I took my wife for better or worse. I didn’t take her for a coronavirus quarantine.
Heaven help us all if this thing lasts past April 30. I am pretty sure that I will need a divorce attorney or an undertaker. Maybe both.
I know that staying home during this pandemic will improve my chances of surviving the virus, but it will greatly increase my chances of being murdered by my wife.
I’m just saying.
My quarantine started on March 12, when I returned from a two-week trip to Israel. For 14 days nobody could be in the house with me and I could not be around anybody else. I didn’t realize how glorious those two weeks were. I am starting to understand what Lewis Grizzard meant when he said, “The next time I get the urge to get married, I’m going to just find a woman I hate and buy her a house.”
Actually, I am kidding — for the most part. But it is very trying to remain in such close quarters for such an extended period of time. There is only so much two people can talk about. Especially two people who have been together for 40 years.
The monotony is broken up during the week because our oldest grandson, Sir Henley the Adorable, stays with us. Schools are closed. His mama is a pharmacist, so she is on the front lines every day as our nation wages war against this invisible enemy. His dad works from home, and you can’t actually get much work done with a 5-year-old on the premises. I just heard a chorus of “Amens!” wafting across the North Georgia Piedmont. So, we get to be with Henley.
Our younger grandson, Prince Walker the Adorable, is sheltering in place with his parents.
I cherish every moment with Henley, but honesty compels me to admit that he does present a special set of challenges.
When is the last time, for instance, that you slept outside on the ground? I did. Monday night. I promised Henley that we would go camping, and we did — complete with a campfire, S’mores and scary stories.
Now, understand, I am an Eagle Scout and have spent thousands of nights sleeping under the stars and in tents and other shelters — but not at 68.
Henley is also into baseball and is quite accomplished at throwing. He loves to play catch. We played every day this week. I threw the ball so much one day that I needed to rub about a gallon of Bengay on my shoulder to get through the night. Henley is also a pretty good hitter. The problem with that is that I am the only fielder, so I throw the ball, he hits it, and I chase it. And then we repeat the process. Over and over and over.
I found myself praying for rain by midweek so we could engage in a few indoor activities. But 5-year-old little boys are just about dead solid perfect, and I wish we could freeze Henley, just like he is, missing front teeth and all. It won’t be long until he won’t want to crawl up in my lap and say, “Papa, read me a story,” at bedtime. And he will have much better things to do with his evenings than sit by the fire ring with me. I guess, in a way, this is what Charles Dickens meant when he wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .”
But we will survive. A lot of people have been through a lot worse. There are a few terms, however, that I never want to hear again when this cruel period of our lives comes to a merciful end.
I never want to hear, in fact, the word COVOID-19. Ever. Nor do I want to hear “shelter in place” or “social distancing” or “unprecedented times” or “uncharted course.”
And all of these people I see on social media complaining that church buildings aren’t open — and I’m talking mostly, now, about the people who don’t even darken the doors of a church at Christmas and Easter — you better have your butts in the pews as soon as it is allowed or I am going to call you out big time. I am copying and pasting your posts, and I will remember who you are. And bring a checkbook. The church will be behind on the budget.
And one more thing, while I am rambling. As God is my witness, when all of this is over, I will never be without toilet paper again.