Monday, January 11, 2021

The Quiet Blessings of Quarantine


This past year has caused us to change how we do most things.  Church, school, social events. This was even more apparent when it came to Christmas time.  And although it could have been marked with sadness at not being with extended family, I noticed some blessings that I'd like to mention here....starting with Christmas cards.

We really like to send and receive Christmas cards.  In a time when people are sending them less and less, we felt it was important that this year in particular, we sent them.  This year, I let my little helpers color Christmas and winter drawings on the envelopes.  These drawings were so unexpectedly sweet and I'm sure brought joy to many surprised recipients.

I always tape the cards we receive to a wall in our house for the family to enjoy.  Multiple times this year, I walked by and saw my girls and boys inspecting and rereading the cards.  The pandemic had turned an ordinary Christmas tradition into a way more interesting family photo Art Gallery of sorts.  Scarlett said to me, "Mom, I just love looking at these cards."

It's funny how not being able to be with people makes us appreciate them more.

Speaking of that...for Honor's homeschool in December we did a Christmas and Holiday traditions around the world unit.  For some reason I was inspired to email friends I have in other countries and some simply serving there, to ask them to create a brief video for us sharing their favorite holiday traditions with us.

We received wonderful and thoughtful and fun videos from my old host-sister in England, a former YW of mine who is serving a mission in Italy, a friend of a friend who is Indian, and a former college buddy of mine who is from Hong Kong named Wing (among others).

Wing is a delightful girl who joined the church in Texas.  By the time I met her at Miami University in Ohio she had a thick Chinese/Texan way of speaking English that usually had "honey" sprinkled in.  She was always making us laugh, and she has a special place in my heart, however, I haven't spoken with Wing in probably 20 years as her career has taken her back to Hong Kong and also Taiwan.

Wing came through for us.  Her video about traditions surrounding Chinese New Year and Christmas was so Wing!

It was so amazing to hear her voice, see her smile, and especially to hear that same laugh that we can all enjoyed all of those years ago.  We even got to see her cat, dressed in traditional Chinese attire! (I mean, doesn't that just crack you up?)

I never would have gotten back in touch with Wing, if not for the Pandemic.  This was a blessed interaction for me.

I have also grown closer to our neighbors over this time.  Around Christmas, some neighbors installed a Letters to Santa mailbox at the park in our neighborhood.  One sweet neighbor in particular took it upon herself to write response letters.

The letters that she wrote to the children of our neighborhood were so thoughtful and beautiful and truly a testament to her Christmas spirit.  My love for this neighbor grew exponentially over Christmas time as she showed such love for our kids. In July 2020, a childhood friend of mine and I were trying to plan a trip to England to revisit places where we visited on Exchange in high school.  The pandemic shut that down.  But my dear friend, who I have a lot of sweet memories with, but whom I very rarely get to see, schedules a Zoom meeting between us and two of our host sisters in England.  The four of us had the sweetest chat over Zoom that evening...again, something we would not have made happen at any other time in our busy lives.

These are just a few blessings that I wanted to chronicle here of being in a pandemic.  I'm grateful for these tender interactions which I would have never had without being under quarantine.


  1. I've found having all my outside activities-DUP, church, poetry, etc. etc. cancelled as opened up new possibilities to develop my relationship with my retired hubby and I. Unexpected blessings have come.

  2. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts for many years now and missed you when they slowed down a bit. I often wished that I could start a weekly General Conference Book Club. How fun that must have been! On a different note, I have always wondered how bloggers who share a lot about their families can balance their children's privacy with the reality of the ups and downs of life. I started blogging in maybe 2010ish but stopped (for many reasons). As my children have grown and made choices of their own that are contrary to our family's values, I have often think about how I would have continued to blog honestly while respecting their own stories and privacy. Anyway, all that is to say that I have been very interested in reading about your journey over the past year. If you would ever like to "talk" to someone who is grappling with really tough, tough family situations, I'd love to share more. My email is: