The Bench

Here are the directions to the Jonkhoff / Rogers bench along the trails of the Old Mission Point Park, one of our favorite hiking locations and where I proposed to Lindsey (although, not right where the bench is). We gave the bench to our parents as a gift at our wedding reception.

“Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be.”

~ Robert Browning


I am writing this on April 8, 2020. We have been subject to a Stay Home, Stay Safe order by Governor Whitmer for three weeks now and expect it to continue for at least another three weeks (through the end of April). We’re also advised by federal and state health authorities to “socially distance,” which means to stay six or more feet from people who do not live under the same roof.

We – the whole world I believe – has become far more attuned to hand washing, proximity, touching. The repercussions of this pandemic could be long-lasting, depending on when and whether a vaccine is created (discovered?) for COVID-19.

The boys school let out two weeks ahead of the regularly scheduled spring break, and initially expected to resume when spring break was over (last Monday). Instead, in-person schooling was cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. The district is required to piece together various means of teaching, so that they can maintain their funding. We’re beginning to hear more from Harvey’s teacher and Carson’s teacher, but the task is quite large.

I have received hundreds of emails mentioning coronavirus, COVID-19. Most everyone begins or closes correspondence or calls with, “Stay safe,” or “Stay healthy.” The concern is real. TV advertising has been modified. The late night shows, and many others, are broadcasting from home.

The concept of “essential workers” and “non-essential workers” has resulted in record unemployment claims, $2 trillion plus in government assistance, etc.

Harvey’s birthday party – instead of being the usual large family gathering or the group of friends at Incredible Mo’s – will be a parade of firetrucks and family with decorated vehicles. And we may celebrate by standing in the yard, at a distance, observing each other, but not hugging or shaking hands or wrestling. I’m sure it will be wonderful and fun, but it will be different than any other birthday I’ve experienced in my 38 years – and I’m sure the grandparents could say the same.

Carson is worried that his friends won’t be able to attend his birthday party in June – two months away. And I’m not sure – it’s a maybe. As much as he and Harvey are enjoying the time at home, they miss their friends. They ask when the distancing will end and when they can play freely with friends without an adult monitoring or stepping in.

We’ve all become more adept at conference calls and video conferencing. We’re working from home – the whole office! Testing our virtual communication skills. It’s going well, but different.

Those are a smattering of memories from the past month. We’ll see what the months to come provide.