Greetings and Salutations, Blog Readers!
Yesterday, I discussed the uncertainty in the times of Covid, and today I thought I would focus on the blessings in times of Covid.
You see, things HAVE been bad, and with no money coming in, things got really sketchy for a while, more so when we were waiting for the delayed (and tiny) unemployment payments to come in. At the writing of this blog post, the “relief” check still isn’t in.
The unemployment that did finally come in was greatly reduced from what I was hoping to get, and the amount I was hoping to get was still fairly inadequate. This was all exacerbated by things hitting the account and over drafting the fuck out of the account, so when the small amount came in, a giant chunk went to the fees, and the rest went towards some bills. Not even all bills.
The relief check, if it arrives, will go towards the rest, leaving no money for anything else. I have heard rumor of unemployment being supplemented with 600 extra a week. IF that happens, then yeah, things will be a lot better and I can catch up. IF.
Anyways, as that we were out of money, and food, and pet food, things got hairy. The money we did have and were able to scrounge up, all went towards securing our animals food. We didn’t have a way to get to the grocery store, previously, and when we did, the animal food was all out.
The gas station had some food that we were able to walk to and get, but our own food supplies got very low, and our animals got hungry too.
My mother had sent us money to help us limp along, mind you, long before it got this bad, in fact, we were able to survive as long as we did due to her kindly sending us money.
Bret’s family came over, when things were still mild and I still had my job, and had brought us some food, so we had survived on that and the money my mom had sent, which was so life saving, and let us get a bit further into this pandemic, when Bret had already been fired and my hours had been reduced. Bret’s mom, two weeks after that, when things were getting tricky again, sent over groceries, using the Walmart delivery service- And while they didn’t have much at the store, she was able to put together a decent round of food that kept us fed another week or so, with us eating once to twice a day.
After this, things got pretty rough, food running low, animals eating small amounts of the pet food we still had left and animal safe human food we had, which cut into what we had for ourselves but obviously we didn’t care, if our animals were at least fed.
My mother launched into action, quickly helping me set up a Chewy shipping program, which lets you have food, litter, treats, medicines, whatever your pets need, delivered to you monthly. Normally they ship in 1-2 days but with everything going on, they were putting out orders in 10 days. We didn’t know when we ordered it, but the animal supplies did finally come and my mother kindly offered to pay for it until things return to normal, to ensure our pets never go hungry again…which literally made me cry.
My mother continued her miracles, working with my sister to pack up four different care packages of supplies, the fourth of which my wonderful dad took to the post office. We are 14 hours away from my family, and I am all alone here in the city with no family, so it was wonderful to know my family would still do all they could to help out when the shit was going south.
My mom included in one of the boxes, several rolls of quarters, so we could do laundry, and get a few small things, if we needed, which helped us get not only clean clothing and linens, but some animal food while we waited on the delayed Chewy shipment.
My sister picked out a new almond butter I am obsessed with, and a delicious strawberry jelly, renewing my love for nut better and jelly sandwiches.
My mom sent hand made soaps and bath bombs for some relaxation, and tossed in some face masks too. My sister picked out some fancy hand soaps, together they round up some toiletries and flushable wipes.
The food they sent, including instant soap mixes, was amazing. One of the soups quickly became a favorite and we plan on buying more when next able to buy groceries.
Mom, with some help from my sister Monica, and my dad, sent rice, oatmeal, flour, coffee, dried milk, instant soups, stews, MRE tortillas, granola bars, pasta, minced garlic, snacks, candies, including some of my favorites- gummy worms and strawberry hard candies. They sent us Mac n cheese, tuna fish, honey, gum for Bret..really a whole giant stash of awesome that was sure to help us survive the next month or so.
And the day it was set to arrive, we were desperate for it. Our cats were starving, our dog was annoyed and hungry, we were hungry, sober, broke, depressed we couldn’t do anything to fix anything….
Mom called, for what was the millionth time. I told her the post office was still fucking around, and after the package had already been delayed two days past when my mother (who paid extra for this shipping) had been guaranteed the delivery by.
