Addled With April & Quotes to Remember

Addled with April…

I have never forgotten that phrase, as quoted by Sr. Mariel, SSJ, in Nazareth Academy first year honors English.

Addled with April.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawling’s “The Yearling” one of the most thought-provoking and beautiful books I’ve ever read.

I’ve always had a kinship with words and animals. Maybe that’s why The Yearling and Where the Red Fern Grows and Girl of the Limberlost and Old Yeller got to me.

Coming of age stories touch not just our hearts but our souls. They touch that spot inside us that feels vulnerable and awful and good. They speak to the rise of hormones and the worry of school, of change, of time passing. Beautiful girls, handsome boys and things spinning out of our control.

Of course life does that. It does it fairly often, but not generally to everyone. If a hurricane roars through Louisiana or Texas or Florida, we dip into our pockets and help out.

If an earthquake rumbles buildings loose in Indonesia, we dip into our pockets and help out.

If a stricken child wants to go to Disneyworld and it’s their Make-a-Wish dream, we dip into our pockets and help out.

But this pandemic isn’t nearly that selective. It’s hit global nations, and quiet neighborhoods. It’s brought the city that never sleeps to its knees and woken up indigenous tribes who had the virus brought to them by miners.

It has killed and maimed and it has been contained and stifled by a brand new term we’ve all come to know and love to hate: Social distancing.

It means no hugging, no visiting around a table, no potlucks, no hoe-downs, no square dances, no dances of any kind, no parties, no festive Easter celebrations and … yes, who would have ever thought this????

No church.

No church in America.

And when that sinks in and we realize we can’t eat out, but we better learn how to eat in…. and clean and wash hands (really, men, all y’all knew how to wash hands, you just didn’t do it, don’t try to fool us women) and there is no stopping for coffee or even playing on playgrounds in many places, the reality comes into sharp focus. We sacrificed to save others.

Now that’s Cowboy Code right there. The kind of code that puts the horse up comfortably before he comes in the house to drop his boots and grab a bite. The kind of code that has a mom staying up half the night making a costume for an eight-year-old because she was busy warming three lambs who got born on an ice-cold field just hours before. The kind of code that has a mom refuse dessert because there’s just enough for the other four people… because she’s way too full to eat another bite.


That kind of code.

It’s tough. It’s weird. And when this all first started and experts were arguing ten ways to Sunday about doing this, that or the other thing, one expert stood out to me…

Like that “Addled with April” alliterative quote I’ve never forgotten.

And he said “If we don’t do this and a million people die we’re going to have to deal with the choice we made the rest of our lives. And if we do do close things down to avoid the cross-contamination and exponential numbers, we’re going to look at the mere thousands of deaths and wonder why we ruined an economy for that many people. And that’s when we’ll know the strategy worked.”

So here’s to you. All of you. All of you who cried on Easter when you couldn’t go to church or hug a baby or visit a parent or stop by a nursing home and give Gran a hug.

To all of you who’ve put meeting newborns on hold, and couldn’t fight your way into a hospital to tell a loved one goodbye.

To all of you who swiped and wiped and cleaned and sewed masks and donated and acted like the very best human beings on the planet:

Thank you.

Because of you…

Because of us…

It’s thousands, not millions.

And that’s something we can all be proud of.

Sending God’s most ardent blessings to the world as we keep on keepin’ on.

We’ve got this, my friends.

We’ve got this.


+ posts

51 thoughts on “Addled With April & Quotes to Remember”

  1. It is definitely in our hands and we have to do as we are told to keep the spread of this down. I was surprised when I was talking to a friend the other day and she said her and her husband (both in their 60s) were not going to wear masks in public because they said it doesn’t keep them from getting sick. I just hope they don’t get sick or carriers. We all have to play by the same rules if we are going to get this virus under control.

    • Janine, I agree… when I look at over 45,000 deaths from Covid-19 as of today 4/22…. and see that’s higher than most flu years for the whole season, and Covid has done this in 8 weeks…. that’s a wow moment.

      I want good wow moments, so that ‘thousands’ instead of ‘millions’ is a real blessing in so many ways.

    • Janine, people like the couple you mentioned are the ones who scare me. They don’t realize how easy this virus is to catch. They could be out somewhere and catch it from someone walking past them. Then, without masks then they can pass it on without even knowing. That’s what I loved about Ruth’s blog…so much of what we’re doing is to protect others and those we love.

      • Ruthy, I agree, that is definitely a “wow” moment. And for something to be worldwide makes it even more of an eye opener. It’s hard to believe something like this going on in our time when there are so many advances in medicine. It just goes to show that we are not as advanced as everyone thought we were in our healthcare and technology to cure illnesses.

        Julie, I totally agree about these people possibly becoming carriers (or might already be). That’s what scares me the most. Anyone can get it and spread it. No one is immune to it.

        • Janine, a great point. Because this is unknown, and because it bears resemblance to SARS but isn’t the same, we really can’t predict what’s going to come down the pike.

          Will the sun make it go into hiding like flu?

