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Writing Your Experiences of These Times

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Weedygarden

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I have been thinking about the historical times we are living in. Our experiences are unlike what anyone has experienced previously in recorded history. Things are changing, maybe not daily, but we have some awareness of frequent changes. While people are staying home, making some journal entries could be interesting in the future, especially after we are no longer here.

I had a great aunt who died of the Spanish flu in 1918. I was told of her death in family discussions, because my grandfather was her brother, and I lived in the same house with him for a few years. Cousins of mine had and have no idea. I recently wrote about it on Facebook. I have distant cousins whom I have never met, or only met once or twice who have had no idea about this. One cousin, I met briefly many years ago. Her grandmother was grandfather's and great aunt's sister and is buried beside great aunt. Cousin puts flowers on their grave every year and has for decades, but had no idea what caused great aunt's death at a young age, until I wrote about it.

I wonder who else may have had the Spanish flu in my family? I wonder about how great aunt may have contracted the flu? Who else had it? How long did she suffer with this flu? How long did it take for others who contracted it to recover? Were they forever affected somehow? (A friend whose young grandmother got it and survived, got white hair as a result, at her young age, and had white hair for the rest of her life.)

Our lives in these times could be written on a blog, on your computer, or in a notebook. Like Anne Frank, you may have a book in the future! I also think this would be an excellent thing for children who are staying at home. "I'm bored!" Write about it! What is going on could go on for months. How life changes and people adapt could be so interesting. Another thought is for families to vlog day-to-day life. "Day 100 of oatmeal for breakfast," and other experiences. If you have a family, the daily writing could be shared and discussed. This is therapeutic and gives people an opportunity to process life.

What could be recorded?
Changes in gardening this year
Food acquisition (groceries).
Cooking changes, new experiences.
Routine changes.
Lack of social contact.
Staying home.
Entertainment
Health concerns
Exercise routines
Weight loss or gains
Breaking into the preps
Grinding that wheat!
What you are doing that you had never done before

What else?
 
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goshengirl

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I've thought about this for years - maybe decades. I'm sure I'd be singing to the choir here in stating that what is accepted history is often not the case. But as the saying goes, history is written by the victors. In this case, it will be written by who controls the narrative. And I doubt that narrative is anything like what folks here on this forum have experienced.

Beyond that, I think it's very... therapeutic (for lack of a better term) to journal. It helps one organize thoughts, helps one find their voice. And material in a journal is a gold mine for future writing.

Oh, and how I would LOVE to have a journal from ANY of my ancestors!
 

The Lazy L

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The year of 1868
Monday
Day 1. I don't know what the big deal is. We have had flu epidemics before.
Day 2. Worked called. They told me to stay home until notified otherwise. Now I have time for that new video game.
Day 3. Saw on the news that there is a shortage of toilet paper and bottled water. I'm headed for town!
Day 4. Microwavable dinner. Instructions say Microwave for two or three minutes. Which is it! 2 or 3 minutes?
Day 5. JimmyJohns delivers!! Call in my order with credit card information. 10 minutes later the door bell goes and the food is on front porch! Slick.
Day 6. Wife comes home from work early. Her Employer told everyone to shelter at home too.
Day 7. Wife had me empty the Landry basket and sort the dirty stuff in piles for her to wash.
Day 8. Set a new video game record!
Day 9. Now she's got me dusting the light fixtures and replacing burned out bulbs.
Day 10. I'm out in the garage. Told the wife I needed to get the lawn mower ready for spring. Using the iPad to look up video game cheats.
Day 11. Pizza Hut delivers too. Same setup as JimmyJohns.
Day 12. Wife wants our bed mattress flip. Another new video game record.
Day 13. Wife does FaceBook while I work on the next video game level.
Day 14. We're starting to get bored. Weather is too cold to work outside.
Day 15. Noticed the wife has stop wearing makeup. She looks pretty hot.
Day 16. We are acting like a newly married couple on their honeymoon. You know what I'm a saying.
Day 17. Notice auto correct has "corrected" my misspellings of "Hour" by replacing it with the word "Day".
Tuesday
Hour 1. We got up late...
 

Sentry18

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My wife had all of our kids start journaling about their thoughts, experiences, and every day life during the "COVID-19 Crisis of 2020" on their first day out of school. They have to write one full page daily and then also make a weekly video diary. She said it is educational, time consuming, and would give them something to look back on when they tried to explain all of this to their children or grandchildren.

