Friday, November 20, 2020

Grandma Always Said, "We will make do"

As I sit here this morning, looking out on the back field, the snow is once again coming down in a furry of flurries. The night before last, we had about 6 inches of an icy snowy mix. Our son was in from California for a few days to visit, so he was able to have a true Minnesota experience. When he arrived it was 67 degrees, when he left it was 27 degrees. 

Most of the family was home the other night for an evening of some crock pots of chili and cornbread. And an evening of playing music and singing with all the grandkids and kids. And along with that, a few innings of baseball in the slush until it got too hard to see the ball with all the snow coming down.

As the evening went on, it became obvious that our daughter and her 8 kids would be spending the night due to slippery and impassable roads. The roads were just too slick to make it the 35 miles north back to their house. Her husband fortunately had left earlier with the truck to get back home to care for the horses, goats and chickens they have.

While the 14 grandkids were ecstatic that a sleepover was going to happen, the adults were figuring out the logistics of it all. Where do you put an extra 9 people? We found all of the blankets in the house and doled them out to all of the kids. After a little conversation, we settled the 3 younger boys with their Uncle on the floor. They were ecstatic to sleep by the window and watch the snow coming down, pretending they were cowboys out on a cattle drive sleeping under the sky.

The girls all went downstairs to where our other son and family are currently living. There they shared beds and bunk beds. Most of the night they stayed awake and did makeovers on each other until they were told that 1am was a good time to call it a night.

The older boys commandeered the family room and tv, watching movies all night until they fell asleep around 2 am.

With everyone in their sleeping spot, I crashed into bed around 10, content to have almost all of the family home under one roof, and exhausted. I never woke to one of the little guys waking up looking for his mama. Luckily  his uncle walked him into where his mom was sleeping soundly with the 2 year old. We made it through the night with just a few minimal disturbances.

Morning came around 6 am, and I could hear the chatter and laughter coming from the other rooms. I sensed that it was going to be a long day with some really exhausted kids. But to my surprise, all was well and the kids were all in great moods, despite the lack of sleep they had. They’d get through being here and probably melt down when they got home. And at that point, not my problem.

Breakfast happened and the only thing I could find to make stretch for 18 people waiting to eat was a box of chocolate Malt-O-Meal cooked in the largest kettle I could find. Along with some chocolate chips, ice cream (to cool it down) and a squirt of whipping cream, it was their best breakfast ever. All sugar and minimal nutrition to be sure, but everyone got filled up in spite of being out of bread, milk and other breakfast food. We just had to make do as my grandma would say about living in the Depression years.

After everyone got shoveled out and left, and I dropped our son off to head back to California, I sat in the quiet of the house reflecting on the past few days and whirlwind of activities. I started to think all of the things that 2020 has brought to us in regards to having to “make do”. We’ve been on lockdown for several weeks at a time, wearing masks everywhere we go, and keeping 6 feet away from those we want to be around. We have been enduring a pandemic that is running rampant. We have stayed away from those that are at higher risk of getting Co-Vid to keep them safe. We have definitely been inconvenienced for a good part of 2020. But to be honest, for the most part, our family and friends have been riding it out just like we do in a typical Minnesota snowstorm or blizzard. We have made the best of situations we now find ourselves in and have hunkered down as needed.

We’ve settled for a bowl of Malt-O-Meal with some sugary toppings instead of the prime rib at a fancy restaurant. We have learned to make do.

What lies ahead for all of us in the future? It seems hard to know. Will there be another lock-down coming our way for a long period of time? A lockdown to try and flatten the rising curve again until a vaccine is readily safe and available? It is just too hard say what lies ahead for 2021.

The only thing I know for pretty certain is this...if it is asked of us, we can do it. 

Let’s make do with what we have and together ring in 2021. It has to be a load  better than 2020 going out. 

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