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COLUMNISTS

Any day can be Mother’s Day

Susan Manzke
A wave from Arianna, Wyatt, Eli, and Rachel is echoed by Susan.

I expected to be home alone last weekend, only celebrating Mother’s Day on the phone and on the internet with family. Lucky for me there were some changes to my stay-safe-at-home schedule.

Daughter Rachel and family decided to take the two-hour drive to Sunnybook Farm to see me—from a safe distance.

When I heard the news of the visit, I happily waited for them and the lunch they would bring. We would stay outside. No one would go inside the house, not even to go potty.

Rachel, Dave, Arianna, Eli, and Wyatt arrived at noon, actually one hour earlier than I expected. I had just gone into the house to get a warmer coat, so Rachel texted me to let me know they had arrived.

The wind was wicked that Saturday, averaging 20 mph. We had to hold onto our food so nothing would blow away. I sat alone on one picnic table while the others occupied our second picnic table—we are not playing around with social distancing.

Hugging was a no-no. Rachel said we hadn’t hugged in over two months! That is a long time. I find it difficult to show my gratitude for Mother’s Day gifts without exchanging hugs, but that’s the way of things these days.

Susan sits at the second picnic table. Wyatt, Eli, Arianna, and Rachel have their lunch on the first table.

Of course, we stayed in talking distance, sometimes yelling over the noise of the wind.

Eli especially wanted me to see his new remote-control truck. He zoomed it around the tables as we ate. Its big wheels traversed the rough terrain easily. It almost was able to climb a stone pile in back of the barn. I say almost because when I was watching it only was able to get partway up the mound before it started to spin its wheels—Eli was very proud of his machine, even if it didn’t make it all the way up the stone pile.

As usual, Arianna and Wyatt were interested in my chickens—only 4 hens now, but enough to send a dozen eggs home with the family. The kids would have preferred that the chickens stayed close, but as soon as the birds were released they headed for their favorite hiding place, a prickly bush where children don’t easily follow.

Dave took a little time to check out the farm cart. He tightened one belt and got it moving again. After checking the motor a little closer, my son-in-law made a list of things to replace, like that same belt, the spark plug, and a few other minor things that would make the cart more reliable.

The blustery day had the addition of flying dust as a nearby tractor worked up a field, getting it ready for planting. I kept my heavy coat on, as the wind chilled me.

Too soon, Rachel and family were packing their van for the trek home. Before everyone piled into their seats, Wyatt said he had to relieve himself—a little boy has no problems going behind a barn for such a function, unlike his female relatives.

Later, that same Saturday, daughter Rebecca and son-in-law Andy stopped by, too. More growing flowers went on my protected back porch.

The sky had clouded over, sending the temperature down. Soon the afternoon weather turned too unpleasant for outside visiting.

Susan watches her family drive away without hugs, but with a lot of love.

My Mother’s Day was eventful, even if at a distance. Mail delivery had brought special packages from both our sons and their families, again at a distance.

This wasn’t my most favorite Mother’s Day celebration ever, but it was a good day. Keeping family with a gap between people isn’t fun, but if it saves even one person from the virus, it’s worth the trouble.

I hope others don’t overlook distancing. I want everyone to stay safe and well.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZkWy0MfoVA&feature=youtu.be