This week, we celebrated Ash Wednesday from our computers, just like we celebrated Epiphany, Christmas, Easter, and every other church service over the last year. I am so grateful for my church putting people’s safety first and keeping us fully remote, but it was hard to be remote this week.
It was especially hard because Ash Wednesday last year was one of the very last “normal” in person events I attended before Covid hit locally. I also attended a big work breakfast and a pizza feed with my friend and her kiddos the following two days, but then we showed up to Costco on Saturday and the news of Life Care dropped. And life turned upside down.
(Ash Wednesday fell a bit later in February, so we aren’t quite at a full year yet, but getting close, which is why this is my “Week 51” recap).
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We had a full foot of snow or more dump on us over the weekend, and we were very lucky to be well stocked up and didn’t have to go anywhere, so we got to fully enjoy the days.
While there were no common meals together, we did “gather” with our neighbors outdoors for a weekend of sledding, snowshoeing, and snowball fights. It wasn’t quite normal, but it sure felt good. My car was stuck until Wednesday though, so I was pretty over the snow by Monday morning.
2. I realized that snow locally wasn’t the beautiful wonderland for many of my neighbors. Our local restaurants that have been struggling to survive this last year has the snow dump on Valentine’s Day weekend – right after indoor dining had slowly reopened at 25%. And too many of our neighbors are living in their cars or in hotel rooms, unable to cook themselves hot meals.
So I took to my restaurant support group, and my neighbors delivered. Not only did we cover the meals for 18 people living at local hotels on Saturday, but I’ve had the funds to coordinate Sunday and Tuesday meals as well, with more in the works. Things are hard right now, but there is some real good happening too.
3. That said, our weather issues have been minor compared to what’s going on in Texas right now, and I am more aware and thankful for our basics like heat and running water. They cost relatively little, but if they’re shut off, it doesn’t matter how much the cost is.
In large parts of Texas, no heat and no water means sitting in homes that are currently showing twenty degrees or less. Flushing toilets with snow. The Austin airport is down and their hospitals – and the whole city – are out of water. Things are dire down south.
There is still good to be found, though, with the helpers. A neighbor of mine (and a member of my Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group) managed to chase down a FedEx package with transplant medication for a friend. PF Twitter came through for one of our own. And mutual aid is pouring into Texas. But the leadership there is non existent, and individuals aren’t enough to fix the horror that is happening there now.
4. Back at home, where we are just living through the “normal” stress of a pandemic, our roommate has been a godsend for our family. I had a long rough day on Wednesday, but I came home to dinner being prepared by him for us.
He helps with the kiddo one full day a week plus here and there the rest of the days, takes care of the animals when we aren’t home, and cooks a meal or two a week. We are so dang lucky to have him.
5. In other news, my cat made his newspaper debut in The Seattle Times this week. They had a photographer come out to take pictures for their article about the vaccine work I’ve been doing, and he was entranced by our cat. I can’t blame him though, he’s a pretty special one.
Due to the weather, a good 90% of Washington’s vaccine doses didn’t arrive this week, so I was able to get fewer people scheduled. My parents and grandmother *did* get their second doses last Friday though, so we are in the final countdown to (masked up) hugs. I cannot wait.
Saturday was spent sledding, which meant walking back up and down our steep hill most of the day. Sunday we went for a two hour snowshoe through our neighborhood.
Wednesday was a long walk work meeting. Thursday the kiddo and I met up with my friend and we went for a walk through some local trails. Finally I got to go for a run on Thursday afternoon (I’ve learned the hard way that I am not steady enough on my feet to run where there’s slush). Even then, I had to readjust where to run because the lacrosse field was still half covered with snow.
How are you holding up this week? The hits sure do seem to keep coming.