Day 1 of The Duration


Okay, all the supplies are procured.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping in Billings, and today I anted up and paid $79.50 for an 80-roll case of toilet paper at the local hardware store, and since I was in town (and while my kids were listening to a science podcast discussing the nature of viruses) I even stopped and fueled up Van Wilder (that’s our name for our full-size van) because I knew it would please my husband (too often I drive until I’m on empty, which makes him crazy).  Today just seemed like the right time to start being prudent.

So.  Here at the Blake house we are Officially Ready for The Duration to begin.  The Duration meaning however long Coronavirus is a factor in our country.  However long folks are advised to self-distance.  We have food, we have paper products (except for paper towel, and I am challenging myself to try life without paper towel, because perhaps I have loved it too much?), and we have a tank full of gas.

Staying home is easy for us because we’ve always done it anyway, and because we have a ranch for our backyard.  This time it’s a little different, of course, because in the backs of our minds we know the government is telling us we really ought to stay home… but if we pretend that’s not a factor it doesn’t seem like things are any different than usual.

It’s hard to avoid reality, though, because the world outside of the ranch is noticeably slowing down.  Every day I’ve been getting emails and texts and phone calls about cancellations — my dentist appointment, 4-H meetings, church, a get-together with girlfriends.  All good things that I normally would’ve enjoyed.  But honestly, I always welcome surprise excuses to stay home.  This national slow-down is a relief to my insides, actually, because I’ve always felt like the world was going too fast.

Beau and I and the kids are curious as to how long we can make it on the supplies we have on hand now.  Like everyone else, we are curious how long we will all be asked to make it.  I’m not scared about the virus… but I am wondering what the outcome will be in the long run.  “These strange times,” as every keeps referring to them, just might mark the end of life as we have known it in the U.S.  But with every end comes a new beginning.

© Tami Blake

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