Our youngest daughter sent me a clip of her video diary yesterday showing her sitting at her desk wearing some old eyeglass frames with no lenses pretending to read a book. She stopped, looked at the camera in her tablet, and said "When I was 10 we had to read books at home every day because someone from China ate a sick animal and then coughed on an American". 😃
 

Morgan101

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Weedy: That is a great idea, and with no disrespect, your list barely scratched the surface. I think for most of us this is the most catastrophic event we have experienced. We have never experienced quarantine, and businesses being shut down. It seems like the entire country is shut down. We have not experienced shortages that we see now. I don't think we have ever lived in fear the way many people are living now.

I guess my focus is on more global and economic issues; to some extent the political issues. This went from a Chinese problem to a global problem in what seemed like a heartbeat. We will not know the true economic devastation for some time. Unemployment will reach record highs. How many people lost jobs? How many businesses will never recover? How long will it take the Stock Market to recover? How many people globally have been affected?

It is a life lesson that should never be forgotten and passed on to future generations: How fast things can go from normal to being upside down in the blink of an eye. If you aren't prepared ahead of time you don't have a prayer.
 

Weedygarden

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Weedy: That is a great idea, and with no disrespect, your list barely scratched the surface. I think for most of us this is the most catastrophic event we have experienced. We have never experienced quarantine, and businesses being shut down. It seems like the entire country is shut down. We have not experienced shortages that we see now. I don't think we have ever lived in fear the way many people are living now.

I guess my focus is on more global and economic issues; to some extent the political issues. This went from a Chinese problem to a global problem in what seemed like a heartbeat. We will not know the true economic devastation for some time. Unemployment will reach record highs. How many people lost jobs? How many businesses will never recover? How long will it take the Stock Market to recover? How many people globally have been affected?

It is a life lesson that should never be forgotten and passed on to future generations: How fast things can go from normal to being upside down in the blink of an eye. If you aren't prepared ahead of time you don't have a prayer.
I agree that my list is not complete. That is why I wrote, "What else?" at the bottom. It would be great for us to continue to make more suggestions for journal entry information. Each journal will be personal, based on our interests and writing voice.

I can think of more ideas:

Weather conditions today
How I am feeling
What is on the menu
How is my family feeling today
What is in the news
Today's biggest challenge
Gratitude
Scriptures, prayers
What we are short of for supplies and how we are coping with it
Who we are connecting with via phone or otherwise, communication. This would be a great time to write some letters as well. For home schooled children, this is the perfect time to learn about letter writing and envelope addressing formats.

What else?

As Sentry said, his children are writing a page a day. While this could be used to work on writing conventions, spelling, and each piece become a refined piece, it could also be the base of future work, reading, and remembering these days. I think a hand written notebook could be a treasure in days to come, like Anne Frank's diary was.
 

Morgan101

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A few other questions: What worked? What didn't work? What did you need that you didn't have? What did you have that you did not need that was a waste of money? WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?
 

goshengirl

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It is a life lesson that should never be forgotten and passed on to future generations: How fast things can go from normal to being upside down in the blink of an eye. If you aren't prepared ahead of time you don't have a prayer.
This, right here. This is what I hope people learn.
 

Weedygarden

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This, right here. This is what I hope people learn.
Daughter had always made fun of any prepping efforts I did. Then we knew this SHTF was coming and I made many grocery runs for her, to get her prepped for this time. In our texting conversations, she tells me how good it feels to have all the food she needs, but as a younger person, is aware of people who are struggling so much. I said that I hope in the future, people will understand the importance of having a better stocked pantry. She agreed. She has usually had a well rounded and stocked pantry, but I hope is that she will be open to having a better stocked pantry, and I think she will. If everyone would have at least one extra of everything they consume, and for many items a few more, they will be in better shape for emergency situations. Having a year's worth is a common prepper goal, but not something that even those who are interested are able to do.
 
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Bacpacker

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A few other questions: What worked? What didn't work? What did you need that you didn't have? What did you have that you did not need that was a waste of money? WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?
Weedy this is a great idea. Lots of topics that you could write about. That list is nearly endless.

Morgan your quote above is what has stood out to me. Most everything has worked for us so far that we've tried. But I have found plenty of holes that need filling as well. Wife has never hampered me in preparing for the future, but I think this has opened her eyes even further to how things could have been if we hadn't made the steps we did. She's already thinking about other steps we should make.
 

Weedygarden

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Morgan your quote above is what has stood out to me. Most everything has worked for us so far that we've tried. But I have found plenty of holes that need filling as well. Wife has never hampered me in preparing for the future, but I think this has opened her eyes even further to how things could have been if we hadn't made the steps we did. She's already thinking about other steps we should make.
I think many of us will come to the realization that we missed something, in spite of trying to be prepared.

I think of the people where one wanted to prep and the other stopped it at every possible turn. I'll bet there are many of them wishing they had allowed for more prepping.
 

