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An Early May Family Update

Oakville Wharf

I wonder: When I began writing family updates in mid-March, would I have been surprised to learn I’d still be writing them in early May? Would I be surprised to know that we’d remain under similar restrictions? I don’t know. But it seems to me that in that stretch of time so much has changed “out there” and so little has changed “in here.” When we finally emerge from this lockdown, we will be emerging into a very different world. My few forays into stores have already given glimpses of a mask-wearing, plexi-glassed, socially-distanced, slow-paced world. Will it be this way for months? Years? Forever? Who knows.

You probably won’t be shocked to know that not too much has changed in the Challies home. Our provincial government is taking a cautious approach to re-opening, and we are still under basically the same conditions as in the past update, and the one before that, and the one before that. Basically, we are being asked to stay home and not to do anything beyond essential tasks. And so I’ve mostly stayed put except for walks around the neighborhood and the very occasional trip to the store.

My older daughter is now working full-time at the garden center of the nearby grocery store where she has been employed for the past couple of years. Though her teachers have assigned her some school work, it is quite minimal and she has been told that her grades cannot fall below their pre-lockdown levels. That has freed her to focus on earning money as she continues to save toward college this fall.

My son has a couple more papers to complete and then he will have finished his second year at Boyce College and Southern Seminary (where he is in the five-year combined program that concurrently earns both undergraduate and graduate degrees). He is actually a few courses ahead of the schedule, so is almost halfway through his B.A. and M.Div. degrees. Next week he will also begin working full-time at the same grocery store as his sister (where he, too, has been an employee since he was 15).

My younger daughter turned 14 on Sunday and had a happy birthday. She has a minimal amount of school work to do each day, and has also picked up some little gardening jobs in the neighborhood which is helping her keep busy and also earning her a few bucks. Aileen loves gardening, so eagerly helps her with this.

I continue to focus on the blog, of course, and am also remaining involved in leading our church. I am in the early stages of writing a new book that I hope to complete over the summer for release in late 2021. I expect it will take up most of my non-blogging attention until then. I’ll give you more details about that project as it comes together.

As a family I think we are mostly doing okay. There have been some squabbles as we adapt to life in close quarters. There have been some hurt feelings and there has been some need for apologies. But overall, even if this situation hasn’t grown us substantially closer, I’m sure it hasn’t driven us apart. Either way, it’s probably too soon to get an accurate measure on that.

I sometimes find myself wishing that our premier (similar to a governor if you’re American) would hasten things just a little as we look toward loosening restrictions. I have a lot of respect for him, am grateful for his leadership through this crisis, and am content to wait until he gives the go-ahead. But as I understand it, our hospitals are in good shape and admitting relatively few new patients, so I’m hopeful we can advance in our re-opening strategy quite soon. I don’t quite know what I’ll do with that slightly greater freedom, except perhaps to do some exploring in my continued hunt for beautiful photography spots. More than anything, of course, I’d like to be able to gather with my church again, and am hoping we’ll be able to do that soon in one form or another.

I do hope that you and yours are well. Whether you’re still in total lockdown or well into the re-opening phase, I pray you’re experiencing God’s kindness and rejoicing in his grace.

Oakville Wharf

This is a photo I took of the wharf in Oakville harbor, a few minutes down the road from here.

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