As statistics tell us, there is no denying, the dread Corona virus has found us here in middle America, in our beloved Missouri. The numbers of cases diagnosed and reported are increasing daily. The devastating awareness is sinking in. Lives close to home are being lost. We are no longer removed from the news that has seemed so far away in the urban east and west coast epicenters. We too are vulnerable to this fast spreading pandemic.
Too many family hearts are aching. Family hearts are breaking. I beg you…Please, please stay home! Stay safe! Save lives! Flatten the curve that is touching and taking so many we love, especially our elders, one by one.
As we shelter in place we must do what we can to buoy our spirits, to support each other, to get creative in the communications that connect us.
I had the good fortune to appear as a guest along with three other artCentral artists talking about how we are making, sharing and marketing our art and supporting each other during these challenging times. My artist husband David sat off-screen beside me, holding my hand, keeping me steady as one by one we each spoke of our passions to seek meaning, to create, to find and give pleasure in the midst of uncertainty.
So often what I need and want most is a rock and a ballast, a place to be grounded in these days of shifting sands. David is this for me, and so for our third anniversary, I wrote him a letter that goes…
With love in Paradise...Happy Third Emergency Anniversary, Mon Cher!
Do you remember? That early April afternoon I was working diligently on an artCentral deadline. Our loan officer called. He said, "To qualify for the loan for your new house, you must get married today! You can't wait until May!"
At 4:00 you came home from teaching school. I said, "We must get married today, before the Courthouse closes at 5:00!" You said, "OK!"
We drove to the Recorder's office. We got our license. We asked, "Which room do we go to in the Courthouse to get married?"
The nice clerk told us, "They don’t marry people at the Courthouse anymore. On the table in the hall there are cards from people who perform marriages. Most of them close at 5:00."
Back in the car, David driving with 40 minutes to make the chapel, I called Lora Waring. I said, "We're coming to get you to witness our emergency wedding." She said, "OK!" and was waiting at her door clutching a long stem of her lovingly nurtured alabaster orchids for my bouquet.
David driving again, I next called our real estate agent and good friend, Gail White. As David pulled up to her house she protested, "I'm just stepping out of the shower, and I have a 5:30 showing." David went in and escorted her out as she pulled on the last of her clothes and wrapped a scarf with flair around her neck!
David drove really fast on the curvy back way across Center Creek, up Elm past pastures and down Prosperity Road. We arrived at 4:44 for our wedding.
Jane met us in her quickly donned robe and trainers. We had 16 minutes to get our deed done. We did!
Everyone, but me, marched into the Caboose. I waited. While David sang in his rich baritone "Unchained Melody"—"Oh, my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch a long, lonely time"—down the chapel aisle I walked.
Reverend Jane said all the right words and pronounced us married, Man and Wife. At 4:59 she signed our marriage certificate. Thanking Jane profusely, we took our witnesses home. We called our loan agent and told him, “We got married!” David made our dinner.
We went to bed happy knowing we were going to begin our new life together in Paradise, the house of our dreams, and we would have our real May wedding in Jan Stukey's big barn.
Please everyone, use this sheltering time to make good memories as best you can, so someday we can remember that together we flattened the curve.
Please stay home! Stay safe! Save lives!