Bacpacker

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I think many of us will come to the realization that we missed something, in spite of trying to be prepared.

I think of the people where one wanted to prep and the other stopped it at every possible turn. I'll bet there are many of them wishing they had allowed for more prepping.
You are exactly right Weedy. I'm on 2 other forums and on both I've heard stories of spouses bucking getting any preps as a waste of time or money, lack of space, etc. I'd lay good money there is a different tune being sung now.
 

Amish Heart

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I remember going to Sams the day the first case was announced here, because husband wanted a few things. He ended up waiting in the truck because there weren't any ride em carts. Told me to stick to my grocery budget. I've always done the food prepping. When we went Monday because he store ordered the coffee, it was not that crowded, he got a ride em cart and there wasn't any mention of a budget. He is still checking for good Kleenex availability every morning. 6 boxes of Kleenex arrived today from Staples. I think we have 3 cases now. Now I'm the one saying we have enough.
 

Just Cliff

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This is just a little something I wrote to post on Facebook.



Quarantine

It doesn't feel so good does it?


Oh, For a few days it's nice to get off work and see no one. Maybe be around family for a little while and have dinner together.
But you know what? There are people that have been in "Quarantine" for years. They can't get out due to an infirmity of some type. Their strength is gone, they can't see well or are blind, there is something that is keeping them inside, day in and day out. They would love to just go sit on the porch or in the yard under a shade tree. Maybe they are always cold and would love to go sit in the sunshine one last time. Day in and day out, they sit by that window all day looking outside, just hoping to get a glimpse of life. Kids playing outside, neighbors having a chat as they pass by each other or someone just sitting on the porch enjoying an afternoon. There is an elderly blind woman that sits at her window every day. She can't see anything but, she can feel the sun or maybe a few drops of rain. She can hear the birds sing just a little. Sometimes at night when all is mostly silent, she can hear crickets or hear someone talking in the distance and she smiles just a little, remembering when she was a young woman out on a date with her now deceased husband. Or there is the not so elderly man that sits in his room bored out of his mind, always reminiscing about the not so distant past when hes was "somebody". About the days he was strong and could do anything he wanted until, that is. he was crippled by this disease. Now, No one comes over just to hang out or throw something on the grill and have a beer. They don't call to see if he would like to do anything or just to say “Hi”. He just sits there waiting to die day in and day out.



When this quarantine is behind us and there is no danger of making someone else sick. How about going to get someone out of their own quarantine for a while. They have been in theirs way longer then you have. Get some take out and go have lunch or dinner. Throw something on the grill and sit under a shade tree for the evening. You know. Now that you have just a small idea what their life is like every day for days, weeks, months or years on end.
 

Morgan101

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This is just a little something I wrote to post on Facebook.



Quarantine

It doesn't feel so good does it?


Oh, For a few days it's nice to get off work and see no one. Maybe be around family for a little while and have dinner together.
But you know what? There are people that have been in "Quarantine" for years. They can't get out due to an infirmity of some type. Their strength is gone, they can't see well or are blind, there is something that is keeping them inside, day in and day out. They would love to just go sit on the porch or in the yard under a shade tree. Maybe they are always cold and would love to go sit in the sunshine one last time. Day in and day out, they sit by that window all day looking outside, just hoping to get a glimpse of life. Kids playing outside, neighbors having a chat as they pass by each other or someone just sitting on the porch enjoying an afternoon. There is an elderly blind woman that sits at her window every day. She can't see anything but, she can feel the sun or maybe a few drops of rain. She can hear the birds sing just a little. Sometimes at night when all is mostly silent, she can hear crickets or hear someone talking in the distance and she smiles just a little, remembering when she was a young woman out on a date with her now deceased husband. Or there is the not so elderly man that sits in his room bored out of his mind, always reminiscing about the not so distant past when hes was "somebody". About the days he was strong and could do anything he wanted until, that is. he was crippled by this disease. Now, No one comes over just to hang out or throw something on the grill and have a beer. They don't call to see if he would like to do anything or just to say “Hi”. He just sits there waiting to die day in and day out.



When this quarantine is behind us and there is no danger of making someone else sick. How about going to get someone out of their own quarantine for a while. They have been in theirs way longer then you have. Get some take out and go have lunch or dinner. Throw something on the grill and sit under a shade tree for the evening. You know. Now that you have just a small idea what their life is like every day for days, weeks, months or years on end.
Great post, Just Cliff. After we take your advice to heart maybe we will see some posts in Random Acts of Kindness.

Remember that every minute of every day someone is praying for something you take for granted.

You explained it very well.
 
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