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This is the first in a series of personal updates from members of St. James. Please send your story to Fr. Chris and he will post it to the website and/or send it out in the e-blast. We would all love to hear from you!


“To live happily is an inward power of the soul.” Marcus Aurelius

Dear St. James Friends:

I am so missing Sunday Service, the sermon, kneeling for communion, the music and even attending meetings! 

But more than that, I am missing you, my friends!  I am missing the hugs and smiles I get when I’m a sidesperson; I am missing sitting in the wonderful calmness and beauty of our sanctuary, and I am so missing our time of fellowship at our coffee hours.  I miss the personal contact and being able to get caught up on what’s happening with you and your families.

Fr. Chris has done an incredible job of keeping us up to date on church happenings and giving us spiritual readings to help us in this time of not being able to attend church.  Thanks so much Fr. Chris, it has been very helpful, and we are happy you are through your quarantine and all are well.

So, because I think many of you are also missing the fellowship of our Sundays and other get togethers, I decided to share with you what’s happening with us in the hope that you will also write and let us know how you are coping.

Social Distancing – what an oxymoron!  How can you be social if you are distant?  And self-isolating – sounds like we are prison because we have done something really bad. New language for new uncharted times!

Chuck and I arrived home from Florida on March 21, having cut our vacation short by 6 weeks.  And we have never been so glad to be in Canada.

If you are in the older age category, as we are, you will have kids who are very anxious for you and are doing there best to look after you while under this quarantine.  Well our kids were after us to come home and communicated with us through the whole ordeal of packing up (2 days) and driving home (2 ½ days).  They didn’t hesitate to remind me how many times I had told them to ‘wash your hands’ when they were young. My daughter did a huge shopping and left it in our garage refrigerator to be there when we arrived.  And, of course, they have been checking on us constantly ever since.

Don’t know about you, but one of my stresses is that we are causing so much stress on our family.

So, we made arrangements and headed home on March 19.  The traffic on I 75 was unbelievably light and was the easiest homebound drive we have ever had, even going through Atlanta and Cincinnati – almost eerie!  We always eat lunch in the car and try to find ‘Rest Areas’ to stop in, so that was not too bad, except in Kentucky all the Rest Areas were closed to all but trucks to park. And, of course Chuck had to deal with getting gas, so lots of washing of hands and sanitizing.

We had booked ‘upscale’ hotels with restaurants for our two nights on the road, thinking these might be a safer option. However, Tennessee had closed all restaurants and bars by the time we stopped in Chattanooga and in Findlay, Ohio the same thing.  So, getting something to eat at dinner was a bit of a challenge.

We crossed the border at Detroit about 10:30 a.m. on the 21st.  No problem; the cars were well separated:  the customs guy who opened the window to talk to us was wearing a mask and gloves and was very friendly as he handed us a paper explaining the 14-day isolation.

We stopped at the first EnRoute on 401 for gas and actually ventured into a Tim’s for a coffee and something real to eat.  All takeout and distancing – no hanging around there.

Chuck and I are one week in to our isolation, but I don’t think much in our lives will change when the 14 days are up.  We are fine and doing really well with family, neighbours and friends all offering to help with whatever is needed.  But for both of us who are used to getting out to see people every day it is somewhat of a challenge and sometimes nerves get a bit frayed – not just with being tied in here - but with the whole month of dealing with such a surreal situation.  With have to be careful to be kind to each other.

Our family members are all well – most busy working from home – one grandchild stranded in Montreal on his last year of university at Concordia – in limbo but okay. We are very thankful.

I saw my first Robin this morning.  And my tulips and daffodils are poking their little heads up – somethings never change. For over 16 years I have not been in Canada in March so that’s a new experience.  There’s an upside to everything.

So, my friends, that’s What’s Happening with us.  Will you drop a line and let us know how you are doing?


Donna and Chuck

P.S.  Here is a website that you might find helpful.  It is how to deal with your groceries – a bit strict – but some useful information – like how long the virus can stay on different surfaces.