Porch Talk

a Southern Momma speaks

Facing Difficult Times


There are many devastating results from the corona virus.  The increasing number of deaths, as well as the heart-breaking stories of victims who die alone with no family near them.  The rituals following death can’t be carried out, so families and friends can’t gather to remember and honor the dead, and to offer solace to each other.

Women give birth without the support of loved ones, friends who took pleasure in meeting friends for coffee or meal can no longer do so, nor can children finish this school year except online, and not all can do that.  And millions of people are out of work, because their employers have closed down their businesses.

In a word, we seem to have lost control of our daily lives.  But conversations and emails with family and friends offer the many ways we can get that control back.  From what I hear and read, houses are having the most comprehensive cleanings they’ve had.  People are getting rid of things they’ve hung on to for years, setting them aside to give to a charitable organization when this is over.

With children not in school, and parents not going to work, many families are using this time to become closer.  They play board games.  Parents read aloud to children.  They cook meals that have always taken too much time and effort before.

Bill Gates’ pledge of 50 million dollars for relief, and Tyler Perry buying groceries for every customer at chosen Winn-Dixies in Louisiana and Georgia are grand examples of generosity, but personal generosity, like doing errands for people who are most vulnerable, or calling a sick friend and telling him/her something that will bring a laugh, helps not only the receiver, but the giver, who chose to do these acts in defiance of the many strictures the virus imposes.

Now is the perfect time to read the books one has always wanted to.  The libraries are closed, but sites like AbeBooks have used books that cost little, and many have free shipping.  Finish the handiwork you started months, even years, ago.  Do wood working, play a musical instrument, start window garden.  Hang bird feeders, including ones for humming birds.  I have Cardinals and humming birds, and a variety of small birds like sparrows, wrens and Black-headed Chickadees, and also a Painted Bunting, whose beauty makes me catch my breath.

Now is the time to find refuge in your own home, your own garden.  It is also the time to strengthen or repair relationships, because though the virus has changed our lives, it can’t make them meaningless unless we let it.


5 thoughts on “Facing Difficult Times

  1. Dear Beth,
    Judy and I were just speaking of you saying that we had not had a Porch Talk for awhile.
    We’re happy to hear from you and hope that you and your loved ones are in good health.


  2. Dear Beth,
    I’ve been thinking of you and hoping that you are weathering this storm as you have weathered many others, with strength and grace. From this “Porch Talk,” I see that you have. Onward and Upward, my friend.


  3. Thank you for this Momma.Keep them coming! If you have memories of how people survived the polio epidemic when they couldn’t go places those might be nice to share.xxx


  4. I’m glad you’re faring as well as possible there near Bluff Swamp. And I envy you the nature, and the birds. From my 5th floor view from the back building of the Crescent condominiums, I see the pond and swamp beyond. Sometimes there are a few waterfowl–snowy egrets, the occasional blue heron. but I miss my bird feeder and the constant fight to keep the squirrels off and encourage the cardinals and the wrens and the doves…
    Chin up! Good humor and patience will win out in the end!


  5. Hello Beth,

    I have missed your Porch Talk and am happy to see the return! We are all healthy and doing what is required to stay healthy. Rob and I have been to the camp 3 weeks in a row. We plan to go Friday evening. This is a first for us. I’m ready to stay a week or so. But, Rob is not able to do that just yet. I hope you are well and keeping the birds well fed. We have seen a pair of blue birds at the camp. Our neighbors have a house for them. They are so pretty. We have a small light brown, grayish bird in one of the windows in the upstairs. This is the second year this has happened. She is feeding 5 little ones now. Of course, her nest is nasty. I’m waiting until they are out of the nest so I can get rid of it. It really is nasty!

    Do you have a neighbor bringing groceries to you? I go to the grocery for us. If you need help with that, please let me know.

    Taylor and Skylar are busy with wedding things to do. I have to get our “list” together for her. I think they are sending Save the Date cards. Skylar has bought her dress, the bridesmaids have ordered their dresses, the church is reserved, the reception hall is reserved, the cake is ordered, I think the band is hired, and the cater is her mother’s boyfriend and his two sisters. It will take place in Gonzales. Really close to you!

    Well, thanks for posting again. I so enjoy reading your Porch Talk.




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