Strange times indeed…

I bought butter at a gas station.

That’s something that never happened before, and, God willing, will never happen again.

It really wasn’t a panic purchase. It was more of being resourceful. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. (I actually think I’m right, but you never know.)

It was a week or so ago, and there was shopping to be done. That was my job. I had heard about the toilet paper situation (which I still don’t get). I figured bread would be low (it was gone save for a few loaves of cinnamon raisin something or other). There wasn’t much meat. Butter was on the list, so I went there next. Nothing.

Driving home from the store, I thought, well, the gas station has everything, maybe I’ll find success there. And, lo and behold, it had Land ‘O Lakes. Mission accomplished. We had butter.

I’ve been to the store a few times in total and the most recent trip had things (except toilet paper still) pretty well stocked, so that was a good sign. Now, when I go to the gas station again, I’m hopefully the only thing I’ll be purchasing is a full tank of regular unleaded.

But, yeah, these are strange times.

The kids are adapting to life at home, thanks in part, I believe, to a schedule we put them on Day 1 (which they helped design). Renee is home and transitioning to official distance learning tomorrow. Tonight, she said it was like being a first-year teacher all over again. Well, those kids are pretty lucky to get a first-year teacher like her.

My work has been busy and full of action, though clearly not to the level it would be if I was still involved in healthcare. While I’m incredibly grateful for the job I have, and I believe I’ve been a valuable asset in how the school has managed this scenario so far, I also find myself thinking a few times a day about my former colleagues, many of whom are on the front line of this. I knew how incredible most of them were when I worked at the hospital. Now, even more so. I think about them. I pray for them.

I refuse to look at my 401K. Long term, we say to ourselves, and that’s true. Long term. We’ve got good jobs, great kids,  roof over our head. Truly blessed.

While I always try and live in the moment, you can’t help but think about the next few months. Now that I’m in education, I worry about kids missing great field trips, a prom, time with their friends, spring sports and even graduation. Not all are off the table yet, but with each day the odds don’t get any better. In fact, just a few hours ago, the Governor said schools will be closed another month. It’s the right call, but tough.

Erin is missing out on an all-state music experience and her state gymnastics meet. She understands, but I feel for her. And all of the others missing that and more.

Aidan? Well, don’t get much out of him, but we were going to take off for a few days over April break to look at colleges, if you can believe that. And, he’s been invited to the senior prom — as a sophomore (that’s my boy!). I remain hopeful. At least part of me does.

Renee and I? Well, we were planning a party in April that’s going to be cancelled. That’s no big deal. We got our taxes back, and we owe. That just doesn’t seem like a big deal right now.

I miss sports immensely, though I’ll be honest, I’ve soured so much on baseball this off-season that I hope absence will make the heart grow fonder and bring me back to the game I love. Though I will also say I’ve enjoyed the classic replays of great games on TV recently. That’s been a walk down memory lane. Funny how even when you know how a game ends, it can still give you thrills every time.

When is it going to end? That’s the great unknown. Watch these idiots that aren’t doing anything to protect themselves — and each other — and you wonder.

Not to get political. But if you want to beat Trump, the answer isn’t Biden. It’s Fauci.

We ordered take out tonight. It was so strange to go to a place that has a constant flow of customers and walk right in, past nobody, to get a pizza. Doing our part? Maybe. But is it enough?

So many unknowns. So many questions. So much left to figure out. I’m not scared. Truly. I’m not anxious. I’m more miffed than anything else. That something like this could happen. That people can be so careless and so caring at the same time.

You learn a lot about people in times like this.

The biggest thing I’ve learned — that at the time was a game changer?

That you can buy butter at a gas station.