Mountain State detours offer smiles
The fact that we live in rural West Virginia ensures resources that will help us continue to have vibrancy and meaning, while some other regions’ residents are frozen beside televisions.
The land we own, the natural beauty we can behold, the faith we share will help us address problems and overcome obstacles, but we have to keep caution on the oven’s front-burner at all times. Even a supreme being cannot be expected to totally protect us from making poor choices.
With our state currently having low numbers of virus carriers and deaths, we are among those leading the nation who may have restrictions lifted. But, this does not minimize the effect of the virus. It can, will and does kill, particularly older residents who have existing health problems and younger people, too, who are subject to diabetes, pre-diabetes, heart disease or lung challenges, among other serious conditions.
Above all, we must remember that we do have some significant time to go with this problem — perhaps, into the next year. There is currently no vaccination available to prevent its effect. Until this happens, we must have our lives reorganized to maintain distancing and ensure decision-making on the side of prevention.
I expect scarves to remain when we are in busy, public places. We must continue vigilance in observing those who may be sick and need medical assistance. Our ability to assist friends, family, neighbors, and others needing direction should not escape our watch or helpful resources.
Our continuing mission to aid one another is paramount to extending current successes. Let’s be honest. Polio, tuberculosis, measles, typhoid fever and mumps were wiped out once upon a time. Our micro-biologists and pharmacological companies are hard at work as I write to find an effective inoculation for this disease.
If we have the “smarts” and patience to keep ourselves under control by eating and sleeping well, engaging ourselves in purposeful living and following laws, there is true hope for us. And, for those reading who have adopted prayer as a part of each day, certainly maintain.
Fortunately, we do have some possible options for ways to spend our time as we manage our lives with current handicaps. Allow me to briefly describe a few which I do not believe will become the “New Normal,” but serve as suggestions we could adopt with “term limits” that provide some variety in current circumstances.
Number One — With wetter soils and plenty of warmth predicted, put planting some garden vegetables on your “bucket list.” Prepare shovels, till soil, get some seeds or plant starters and, of course, wait until last frost passes.
Number Two — With gasoline prices lower, taking more drives to see flowering trees and shrubs, new-born baby animals and finding a picnic or fishing destination might score lots of points with the relatives.
Number Three — “Year of the Clean House” — Someone could be assigned to sweeping up those dust-balls in the spare-room. Kitchen cabinets could, at last, receive polish. Any carpet stains might be removed. For once, we homemakers may prove that Martha Stewart did make an appearance. For the many who always keep everything spotless anyway, please go onto Number Four.
Number Four — With stimulus check in hand, visit a car dealership and find that some very good buys await you because of all the confusion that has been going on. No one has been thinking about trading cars, so good deals could await.
Number Five — Find some favorite music on the radio. Even do some dancing while drying dishes. Exercise is a good thing, no matter where one does it.
Number Six — Let family members play “Chef-of-the-Day.” Take turns reviewing all those collected cookbooks with new hands stirring pots and baking. Let some others in the family try their skills at feeding–and, also, cleaning the kitchen!
Number Seven — Walk with a purpose. Walking can be boring, but having a destination is another story. Decide a needed item or a place you need to go — even if it is for a coffee. Something has been accomplished. Smile.
Number Eight — Card-writing. Surely, someone you know could use cheered up. A short verse sent to them will mean a lot. Buy a few stamps and get busy making someone’s day.
Number Nine — Yard work. This is the time of year to get the yard in shape. We have flowers galore for sale in this town. Plant some and and improve your property’s outside. Watch the delightful look on your neighbor’s face.
Number 10 — TV Worship — No, this is not paying homage to assorted news commentators, but in finding an uplifting minister to fulfill weekly worship we cannot attend that hopefully has a calming effect.
Number 11 — With the Primary Election close to a month away, some attention needs to be paid to what these candidates stand for, whether they have knowledge of their desired position or any experience, and the back-bone strength to do a good job. Spend a little time reviewing information about them in our local paper. Your input and vote-casting are important matters.
Number 12 — Picture-taking. Find that camera and click it. So many beautiful Springtime shots await you. A refreshing way to spend an afternoon. Pick-up a flavored cuppucinno on your journey to sweeten the trip.
Number 13 – Bike-riding. Whether on the new bike trail around Elkins or on a motorcycle, enjoy the breezes, but watch for impending traffic. Road crossings like the one at Harrison Avenue’s Davis Memorial Hospital caution light, mean a slow-down for vehicles and, maybe, even a stop. Other tourist towns have these issues, so we had best deal carefully with them.
Number 14– Playing Music – Get the piano tuned-up or the guitar out of its case and remember how to hit the notes. Early America found much time spent on learning and playing music in the home. It would be a good thing for this past-time to return in our lifetime. Our many outstanding school band members are proof of the talent that exists.
We can weather this storm. We can be determined to make idle time improvements and even a “Nation of Groupies” can adapt for awhile to the challenges we face. Southern writer, William Faulkner, I recall from my high school’s junior English class once said, “We will not merely endure; but prevail.” He was certain that the souls and the determination of the American people would find ways to overcome any hardship.
As I consider his declaration, I would prefer to call it “providence.” This indicates that we believe in God and receive his divine care.
We live in a land of freedom and people can understand the world in a manner they want as long as it does not harm someone else. But, I will have to go on record as saying to those who do believe in God, have taken time to pray, have grieved for those lost beloved virus victims, and continue vigilance to ask for God’s mercy on our Nation and its people, it has been time well-spent and surely, at some point, God will reveal some reprieve.
According to MilitaryHistoryNow.com May 7, 2019, during the War of 1812 at the Battle of Lake Erie, U.S. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry insisted of his crew, “Never give up the ship.”
We are, too, called upon to answer the challenges we face. We know the difficulties that are present. I can only hope there lingers a devotion like that of Perry’s sailors, and we will complete the tasks ahead of us difficult as these may be. With honor and valor, and an understanding that there is no land like this land, it is worth every effort to bring it back to its stable self.