds…it doesn’t get much better, folks. For now, at this very moment, no one I know has been harmed by COVID-19 and it’s hard not to feel exceedingly lucky during this strangely stolen, yet solemn, more silent than usual spring season.
Love, safety and health to you and yours. Never since the dawn of man has the entire race found itself bound together for one cause the way we do today. Let’s be our best selves and arise from this collectively better than when it started.
So, there it is for this week, friends. Always feel free to let me know what you’re up to, especially during this unusual time; or if you simply want my wife’s ratatouille recipe.
Until next time, bon voyage, break a leg, and bon appetit!