Banding Together by Staying Apart
I don’t know about you, but to Mark and me all this seems surreal – the pandemic, the self-quarantining, the home-schooling, the virtual meetings. Parks, churches, and libraries are closed. Even a trip to the grocery store can be a nerve-racking production. However, there are some things this isolation makes us grateful for. Let us share them with you, our neighbors, in hopes that you can identify with our “gratitude” list and, at the same time, find a few items that are helpful.
- We are so grateful to live in Town Creek. Being stuck at home (Mark says to change that to being SAFE at home) all day, allows me to see a lot of neighbors strolling by. And though I know few of you in person, I enjoy seeing the parade of cute pets and sweet families as they take in fresh air and exercise. (You guys REALLY have cute kids and pets!)
- We are so thankful for Crime Watch. The extra time on the couch allows me to witness some of our patrols. Officers patrolling at night with their emergency lights on was a little alarming at first. Now I like seeing the lights knowing it’s “our” officers, not just a sedan that might or might not be a police cruiser driving by.
- I have a new appreciation for our creek path. It truly is a neighborhood gem. And we can walk the two miles from our front door while keeping to the “rules” of the shelter-in-place order. It takes just a little extra care to maintain the appropriate six-foot distance when we encounter other walkers also taking in fresh air and exercise.
- I’ve discovered curbside service at the grocery store to be a sanity-saver. Most grocery stores have smart phone apps which is a great benefit. I’ve used pickup services from Walmart, Kroger, and Tom Thumb. And even when the trip doesn’t go perfectly, it’s a nice option.
- I am grateful for the “Help Map” on Nextdoor.com. Whether you want to ask for or offer, it’s a great way to connect helpers with helpees. It’s heart-warming to see neighbors helping neighbors with everything from essential errands, to housework. And certainly, those who are checking in on someone who might be alone and frightened. Please check it out!
- Our city councilman, Adam McGough’s, list of restaurants in Lake Highlands who are offering curbside pickup. Ordering a to-go meal is super easy. I’m sure our local businesses would appreciate it if you can participate. Also, delivery apps like DoorDash, UberEats, Favor, and GrubHub allow you to patronize local restaurants without leaving home. Some area eateries are creating special takeaway menus for family meals. And, if you are in a giving mood, Norma’s Café will let you buy meals for healthcare workers.
- The Town Creek Facebook group has been a great way to keep up with the neighborhood. Personally, I enjoy the inspirational pictures and suggestions for ways to help during these difficult times.
- I am grateful for free social media resources such as “Some Good News” with John Kraskinski. An actor from the TV shows “The Office” and “Jack Ryan,” along with the movie “A Quiet Place,” Kraskinski puts on this upbeat, low budget “newscast” from his home. He has found an effective and entertaining way to accentuate the positive. Because the series is on YouTube, and other social media channels, no streaming service subscription is required.
- The Dallas Public Library’s e-book collection is still available! You have to already have a library card, but if you go to DallasLibrary.org, it’s easy to start “borrowing” e-books. If you click on the “Dallas Library at Home” button, there are resources for kids, for home-schooling, and ways to find the perfect e-book or e-audio book. There’s also a “tutorial” for how to use it all.
- The Lake Highlands Advocate has stepped up its game – they’re profiling heroes, updating businesses that are still in service, and listing area companies that are hiring! They’re also sharing fun activities for kids. You can sign up for their weekly newsletter on their website and also read the monthly Advocate online.
If there’s something special or uplifting that’s making your self-quarantine more bearable, please share it on the Facebook Group page or Nextdoor – I’ll bet Mark and I are not the only ones who find inspiration from neighbors’ posts and pics.