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US Infected: 2,100,990 Dallas Infected: 15, 577 Texas Deaths: 1,985

Summer has officially made itself known here in Dallas. The heat index has been over 100 F for most of the week, and it has kicked my laziness quotient into high gear. (That said, we did have one day of cooler temperatures and I did get out and clean up a significant portion of the garage!)

While Texas gears up to move into another phase of opening everything back up (amusement/water parks, and restaurants at 75% capacity), we have seen each day get progressively worse in the number of new cases of Covid-19 here in Dallas. While the number of new cases was 328 on Thursday, by Friday, we’d hit the fourth consecutive day of record new cases with 370 new cases. The numbers have yet to be released for today.

That, coupled up with all the protests for Black Lives Matter, and the political landscape vying for our votes in November, and the announcement that we are officially in a recession has really made it difficult to not become pessimistic. As I watch people all around me return to their pre-Covid routines, I often feel like an overzealous germaphobe. I wonder if I’m being overprotective, and I cannot seem to find enough information to justify returning to the pre-quarantine ways of doing things. But today is different. After talking with several people and doing a bunch of debating all week, we finally broke down and ordered pizza delivery from Domino’s.

I have to say, this entailed a significant amount of research on their preparation and delivery modifications. I learned that the workers wear gloves preparing the pizza, bake it at 450 degrees, and do not touch the pizza after that. We chose contact free delivery, paying online. The pizzas were delivered and left on the porch, using a separate box to keep the pizzas off the ground. We sprayed the boxes down with Lysol spray, and Dear opened up the box. I took a baking tray to the front door, and lifted the pizza out of the box, and deposited it directly into my 350 F oven for 5 minutes to kill anything that might possibly be on the pizza. We ordered 4 pizzas (some to freeze for future meals). Oh my goodness! We had missed pizza so much! It was awesome!

A few other things that have kept me grounded despite this sea of uncertainty were the Face Time conversations I had with my good friend and my parents. I forget from time to time how much a Face Time conversation helps me feel more connected during this time. Whenever I hang up from a Face Time call, I always feel significantly better.

Similarly, I find that having Zoom meetings and virtual game nights also helps my emotional well-being. Today, I was lucky enough to have my DAR meeting on Zoom, followed by a book club meeting on Zoom and then our game night friends met us online for an afternoon of Jackbox fun. It really was a great day.

While there are many reasons to be discontent during this season of isolation, I do find that Covid-19 has also given us some blessings. One of the things that our family tends to do, is that we will go places to escape or avoid doing the things that need to be done at home. That is not an option for us right now, so it seems like we’re doing more around the house, like cooking, cleaning, house maintenance and gardening! (By the way, our garden is thriving and looking amazing!)

Another plus is that we are really allocating our time for spiritual growth like never before. Because we aren’t out at work, school, and just running around, we are free to pray together and spend more time working on our own spiritual journeys.

And finally, but probably one of the most precious things to me is that we are home with our two kids. Sunshine and (s)Tinker are at the wonderful developmental transformation known as pre-teen and teen. While many days seem to result in multiple battles, I’m also very aware that we are in the sunset of our days together with our children. Many of my friends have children graduating from high school this year, and it makes me all the more aware that Sunshine will be a sophomore this school year. All too soon, Dear and I will be dependent upon each other for entertainment as our babies will flee the nest. The forced containment of our family is giving us precious time together that I know we will look back on and long for when they have gone on.

I listened to a podcast about gratefulness recently. It was a great reminder to count your blessings. Sometimes, it’s tough to get out of the muck long enough to realize how good we have it. And yet, who knows what tomorrow holds? Perhaps today is as good as it’s going to be for a long time. When Covid struck us in March, we were not aware that those days were actually the best and that we would be locked down and unable to be with friends and loved ones. We were busy complaining about what we wanted or didn’t want and didn’t even realize how good we had it. That’s one of our biggest problems. We’re always looking for something better instead of being mindful of where we are and how blessed we are.

So, for today I’m counting my blessings. And eating my pizza. I’m here, in this moment, and thankful….so thankful for all of it!

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