What a bizarre reality we find ourselves living in. A month ago feels like a lifetime ago. It is hard to believe that just two months ago we were cruising the Caribbean and now we find ourselves locked down at home for the next five weeks (or maybe longer). Things that were consistently “normal” in our daily lives are now absent and we are slowly finding our new normal in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.
We now have everyone except Ozzie back at home. Molly, who was scheduled to fly out to Utah on March 27th is now home for the next month as she does her missionary training online in her bedroom rather than at the MTC. Daily anchors in our weekly schedule have been lifted. Trauma therapy, equine therapy, tutoring, sports practices, visits with Ozzie, family therapy sessions, shopping, errands, and even work for Toby has been canceled. As a construction worker his business is considered “non-essential” by the state of Pennsylvania, which means he, Zach and Molly are now home all day.
On Saturday the stay-at-home order for our county was extended from April 6th to April 30th. This news led to Grace and Zach making the decision to move into the bus for the next 5 weeks (or at least until they get sick of us)! At their little apartment they just aren’t set up for an extended lockdown. Their apartment has no laundry facility, and as newly weds they don’t have the food storage, supplies, or even outdoor space to make living under quarantine doable/bearable.
On Saturday they called and told us their plans and we got to work getting the bus ready for occupants.
“Bus?” You ask. Let me explain…
Four years ago our family purchased a used school bus at a school bus auction with the intention of taking it on a 6 week tour around the country. We gutted the inside, removing all the seats within, and over the course of a year (as Toby had free time) we turned the bus into an RV.
The inside offers all the comforts of home including a master bedroom, extra bunk beds, a kitchen with a full size fridge, microwave, and stove top, a bathroom with a toilet and sink, as well as plenty of seating for our family.
Once completed, we used our bus to carry our family on the road trip of a lifetime from one side of the country to the other, hitting all the major historical sights and national parks along the way. It was the ultimate home-schooling fieldtrip.
(If you want to read more about our adventures check out the blogs written from August 2016-September 2016. Here is the link to the first of that series: https://ktmccleery.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/the-first-day-of-school/)
It was an amazing trip and our converted school bus, which we christened “The Rolling Gnomes.”
Now the bus is parked in the yard and is used for local camping excursions as well as being our guest house when company visits.
The bus is now Grace and Zach’s home away from home during this pandemic.
It is an ideal set up, as it allows them to choose how much family togetherness they want. They have their own space to lock themselves away, have quiet time, watch a movie alone, or cook their own meals, but when they are craving more contact they have a house full of people to visit just across the yard.
As for the rest of us, we have been filling our days with schoolwork and projects, trying to balance the gift of rest and downtime with productivity.
In the next blog I will share our “Coronacation” schedule so that you can see how we are using our time at home, and what a “typical” day in lock-down looks like at Patchwork Farm.