Z-Notes, July 16, 2020

Dr. Emily Tillmaand

I will admit (happily) that I have been less affected by Covid-19 than most folks. I live by myself when I am at my worksite, so isolation is built into my life. I can pull head-of-staff rank (which I seldom do) and declare that I am an essential worker. Since the advent of this goofy time in March, I have continued to get up in the morning and go to my office at the church building, first in Jacksonville, and now here. Yes, bucketsful of things have changed about how I do my job, but I’ve always been able to do it in my old-fashioned, office-focused way. I realize that I am blessed; and I recognize that many of you have experienced more major disruptions. Ouch!

AND reality has caught up with me in a little larger manner. I was due to embark on a journey to Ohio, Illinois, then back to Ohio. My daughter, Emily (pictured), is wrapping up her third year of medical school at the University of Illinois and heading on the road for a year. The Dad and Brother Moving Team were coming to assist her. Then Ohio was added to the list of travel-restricted states. My home county in Ohio is rated the same as Monroe County on the safety scale (second lowest threat level). However, blanket restrictions are what they are; and a visit home would land me in a 14-day quarantine when I returned. Back-and-forth we went; but Patricia (my wife) and I decided that this is not the optimal time for a longer home leave, in light of the quarantine requirement. I will still be moving my daughter; but I will only be stopping at rest areas in Ohio which is allowed in the travel restrictions.

My kiddies HAVE been more impacted by C-19 than I, but no one has gotten sick or died. Still, I feel like I got whacked over the head with a 2×4 last Tuesday! My little bubble world has burst. I’m pretty bummed about the matter, but I will recover. I will go home (I hope) when a visit can be a bit more “normal.” The quarantine option was out there, and your Session was quite generous in encouraging me to go home, which I very much appreciated. However, Patricia and I have decided that this plan is the best hand of the bad cards we were dealt. So I will pass quickly through Ohio, get Emily’s stuff into storage, and get back to Rochester way earlier than I originally planned.

Pastor Ernest Krug is preaching this Sunday, but my interrupted travel will figure into my sermon on July 26. More about that next week. Right now, I’m bummed. AND my not-so-major taste of disruption has given me more empathy and compassion for those of you whose daily mayhem is much greater than mine. Certainly we don’t want ANY of it; but it reminds us again that we are all in this together. Even those of us who have been less impacted along the way.

Pastor Zomermaand

The Rev. Conley A. Zomermaand, PhD
(618) 606-1053—after office hours; emergencies