Today’s question –
The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

Today is another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. You can also visit the founder Alex J. Cavanaugh for more info and links.

To answer the question, I’ve been better. I posted on Teaching and Socializing (at a Distance) in the Time of Covid-19 the past two Fridays. 

This week has been harder. My oldest brother, Nathan Aalgaard, passed away yesterday (not Covid). He’s been in the hospital since early October, on a ventilator, in ICU all these months. He didn’t recover. We are grieving. And, in this time of Social Distancing, which feels like isolation, we don’t even know how to come together to celebrate his life, have a memorial (it will be much later, when it’s safe to gather again), or comfort one another. At a time when a tight hug would go a long way in showing love and comfort, it’s a dangerous activity. My parents are in their 80’s. I’m so worried about them and this awful disease. 

Nathan was also a great writer. I asked him to contribute to my Blogging from A to Z posts in 2012 and reposted it in 2017. H is for Handicap by Nathan Aalgaard.

The Aalgaard Eight. I loved growing up in a big family on a farm. Here we are, all together. Summer 2018.

This month, I’m not feeling insecure as a writer. I see it as a gift. I’ve been journaling. I’ve written blog posts about what is going on in my world. I’m playing piano, singing, and recording it. (I have a Youtube channel.) I’ve shared them with my FB friends and my church.

I usually go to the theater on weekends in the Twin Cities (MN), but they’re all shut down. Theaters are doing what they can to stay above water. EVERYONE is asking for donations. (Please donate to your favorite arts organization. They’re really hurting right now, and they’ll be there for you now and in person when they can.) Some artists and companies are finding creative ways to share their work online. I watched a podcast style (with pictures) of Through the Narrows by Z Puppets. It’s appropriate for elementary age kids and up. They use images and audio to tell the story. I kind of liked just sitting and listening to it while I knit on a scarf that I’ve been working on all winter. It’s free, or a small, or large, donation to watch it through May 1, 2020. 

Someone posted on FB, “What, if anything, will you miss about this time?” At first, I thought it was too soon to ask that. But, in truth, I already know. I’ll miss having one of my boys home with me. My college son Charlie is here. In the morning, we have breakfast (I’m always up first), talk about what we have on schedule for the day. Then, he goes downstairs to listen to a lecture or do schoolwork (he might also be communicating with his girlfriend and other friends and playing video games). I go to the music room and teach piano via the internet. It is far from ideal. You can read my Teaching in the Time of the Coronovirus post, if you want. It’s getting a little better. Not the connection. Most of the time it’s sketchy. But, I’m not straining quite so hard to hear and see. I take it a little slower. I offer patience and grace whenever I can.

The other thing I’ll miss is seeing all the people outside. It warms my heart to see people out on family walks, shooting hoops, tossing a ball, sidewalk chalk messages of hope and happiness, hearts in the windows, shouting hello to my neighbor across the street. These are all good things. Fortunately, Spring is here in Minnesota. The snow is melting and things are growing. New life and sunshine. Thank God!

I wish I could go get a massage.

Be well.

Go (but not too far). Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What will you miss, if anything about this time of the Covid-19 Quarantine?