Making the best of things during a pandemic

lunch and morning coffee included

Surprisingly, things have been pretty busy for the past six weeks. You’d think t hat wouldn’t be the case since many places are closed down to visitors so I’m not making hospital or nursing home visits. Our office is closed for public visitation, but since they’re all separated, some of us still come in. Learning how to keep a congregation somewhat connected during a time of pandemic has taken it’s toll. Nothing is as easy as you’d think. The main thing that has keep me sane is that I’ve been able to regularly bike to work–which is good for the 3.2 miles each way gives me some physical exercise since the fitness center is closed. Plus, if I’m not going to the hospital, I don’t need a car, and since people only see me via a zoom camera, I can wear a dress shirt and shorts!  That’s me, riding to work one cool morning this week.


But by last week, things were clicking and I was able to get out on the water twice. Last Wednesday, I paddled over to Wassaw Island, took a nap and did some reading and writing while on the island, then paddled back. It’s about five miles each way. While I paddled with the tide, I had quite a wind against me heading out (thankfully the wind was to my back when I paddled home.

Nap Time on Wassaw

On the two trips I did, I decided to try to do a “devotion” from my kayak. I recorded these on Facebook live and had a lot of folks watching and commenting. Then I copied and posted in my newly created YouTube channel, so you can watch. I need to learn to do this a little smoother, but I’m curious as to what you think. The first (3 minutes) is a prayer by a favorite Scottish theologian of the early 20th Century, John Braille. The second includes two poems (one by Mary Karr and the other by me) along with a Puritan prayer. Clink on the links below:

Earth Day Prayer

Two Poems and a Prayer

Friday, Paddling around Pigeon Island

How are you surviving the pandemic? I hope you have been able to get outside–it’s a great way to enjoy while creating social distance.

28 Replies to “Making the best of things during a pandemic”

  1. Hi, Jeff! I’m happy to see that you’ve been able to get out in your kayak. Terry and I are doing well here, although all my extra baking is showing up in tighter clothes for both of us. I watched your first clip and you voice is calming, soothing. And I saw the osprey fly past! I took a peak at your second, but the truth is, it’s after midnight, and I decided that maybe I should call it a night rather than watch a six minute video. The book you reviewed by N.T. Wright just arrived. Your review intrigued me, so I ordered it. It’s in my reading queue. All the best to you!

  2. Your videos turned out very well. Nicely done. We have all had to make some big adjustments in the way we go about our ordinary days since the pandemic. I’m glad to hear things are going well for you.

  3. Things are quite similar for me in that I’m always busy at work. The weird thing is that corridors of my hospital are often deserted and the parking lots empty.

    Governor Foghorn Leghorn here in South Carolina restarting the state economy, which I know will help many out of work. But our state caseload hasn’t really started heading down and a lot of the docs are expecting things to get worse again.

    1. Yeah, I am sure since hospitals are so important but because of cutting back on non-emergency surgery, it has emptied out a lot of rooms.

  4. I think you’ve followed my “Notes from Isolation”
    installments as to how I’ve navigated the pandemic. It’s been an interesting time, to say the least, and I’m thankful for the beautiful weather right now that makes our daily walks pleasant. I’m also thankful for the routine of my job and late afternoons on our back deck with my wife. And happily, there’s a date on the calendar to see my family!

    1. Yes, you’ve had some interesting notes… in a century, maybe, they’ll be reading what we said as they figure out how to deal with a new pandemic.

  5. My husband was in the hospital for 21 days last month so because of the pandemic I couldn’t go visit him in the hospital which was really stressful for me. Not so much for him though. lol Thankfully he’s home no and the doctor comes to the apartment to see him which is nice.

  6. Jealous of that nap you got to take. It looks like a great spot to recharge. Reminds me to set up my hammock. I look forward to watching your YouTube clips. We are hanging in there during the pandemic. It has definitely had its ups and downs but I am trying to focus on the positive and be grateful for what me and my family have because it could be a lot worse. Take care.

    1. It’s nice to have an end of an island mostly by yourself! Take care of yourself and your family!

    1. It’s nice to live in a place where I can easily get away! I hope you find some hammock time!

  7. We humans are remarkably resilient. I’m so glad that you continue to provide support for your community. I know a few ‘priests’ who could learn from that!

    1. However, it’s hard when you can’t go to the hospital when someone is seriously ill or dying.

  8. It’s wonderful to hear your warm, deep and thoughtful voice.
    I’m glad you’re able to stay as active as you are, Jeff. You’re always inspiring.

  9. We’ve been getting out an about. With the road torn up and a nearby community college deserted, we’ve been walking through the construction zone in the evenings after they depart and around on the college trails which have been absolutely deserted. Of course since my wife is on the front lines of this pandemic, we have to walk six feet apart. One of these days we can walk closer again.

  10. Sounds like you’re doing great! I’m thankful I live in a rural area and can still get out and walk like normal. I’ve found myself posting far more nature shots on Instagram than I was before!

    1. I enjoyed watching the first clip. (I got a glimpse of the Osprey as it flew past! Ours is back, too.) “Two Poems and a Prayer” doesn’t have a link attached.

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