It's a Quarantined Life: from Pegge Ashcroft

A Missive from Grace Parish Life guru Pegge Ashcroft, penned at the end of last week (Week One of Quarantine):

Hi guys,

Just thought I’d say hello from my perch on the ladder where I seem to be spending a lot of time this week! Have to say, the exterior of the house is looking pretty darn good, thanks to all this great weather….

O.K., I am voting that Nancy B. Edwards gets the prize for supply-and-demand heroics this month. Garth called his 93 year old mom on Monday to see how she was faring, and here’s what she reported: the toilet paper (ie: whole roll) fell into the bowl Sunday night. Dang.( We’ve all had that happen.) Well, never fear —  Nancy (these Edwardses are a hearty bunch!) carefully fished it out, and patiently peeled and unrolled it apart. She then draped it throughout her small apartment and went to bed. By Monday morning it was perfectly dry, and she rolled it back up on the roll. I overheard Garth say “Gosh, I’ll bet that looked kind of festive, Mom!” — So if you see an extra roll of t.p. on the Safeway shelf (or anywhere else!), you probably have Nancy to thank! I love this kind of “why not?” attitude!! I am proud to be associated with this resourceful, girl-scout, can-do woman. 

I know these are difficult times, but I DO have to laugh at the fact that finally the introverts are getting a chance to show their advantage! Have to admit to a small voice inside saying “Oh, boy, I know how to do THIS!” when the “please stay at home” rule came along! I am finally finishing the exterior of the house after two years, Garth and I are creating a new cutting flower garden (he is doing the hardscape, I the flowers) (in a former life he must have been a stone mason, ‘cause these raised beds he makes out of rock are absolutely beautiful), I am making plans with the neighbor to try a mutual vegetable garden, and honey bees are on order. 

Dear extroverts, isn’t it great we have the ZOOM thing going on?! Really, it’ the best thing in the world — Grace's first online online service was SO SWEET!!! Wren, how did you like listening to your own homily for the first time? My favorite “coffee hour” episode was the Shutt kids showing us their hamster (uh-oh — guinea pig?!?) up close and personal. We all loved saying hello especially to David Moen; I mean, what is it about actually seeing each other’s faces? It is very heartening. This group of people are very heartening to me. 

So the other night my littlest cat Hammy Sammich (call him Ham for short — or Hambone — or Hannibal) started meowing really loudly (yelling in cat language.) I asked him what was wrong, ‘cause he’s not generally a yeller. He didn’t answer directly, but kept on yelling. FINALLY I decided to get on the couch and see if he wanted a lap — and he hopped right up, plopped himself down, and fell instantly to sleep….. Couldn’t help but see the parallel between that scenario and the bigger one: I’m scared, or discontent, or restless, or lonely. One way or another I’m going to yell it out until I offer myself (it’s like in dreams here — I am the cat as well as the human) solace. The solace “lap” for me is meditation, church, or singing. 

OK, OK, just one more great lesson from my animals: when the dog and the cat (Hammy again) and I were cuddled on the couch last week all content and cozy (it’s a great couch) I realized something —  that REALLY all my animals want in life is to be together. Life is about being a group and having your place in it. Bingo. I feel exactly the same way about you all at Grace. I just want to be in your midst and know you. And be known by you.

Cheers always my friends,