I don’t like homeschooling. At all.

He said

While the trampoline that we added to our yard last week was about giving Emelia some level of regular physical activity during quarantine, there was no way in heck with my bum knee that I would ever dream of taking up that for my fitness sanity. Thankfully way back in October of last year looking for a piece of equipment that I could use in the home, we bought a Nordic Track Rower. Quite frankly while I loved getting to the gym, it just didn’t always work into my schedule the two hours the total to-and-from trip would take—especially when you added in the variety of my work schedule.

I have been happily rowing away ever since and am proud to say that I – as of a half hour ago – have been through one set of 4 D-Cell batteries, a new tow rope (and a subsequent second), and have rowed over 683 kms on it. But, through this quarantine, it has been absolute saving grace. After the tow rope was replaced under warranty, I have been on that rower every single day for a sweat-laden workout that – almost 100% of the time – leaves me feeling so much better after (There was the one time that a comedy of errors left me with a frustrating finish). And the weigh scale would seem to agree. I am under 220 lbs for the first time since before Emelia was born! (She is 13, remember). And that is almost 20 whole lbs lighter than when I started tracking my weight.

Having that half hour workout every single day is such an important part of my wellbeing. Every single time I start I feel a little sludgy and after I hit about the 7 min mark and the heart is pumping and the sweat starting I am so thankful for this break from all else that is going on. When I end and there isn’t a pore not producing sweat, I feel so much better. It is funny how much I have grown to love the rower as my form of workout when so many of my friends refer to it as some sort of mediaeval torture machine but it works for me. And I feel so much better these days, so that helps too.

Homeschooling for Emelia during this time has been nothing short of a challenge. I am not going to sugar-coat it as there are days lengthy arguments about what she needs to work on and how qualified either of us are to help with any of it. And the worst part is that the brunt of it falls on Danielle as I am still working from home with my team. We have yet to figure out a routine with her yet that seems to blend what we would like for her to do, what her teach would like and then what she wants to as well. The saving grace is what we are experiencing is certainly not unique as we hear the same from all of our friends with school-aged kids. There is some solace in knowing that, but it still doesn’t always ease the frustration we’re all feeling.

We’re still clinging to the notion that this quarantine will end in time that we can at least get the July and August months of camping in. As ridiculous as it seems right now with all the more serious things going on in the world, I think we will really feel the weight of COVID-19 if we lose an entire summer of camping. Some of the signs continue to look positive, but there are also some measures that make us less certain. If I were being honest, as long as we can do Bon Echo in August, I will feel some measure of better about it all. Until then, I’ll row my way there hopefully, I guess?

And lastly today marks the day that had the world not been in the state we are we would have been all together as a family to celebrate Dad’s 80th Birthday. Way back when we had started to plan this, a gathering was not absurd. But, then slowly as the world started to change, we recognized gathering as a group was probably not the best idea. Then it was legislated so. So we canceled plans and tonight we’re doing a much smaller version of the celebration in the same way that we have been – via FaceTime. Bummer that we can’t physically be together, but at least we still kinda can! Happy 80th Birthday Dad!!

She said

The last week adjusting further to this new normal has been exhausting. I had been really trying to stay positive and routine based but this week has been hard. We are still trying to find the right balance when it comes to school, work, life and the world around us. This week we tried hard to give Emelia a balance when it came to school. Working hard on giving her a true mental break from all the anxiety and stress that this pandemic has put on her shoulders. She had two completely lazy days, she video chatted with Olivia and we took a break from school. It might have burned us a bit as not doing school work for a few days meant we had a lot of catching up to do at the end of the week. There were some tears, there was some meltdowns but in the end the break worked out and Emelia got a new focus on school and she got all her assignments in on time. Tomorrow we start again with a whole new list of assignments and down the road due dates we need to manage. It hasn’t been easy but we are working our way through.

This week we also moved to another of things are real level in the pandemic. About a week ago it was strongly suggested by the leading health experts in the country that people should be wearing masks in more crowded areas, basically anything indoors that wasnt your home. This meant grocery stores and medical appointments. I have been taking Doug to all his medical follow-ups and tests so we are out a lot in the public. A very dear friend of mine kindly made all of us (including Helen and Doug) masks and we are forever grateful. But this view of about 50% or more people in stores and labs with masks and gloves has made this pandemic all that more real. And the hope that we can have a real normal life again.

The news from this past week have been hard but positive. Canada is starting to see the first peak of what they call the first wave. The medical staff and hospitals have been well equipped and they are managing the cases well. But at this time we are over 35,000 cases in Canada and over 1,500 deaths. Cases worldwide are over 2.3M with over 160,000 deaths. This time in our lives will be forever defined by this moment in time. It is certainly surreal.

Every day we watch the news with the hope that we will have some sort of new normal soon enough. They are saying that lifting some restrictions but down the road, the provincial and federal leadership are warning people it will take time and to be patient to assure we can come out of this without a deadly second peak.

So we have been finding a new normal. All of us are trying to stay fit and healthy. Emelia and I turned back to running this week, Emelia does her workouts with Olivia and John does the rower. It has helped us physically but even more so at this time it has really helped us mentally.

Now to dream of the next few months with the hopes we can have some sort of summer.

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