Erin's Journals

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Just a thought… The entire sum of existence is the magic of being needed by just one other person. [Vi Putnam]

It’s been a crazy busy week. Not in a bad way – just a really eventful way! Colin met two of his “aunties” in Sidney and we had beverages out on a deck overlooking the harbour; he regaled them with stories of the Marvel characters in his movies, while we peppered him with questions about flying, having a sister and so on. As you can imagine, he made this grama very proud.

We’ve continued to move items gradually into Phil and Brooke’s new house and it looks as though their truck from Ottawa won’t be backing into their driveway for at least two more weeks. It’s hard not to be frustrated with the lack of concern on the moving company’s part about coming anywhere near their promised arrival date (tomorrow), but they hold all of the cards.

So we wait – and we don’t mind one bit from a hosting point of view! It’s all a big adventure as we explore the area together and enjoy the best weather we could ever have asked for: highs in the low- to mid-20s, very little precipitation and no humidity to speak of. I’m so glad that our promises of a gentler summer than they were sweating through in Ontario have proven to be true.

Rob and I had another new beginning this summer and it’s something we have been doing for about six weeks now; it makes me look forward to Thursdays more than I have since our band used to get together weekly on that night for practice. We’ve signed up to deliver meals to the elderly and those who aren’t feeling confident going out during COVID. It’s on behalf of our local community centre in Sidney and we love it!

After having gotten the clean bill from a police check, we answered the call passed to us through a fellow Rotarian that drivers were needed for people who either couldn’t go out to buy groceries, or chose not to risk being in public during COVID.

As a team, Rob and I divide the chores: he puts all of the dozen or so addresses into the GPS and prepares the next recipient’s bag. Then when we arrive at each person’s home, I jump out, grab the delivery and walk briskly to their door.

Sometimes it’s an apartment and I have to call to get them to unlock the lobby door, then take an elevator or stairs when possible; other times it’s hunting out a number on a trailer or finding the proper house on the block.

No matter where the recipients live, after I knock or ring the doorbell, I’m usually greeted with a grateful smile. Of course, I have gloves and a mask on so they can’t see my face, but I hope they know I’m returning the smile as I make a little small talk and pass off the bag of meals (one hot, three frozen, with an additional bag containing cookies and an apple and orange).

I wish I could stay and chat with many of these older folks, but a tight two-hour window, addresses scattered sometimes several kilometres apart and, of course, the limitations posed by a mask on my face and some hearing difficulties on a few of the recipients’ parts seem to set a lot of boundaries.

It’s been just a few weeks, but some of these folks have already made impressions on me: there’s a lady with beautiful blue eyes and a friendly smile who loves to chat; there’s another who comes slowly to the door in her robe and is tiny and lovely to me when she opens the door.

The drop-offs aren’t always memorable for the right reasons: one fellow mixed up delivery days so I knocked, waited and knocked again. After a few minutes he did come to the door, but was only partially clothed in a T-shirt. Let’s just say my eyes stayed locked on his! And on the occasion that someone has had to go to hospital or is in the shower (both scenarios happened last week), I visit a neighbour and leave the food with them, then if I can, I call and leave a message for the intended recipient.

One residence has a circle of women sitting out in social-distanced safety, with appetizers and drinks, dogs at their feet and a friendly wave and smile when they see us pull up in our little red convertible. As I say, there are often glitches, but the important thing is that people are getting their meals as promised. And best of all, I didn’t cook them!

We just love doing this. I’m not even kidding when I say that I’ve been counting down to today since Monday. It’s not just having human interaction, but feeling useful and needed. On the surface it may appear small, but it is a welcome reminder that even when these times have made us feel so far apart, we’re still connected in, oh, so many ways.

Have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back with a journal on Monday, plus daily posts on Facebook. See you there and thanks for coming by!

Rob WhiteheadThursday, August 6, 2020