My mother, not to be stopped by mere limitations of an overwork, under funded and ready to collapse post office, launched into action, calling a close friend of hers, Vicki, who, in another world would have likely been my moms sister, and is definitely her “Sister from another mister” friend. Vicki, a very careful, methodical woman, launched into action, and not only had a bag of life saving supplies, but traversed the suburbs and drove into the heart of the city, in a giant truck, to deliver to big bags of groceries.
Tuna, which one of the cans I obviously gave to the cats, immediately. Bread, sandwich slice cheese and ham. Bananas, pancake mix and syrup, two lbs of ground turkey, a bag of rice, a thing of hamburger helper, two rolls of toilet paper, cheese and cracker snacks…enough food to hold us over for at least a couple of days, until moms many care packages were able to make their way through the collapsing postal service.
Truly wonderful, how hard everyone involved went in helping us survive, and I am so grateful I was able to experience such blessing in these horrible times.
From Bret’s family bringing us supplies, to my mom supplementing our cash flow, to Bret’s mom getting us some more groceries, to my mom making a brilliant phone call to Vicki, and of course, my families incredible selection of care packages.
A couple of days after the care packages arrived, my unemployment hit, and while much of it disappeared to fees, and the rest vanished to bills, but I am not so foolish as to not be grateful for that money too, which enabled me to pay my phone bill, and pay our internet bill, which was two months behind, to keep us supplied with internet, which is also pretty damn crucial when stuck at home on social distancing shelter in place orders…and more so when you are trying to use this time to make good choices and advance your craft and art with writing and content creation.
I am humble enough to know that I wouldn’t have gotten this far without the help from our families, from my mom, from Vicki, and yes, even from the unemployment money that came in. When (if) the relief check comes in, even though that is really money I have paid in taxes but whatever, I am still going to consider it a blessing, because it helps.
I am not a religious person per se, but I do believe in things like blessings, be they from some spiritual place or just good luck. I am very lucky, fortunate, and blessed, to have had so many people contribute to keeping us afloat and okay. In addition to these wonderful people, people like my twitter friend @PantherFist13 and my best friend, Amber, were able to help out in lovely ways too, with the former paying for some soup when I got so ill my first week in quarantine after layoff, and Amber, who surprised me with some funds as well because she is so kind and wonderful, and wanted to help us. I am very blessed to have had people help out here and there, helping us get various supplies and food and survive through the crisis that has been caused by this pandemic.
Sure, things are shitty, but I am blessed, beyond words, by all the acts of kindness, big and small, from all sorts of people near and far, to help stay okay. Between everything that was already going wrong before the pandemic broke out, stuff I still don’t want to discuss on the blog, and the pandemic itself that exacerbated everything to this point, things have been getting very bad for the better part of three months.
It is good to know in these times of uncertainty, in this bad times where plenty of people are being terrible, that people are still being good. People went above and beyond and helped when others were helpless and needed help.
This is the spirit that I am trying to show in Flake City, and I am so glad that it isn’t just my naive ass that is saying it happens…because sometimes people really do all they can, and do good, be their best selves.
I am so blessed.
In this situation, it is easy to be angry with the problems, lament in all the things you can’t solve…Trust me…I do that plenty- but it is also important to look at every, and more importantly any blessing. Be it that you found a couple bucks you stashed away in an old coat, or a care package from family…even the unemployment and relief check payments that aren’t really blessings are good things, and you should be grateful for these things, if nothing else, to be more aware of the good, so you focus on that, and not all the crap that is going on.
Things are hard, but we do have good things to be thankful for. I originally started this blog to be a “thanks to these people” blog but I realized I needed to be thankful for every single thing, the same way I dwell on everything that is bad.
It balances everything out, and helps you better engage with the good you can engage with. Check yesterdays blog for more discussion on why engaging in the present is good, and how this time can teach us to not dwell on the future.
I hope you are enjoying some sort of blessing or another, and that you are all staying safe out there.
Thanks for reading!