Letters from the Homefront

White violets in bloom near our home

Dear Friends,

A theme I have studied in history is how communities and individuals handle times of need imposed from outside events, like the Great Depression, world wars, plague, and famine. How do we stretch what we have to make it fit what we need? How do we band together to help keep our communities afloat? How do we care for the least of our brethren, especially when even the strong are suffering? I read diaries, like Nella Last’s War, or old magazines, like Kitchen Klatter, fascinated with the responses of families to times of upheaval. Thrift, ingenuity, service, hard work, gratitude for daily bread, commitment to neighborliness were all traits which brought families through. Those times are no longer the faded memories of grandparents – they are upon us now.

As we face a global pandemic the likes of which humans have not seen for 100 years, we are asked to make our lives small and our interactions with outsiders few. Many have used war-like terminology, likening what we must do to slow down the spread of disease to what our ancestors achieved in world wars. Yes, there are ‘battlefields’ in hospitals, with valiant medical professionals who are risking their lives so that victims can survive. There are many unsung heroes who have kept open stores, distribution centers, run transportation, and operated essential utilities. The front lines, however, to stop death run squarely at our front doors. We choose life for ourselves and for our neighbors through staying home.

To hearken back to our roots, while using modern technology, I want to write ‘letters’ to you through blog posts so you can see what we are doing here in our little home front. Melinda Johnson thought this would be a great theme for the #blogtown community; I hope the idea will catch on. I have more time to write now, as many others do as well. Let’s encourage each other to choose the good in our little monasteries, for the love of God and our neighbor this Lent.

Love in Christ –
Anna Neill

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