Finding the blessing in the quarantine

By Debbie Adams

“What’s been the blessing in the quarantine for you?” was the question posed this week.

Beadie Childress says her mother had a saying, “You don’t miss your water until your well runs dry.” That about sums up the current situation for most people. Childress says, “The blessing I found in this quarantine is families growing closer. I’ve seen families actually doing things together, also more people praising God. I don’t take anything for granted anymore.”

Pastor B. Failes: “I think for me it was the practice of being a Christian. Too often we want to do Christianity and forget to just be still and know God. Psalm 46:10 Sometimes I brag on my busyness. This helped me to stop, stay, and be with God. It has been good for my soul.”

The Rev. Chris Monroe: “We were reminded that friends and family are so important in our lives. It caused us to embrace them a little bit tighter even from a distance. We learned to use Zoom and were able to meet with family once a week. Something we had never done. I set up a virtual reunion with a group of friends that had not been together in 20+ years. I officiated two funerals and two weddings during the lockdown. The gatherings were limited to 10 persons. Someone at all four of these gatherings used technology to broadcast online so extended family members could attend the services live. One of the weddings had over 800 views as they took it live on several social media platforms. We offered a Zoom format for Sunday School to one of our senior adult classes and almost each week 40+ homes logged in to pray together and study the Bible. I believe that these technologies will be a part of such events more than ever going forward.”

Brad Greenway: “The greatest blessing from this quarantine situation for me has without a doubt been family time. At my house, between working real estate, coaching, church, etc., we rarely get to sit down and have a quiet meal together. During this quarantine time, we have been able to do that almost every single day without coaching or church activities to attend. I have enjoyed every minute of those times.”

Lisa Liles: “Spending quality time with my husband, I wouldn’t trade that for anything!”

Teacher Dionne Nichols: “We had no snow days this year—at all! I usually bake a lot during snow days. I love to experiment in baking. With all this time at home, and with the unusually cool spring, I’ve been able to bake to my heart’s content and store it in my freezer for when it is too hot to bake! My son and I bake together, so that has added not only to his wealth of knowledge, but also to our time spent together.”

Denise Aspell: “My blessing is more time with my senior dog (she’s 13!) and learning some new technology to help my students learn while away from the classroom.”

Paula Greenway: “A blessing that I have found from quarantine was to realize all of the freedoms and simple things we take for granted every day—hugs, shopping, going to school, visiting family and friends, beauty services, live music, festivals, dinner at a restaurant, to name a few. After quarantine I hope that we can still enjoy all of these and appreciate our freedom a little more!”

Sabrina McCarty: “I love that life has slowed down enough to enjoy the simple things. I’ve actually learned how to relax a little.”

Sports Editor Brian Hoffman: “I’m always so busy covering sports or taking pictures that I rarely get home before 8 or 9 p.m. and am busy on the weekends. Without sports it’s allowed me more time to be at home with my wife and enjoy a slower pace of life. With that said, I’ll be thankful when things return to normal.”

Chris Ayers: “Home is my happy place, so I am always happy to be there! It was nice keeping our house clean and cooking a nice meal almost every night. I got some deep cleaning and home projects done! I also enjoyed being able to watch multiple Sunday services online. One was from Boone, and I was able to see my childhood best friend sing in their praise band! It was fun to do some reading and binge watch some Netflix and not worry about getting up so early in the morning.”

Candye Peters: “No running to sports and events has given us more game time and walking the greenway. Also—blessed that our children and their spouses have been protected—a nurse/EMT ambulance driver, police department worker, police officer, National Guard, tow truck driver, etc. Just thankful they had jobs!”

Sherri Winkler: “It has made me more mindful of consistently ‘checking in’ with my family.”Tim Greenway: “I’m assuming I have the same blessing many have had during this pandemic—I’ve enjoyed the lack of extracurricular activities available. This allowed me to spend much more time with my family; eating, socializing, and communicating with each other in a much slower environment. Makes you wonder if this isn’t God’s message to all of us! Slow down!”

Karen Rose: “I have become much more aware of my surroundings, not only possibly contaminated ones, but to enjoy the sunshine, trees, flowers, and birds so much more! And I have enjoyed watching my grandchildren thrive with their Mom homeschooling! They miss their friends and excellent teachers so much but have adapted very well! I know the extra time at home is much more relaxed for all my family! And, thankfully, we’ve been healthy!”

Jan Dickens: “I have really enjoyed working in the yard this spring. The earth has been beautiful with every color seeming more vibrant. I miss being with family and friends but have found many things to do to keep me busy—I’ve gotten more sewing done!”

Susan Lewis: “One blessing that I have found in this quarantine situation is reconnecting with a former piano student for online lessons who lives in the Richmond area. A student that I taught for 10 years (now an adult) contacted me after seeing on Facebook that I was offering virtual/online lessons now. He was interested in continuing his music education—one of the most talented pianists I have ever taught.  If this quarantine had never taken place, I would have never even considered adding online piano and voice lessons as an option for my music studio. Thus, the realization that we, as music teachers, are not limited by geographic location. I feel quite blessed to have discovered this new opportunity and am excited about its future potential.”

Debby Grose: “The blessing I have from quarantine is that Brad is working from home. I get to spend lots more time with him. Also, a blessing is how Mandy [their daughter] has been taking care of all our needs, getting our groceries, cooking some meals, or doing any shopping we need.”

Mayor Brad Grose: “My wife, Debby, and I usually have very busy lives. There is always some place to go and something to do. We are often in crowds of various sizes, and we love it! So, the quarantine has been an adjustment. However, there have been some wonderful blessings during this unusual time; it has been truly heartwarming to see the outpouring of love. Many people (such as my daughter) have stepped up to help their families and friends. Others are helping total strangers and showing true appreciation for those who work hard to protect and serve us. Although the display of human kindness has been a great blessing, without a doubt, the greatest blessing has been the additional time that I have spent at home with my wife. Our time together, just the two of us, has reminded me that she is a warm, kind, smart, beautiful lady that I do not deserve! In many ways, because of her, the quarantine has been fun. I have really enjoyed the time with my family!”

Mary Beth Layman: “In these times of unknowns, I feel tremendous calmness and peace at home. Other blessings include three dear friends dressed as the ‘Singing Bakers’ and surprising me with a birthday serenade and huge honey bun while social distancing. As they finish, my neighbor walks up with the largest homemade gourmet cheesecake I have ever seen. Just prior to the song and cake, my best friend and god-daughter from South Carolina face timed from the oceanfront so I could see and hear the ocean on my birthday. Typically, I would have been volunteering the entire day and evening for the Vinton Dogwood Festival. In addition, the children and families of Vinton and beyond warmed my heart by creating the most creative floats for the ‘Virtual Vinton Dogwood Festival Shoebox Parade’!”

Mary Beth Layman says her friends “The Singing Bakers” were a blessing to her during the quarantine.They are Lee Minnix, Connie Fiachhi, and Michelle Ridgeway, who stopped by to celebrate her birthday.

Kathryn Sowers: “During this time there have been ups and downs—losses and illness; I am so blessed with friends and family who came even before I could ask. There were sweet friends who texted or came by with a beautiful plant, a sweet gift and handmade card or food, cards coming in the mail, super nurses and doctors in the ER, long conversations with family and friends and just stopping to see God’s creations all around me. Even when we can’t actually be in our churches, the live streaming, Facebook and YouTube services that have been seen by many all around the world—what seeds have been planted and love shared. I could go on, but the simplest acts of kindness and seeing all the blessings around us because we have had to stop and just breathe will hopefully stay with us for years to come, and help me to accept what I can’t change and be thankful for all I have.”


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