Finding Peace Despite Quarantines and Peppa Pig

This morning I was reading Isaiah and these verses seemed relevant.

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold your God will come with a vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

Isaiah 35: 3-4

I know the Coronavirus is causing a huge stink right now and here in Ohio is no exception. The governor has extended his stay-at-home order and closure of non-essential businesses. This means that MMS Aviation has been closed until May 1. It’s like mandated vacation except we can’t go anywhere or do anything except supervise our children who want to watch Peppa Pig until their eyes fall out. That seems like a worse outcome than actually getting the Coronavirus.

I can imagine parents all over the country rushing into the hospital to get tested for COVID-19.

“Dr. Brown Bear,” they say, “I think I’m coming down with something. My eyes hurt, my heart rate is elevated, and I’ve begun speaking with an English accent.”

“Do you have any children?” He scribbles on a notepad and looks grim. “Also, my name isn’t Dr. Brown Bear.”

“Oh right, sorry. Yes, I have too many children!”

“How many is too many?”

“Well, only two. But that’s enough for one to be under each foot at all times. It’s hard to walk while you’re wearing children. It’s very frustrating.”

“I see.” He scribbles on his notepad again. “Do you try to distract them with mobile devices?”

“Well, I know I shouldn’t but I do occasionally allow a few minutes of supervised screen time.”

“How many minutes?”

“Well, about six hours worth while I go scream in the basement.”

“So it’s not supervised screen time?”

“Well, I turn up the volume pretty loud so I can hear what’s going on.”

He grunts and nods. “That explains the English accent. You’re being exposed to too much Peppa Pig. But don’t worry, these symptoms will pass.”

“Oh, good! What a relief! When?”

“Possibly when this quarantine thing ends, although Peppa Pig has been known to cause lingering symptoms.”

“Is there any way I could contract Coronavirus and just get it over with so I wouldn’t have to be in quarantine with my children anymore?

“I can’t endorse that. No. Besides, if you got it you would have to self isolate like in a hotel room by yourself or something.”

The parent gets a blissful, dreamy look on their face. The doctor gets concerned and starts trying to backtrack. “But the Coronavirus is very serious. You could die! I can’t endorse getting it so that you have to be isolated from your children.”

The parent bargains. “Fine. Can you just file a report or something that says I have it? Just call my husband and tell him he needs to take care of the kids for awhile by himself.”

“Can’t do that ma’am. Besides, your husband is in the other room complaining of the same symptoms.”

Now of course don’t start assuming I thought of going to the doctor and paying him to tell my family I have the Coronavirus and that I need to self isolate in a quiet hotel room. That’s a completely imaginary scenario.

Seriously though, Adi loves Peppa Pig. It’s like an addiction. She whines about it all day. She even started saying “Daddy” with an English accent. I have to admit I find the accent hilarious and so I encourage it. With any luck, our children will seem way more sophisticated than their parents. I guess that’s what every parent hopes for, really.

Adi is reading to her dolls. She just mumbles nonsense and turns the pages. It’s really cute, and she’s better at reading than I am.

Since I’m not going to the hangar right now, I’ve been working on other projects. I’m finally getting the time to work on my motorcycle project. My brother-in-law found a 1972 Honda CB 175 in a barn and I managed to get my hands on it for $50. It sat in a barn for thirty years with gas in it and so the fuel system was in bad shape. But everything else is pretty well preserved. I began taking it apart when we lived in Michigan but never had time to work on it. So I stored it in buckets and just carried it around with us as we moved around the country. I’m looking forward to using it as a daily driver to the hangar. It should get around 50 miles per gallon and the insurance is dirt cheap so it should help free up space in our “Automotive” category in monthly budget. Still, Janice says that reasoning is just an excuse to spend money on new shiny parts for it. It’s called an investment, Janice. The same goes for shiny tools.

We’ve also been doing projects around the house. Janice was asking for a new porch railing. I don’t know why she didn’t like the rotten, moldy, crooked, ugly old one. As long as the kids can’t knock it over it’s still functional, right? But anyway, I grudgingly accepted the challenge of replacing it. I actually enjoy building things but the problem was that I was busy putting shiny parts on my motorcycle. I didn’t have time to do silly things like replace perfectly good porch railings. I also knew that if I started ripping things apart, I’d probably find much more that needed replacing. I was right. Two days after I started replacing the railing, the entire deck was replaced thanks to Bryan (his blog here) and Stephen (his blog here), my co-workers at MMS Aviation.

The next project is to put up a privacy fence. The privacy fence does two things: It keeps kids in (we live on a busy street) and neighbor dogs out. I’ve been finding piles of poop in the corner of our yard and I’m pretty sure it’s from the neighbor’s dogs – not my kids. So the fence thing should totally work. Our landlord is planning on renting out this house to other MMS apprentice families once we leave so any family friendly improvements we make will be a blessing to them.

From a little quarantined hamlet in Ohio,

Josh


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