What a long strange trip it’s been.

To quote a little Jerry Garcia, “What a long strange trip it’s been.” And it is not over. We are not quite sure when this strange trip will end, and what life will be like when it does? For over a month, we have had to close ourselves off from friends, family, favorite places to eat, shop, socialize. Our societal norms
have dramatically shifted. A simple act of hugging someone we love or a handshake with a new acquaintance has become a thing of the past, and our lives have been thrust into this scary unknown.

Millions have lost their jobs. Trips to the grocery store require masks. Necessities are in short supply, and the global economy is in turmoil. These are unprecedented times. It’s difficult when we don’t have control over any situation let alone one that has had such immense impact over our daily lives. It’s sometimes hard to remember life before COVOID – 19… sharing a glass of wine with friends, chatting with parents in the pick-up line at school, a date night at your favorite local restaurant. But as we navigate this new norm, we do have control over how we handle the situation.

While there is added stress in the home, including my own (not much personal space with five people and two big dogs), there has also been good to come out of this social distancing. In my family, we are spending more time playing sports rather than watching professional sports. We are playing board games, doing puzzles and having nightly dance parties. On nice spring days, our whole neighborhood is out chatting from front porches, laughing and getting to know each other – something that rarely happened in our pre-Covid-19 busy lives.

My mother-in-law calls a new person up each day, taking time for long conversations. My 10-year-old has drawn pictures for nearly 50 people confined to nursing homes. And this is just my story. There are so many more good ones out there. This is what we need to remember.

This is our time to write our story. When people read about this in history books let it tell the tales of families reconnected; businesses reinventing themselves to fit the needs of the community; windows decorated with hearts as a sign of hope; people using their talent to make masks; local photographers capturing families from their front porch. I could go on and on.

My heart goes out to all the medical and public safety personnel working endless hours with the fear of the virus hovering over them. My heart goes out to the millions of unemployed who are struggling to feed their families. It goes out to the teachers who are navigating a new way of teaching and to all the parents trying to be teachers. It goes out to all of you. We will come out of this a stronger more compassionate society and look back on the many great memories made on our strange trip.

And to end with the wise words of Jim Dickerson, one of my favorite people, “Today be happy! It is a choice. We need to adjust ourselves to what is. Today be agreeable. Talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all. At the end of the day, we will be one day closer to all of this being over.”

Follow Michelle Pawelski:
Firehouse Wine Cellars general manager

4 Responses

  1. Starr
    | Reply

    Michelle, you nailed it. At some point we will hopefully have a new normal because the old normal didn’t give us time to connect to even the ones in our lives we live the most. I really wish my kids could have been with me through all of this. I know you have made many, many lasting memories

    • Michelle Pawleksi
      | Reply

      Thanks for your response Starr! We have definitely made many memories and I cannot wait for warm weather again to be outside! See you on our front porches:)

  2. William Davis
    | Reply

    My heart goes out to the Firehouse Employees who were let go. They deserved more loyalty from their employer.

    • FBC
      | Reply

      We hope to have our employees back as soon as possible. We are working with our local officials and health experts to determine a safe strategy to get our people back to work as soon as our city allows it.
      Our employees have our loyalty, that’s why we made the decision that their health is more important than profits.
      These times are difficult financially for all of us ESPECIALLY small, locally-owned businesses and their staff.

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