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Blog: Thursday, April 9th, 2020

Things I miss, Things I don’t, Things I notice

103 years ago today, Canadian soldiers fought their way up to capture Vimy Ridge in France, with the certain understanding that what they were sacrificing was making a difference for the future. I’ve stood on that holy ground in France, searching to understand what it could feel like to watch comrades falling around you, and remain steadfast in purpose.

It’s April 2020, and there is no schedule for anybody on the planet at the moment; we are literally in a global PAUSE until someone figures out our Covid-19 Pandemic.  Among the anxious moments ahead, our Provincial & National leaders continue to urge us to remain steadfast in purpose…because it matters for all of us. In the meantime, I thought it would be an excellent time to reflect on what I’ve noticed, missed, or haven’t missed in the past few weeks of personal and worldwide turmoil…

All of the candies in the house that we forgot under a pile somewhere…we found them. And we are eating them, even if they are 14 year old jelly beans. Sugar fix.

How much I miss being outside on a sunny day. Gardening takes on a whole new meaning. Chores are fun again. I smell bread. Everywhere.

How much more diligence & enthusiasm there is in sorting our recycling for garbage day, because it gives us something to do AND we get to see a new face in the window. Discovering on Pinterest the many things I can make with plastic shopping bags, because now I have so many of them.

Having to put off buying my favourite candy (wine gums) at Walmart, because I don’t want to wait 3 days in line to get them. Then realizing that wine gums matter a whole lot less than bread on a table. Checking text messages from my daughter about the last rolls of toilet paper still for sale in Langley or Abbotsford. Not that I need it; I just don’t want to get stuck with NONE. Like everyone else.

Watching folks try to make a hefty profit selling masks for $10, when they were only 85 cents a month ago, and watching them get a $1000 fine trying to sell them out of the back of an SUV.  Watching people volunteer shop & deliver goods to at-risk people in our community. Watching TV footage of our front line hospital, care workers, ambulance and police--hero-workers performing their duty, every day (Yay!).

How much I hate stepping on the bathroom scale. How much I love avoiding the bathroom scale.  Dressing up the bathroom scale with my favorite torn & faded Supertramp & Journey rock shirts from the 80’s. Don’t stop believing, baby!

Noticing how the forced isolation of the human planet has allowed our local whales to wander into local inland waters to hunt for seals and other food, just like they did before we arrived 200 years ago.

How much I miss the chatter of our students, talking about mindless, but important things in life.  How much NONE of us loves the responsibility of teaching resilience in our children, because it literally sucks the life out of you, a little at a time; but we know we have to. Receiving precious flowers for our educators, from kids who used their weekly allowance to buy them.

There are events I have experienced in my lifespan that force us to recollect and reconnect. The Vietnam War, the Apollo Moon Landing, the Volcanic eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State, playing PACMAN, watching the Berlin Wall come down, the burning oil fields of Kuwait, 9/11 and Come From Away moments in Gander, Newfoundland. I remember where I was for each of them, and I remember what I was feeling when it happened. We got through the hard times, and we will again. Because we HAVE to.

Stay safe, Stay healthy, remember to keep your (distinctly Canadian) one Moose distance.

And if you can,

STAY THE BLAZES HOME.  Frohe Ostern!

Abby Chan (at home)

ps. enjoy the youtube music video the EA's from Langley's Richard Bullpit Elementary School put together; Can you spot Mr. Chan's daughter?