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Dear Reader: Stay Safe This May!


by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three
'm ecstatic to welcome May and anticipate all the hope it brings. I don't know about you, but I felt like April had about 9,487 days in it. One thing I know is that as a community, we are resilient and we adapt!

I have to give a shout out to my husband and children who have handled this Covid-19 pandemic like rock stars. When our life's normal routine came to a halt and we had to switch to online everything, except my husband who still continues to go to work because he's in the healthcare industry, there were a few days (and nights) of adjustment for sure.

At first, my boys especially, thought it was summer break and started staying up all night and sleeping all day. And, we had a new "guest" join our home. My middle son had agreed to babysit his biology teacher's classroom pet snake for the "two-week break" and now I think she is going to be with us until Fall. I don't mind the snake, she's actually pretty cool, but I don't like feeding her the mice. That's the time when I cringe.

In an attempt to manage the chaos as the days turned into weeks, we began to find some fun in our new normal. My daughter dyed her hair bright pink, my 14-year-old shaved off his older brother's long curls, and my older son grew out his beard, which makes him look like a 20-year-old man instead of his cute 16-year-old self. My youngest son, who has the most energy of all of us combined, decided to learn a new musical instrument. He ordered a banjo online and has been taking classes for it online.

Many families have had to make this new way of life work for them. In Julie Willis's Humor at Home article, "Making the Best of Tough Times," on page 9, she writes about how much she enjoys staying home and how much less frantic she feels. But, she does realize that her kids are still kids and makes sure that even though they are staying home, that they are staying safe and healthy.

One way families can make this time special is to create unique memories. In Callie Collins's article, "Patio Camping: Three Tips for a Memorable Backyard Experience," she gives the plan for a fun evening your children will never forget. To find out how you can make the most of an at-home campout, turn to page 14.

Not only do families manage to navigate this unprecedented time in our nation's history, so have many companies. In this month's Hello Happy Mama article, "Sole Sisters Stand Up for Hope," on page 10, Janelle Capra of ADAKC writes about her upcoming event, Wine Women and Shoes. For this event, she created a group of inspired women to become the first ever Sole Sisters Honorary Committee, which in turn, raised more than $10,000 for ADAKC. In her article, she highlights four of these extraordinary women: Katie Allen, Raji Brar, Allie Mae Perkins, and Kristi Windtberg.

A special thanks to local photographer Tessa Warner for using her talents during this pandemic to bring the #frontporchproject to Bakersfield. In the article, "Local Photographer Brings Creativity with Front Porch Project," on page 12, she answers some questions from KCFM on how the project helped to spread joy and family togetherness within the community. It's also fun to see the families all dressed up picture perfect to be photographed in their front yard.

During this time of quarantine, it has challenged all of us to re-focus our lives and slow down to smell the proverbial roses. Although I am sad at missing some important events and milestones, I have enjoyed the chance to spend more time with my family, make new memories, and suspend some of our hectic lifestyle. I know we will get back to some kind of normalcy, because I have faith in our families and community. As the Hoffmann Hospice sign displayed in my neighbor's front yard constantly reminds me: "Everything is going to be OKAY."

Please stay healthy and safe!

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Tags: Health, Parenting, Safety


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