          Well, there are horrible things going on in Ecuador right now, with rapid spread and deaths and it’s hot and humid there in March… so is the spread unusual? The rate in Brazil (much bigger country) is a nearly 10% death rate, so we have no guarantee that warm weather will slow the virus like it tends to slow flu.

          And that’s got to be a major concern… but what will two months down the road bring us?

          More answers, hopefully! And in the meantime, we keep forging ahead.

  2. Good morning Ruth- Very well said! Amen! Thank goodness It’s thousands, not millions!! Praise Our Dear Lord. May you and yours and everyone here stay safe, healthy, and Blessed.

    • Tonya, I couldn’t believe when early predictions said if we didn’t change some practices we could lose millions of people. We have no concept today of the plagues people of the past faced. It’s a wonder the human race is still around. Good to talk to you, and stay safe lady!

  3. Amen! I couldn’t agree more and I’m very worried we’re fixing to try to open things up way too soon. The numbers in my county here in Texas had just started increasing daily in the last week. Yesterday it increased by 4. Not big numbers I agree but it is our beginning and our Texas governor has a plan to start opening things up. It’s scary. Continued prayers for us all!

    • It’s a tricky business, isn’t it? Because we do have to open things up, and it does have to be with caution and watchful eyes…. but I also look at those who are truly suffering with these full shut-downs, and I know so many people who haven’t been able to register for unemployment yet (still clogged) and who haven’t seen the stimulus money for whatever reason. So it’s a rugged balance. I try not to judge others’ choices because if this had happened to us twenty years ago, I know we’d be desperate… we were paycheck to paycheck and six kids and bills to pay and working nametag jobs. So I have total sympathy for that scenario… hoping that if we tiptoe in, we’ll do all right. And praying!

    • Stephanie, I’m right there with you wondering if our governor is opening Texas too soon, but I’m more worried about Georgia. They didn’t shut down when everyone else did and are now opening up more than any other state. We all need to pray very hard for them. And I agree with Ruth. It’s an incredibly hard balance. My husband’s been unemployed twice. The last time was for 3 1/2 years. I tell people it was harder on our family than when I had cancer. We’re so lucky he can work from home, but so many aren’t that fortunate. We all need to act like responsible adults when we open up…wear masks, keep our distance, etc. I hope people can do that and don’t act like my mom used to say, “like you’ve just been let out of a cage.” Sending blessings your way!

  4. With all that’s going on, the thing I miss the most is going to the actual church building and seeing my friends. Instead of going out to eat, we’ve ordered take out from a couple of our favorite restaurants to do our little part to help them stay open. We do this on Sunday, the day we used to go to the places. The rest of the time, I continue to cook, as usual!

    • Trudy, I do, too! I am so glad our pastor is streaming services (and they’re not perfect, but I don’t care!!!!)

      And we’ve ordered out once a week too (that’s keeping in the budget) and we take drives and walks and stay home otherwise…. so the good thing is we’re all in this together…

      And I knew a pastor once who was all up in himself about the building, his church, his place, and we know that the church isn’t the building… we love the church because we gather there.

      I think of Christ and those followers on the hillsides, sitting hungry, but even more hungry for God’s word, for the teaching.

      And manna.


      Bread from heaven?

      And those disciples, fishermen, townsmen, no one special, no higher degrees, no high-falutin’ types among them.

      And that reminds me that we are the church… and we are so blessed to have one another!

      • Yes!! I do miss seeing my friends! Our Bible study finished right before all of this started. We, hopefully, can start a new on in September, and that’ll make things great again for me!! We only do once a week take out, too, for the same reason!! I’m very thankful that we can stay in touch with family and friends on FB!!

    • Trudy, we try to support a couple of our favorite restaurants (family owned), too. So many of them won’t survive this, and I pray for those people as they’ll lose their life’s business and dream. I love Ruth’s response below. This has been a good reminder that the church is not the building. A dear friends is a pastor and chaplain. Her church meet together before this, but has always had a strong online following. I think we’ll see more of that in the future for people with health issues that can’t risk going out.

      • Yes, Ruth is so right!! Our church has streamed services for a couple of years, and our radio station has broadcast for over 20 years. It’s just not the same as actually being in the building. However, the really nice thing is if I miss something while taking notes, if I’m not listening to the live broadcast, I can pause it to take my notes! Can’t do that in the livestreaming or in the building! My Mom is soon to be 96, and when/if it gets to where she can’t go, I’m already planning to watch on my computer as I am now, and listening on the radio for her.

        • Look at that love for your mom…. and that’s exactly what we need more of, Trudy. That beautiful sacrificial love. And as much as I love praying with a group and going to church and being part of services, my favorite thing is just knowing I’ve got that faith to cling to. That faith is our stronghold, just like those people below the cross… those women going to that tomb… those men huddled in a room, sure that they would be next in line.

          We have faith.

          And we are the church. So the more we let that guide us lovingly, the stronger (I believe) we all will be.

    • Oh, Kathy, thank you! Share away! There are icons to click down below or just copy and paste the url on the top (you can do that easily by clicking those three magic dots!!!!) and you can post to facebook or blogs or twitter… What a lovely compliment!

  5. Amen Ruth and what a great post his was. It is a scary world out there right now. Some governors are talking about opening up thing and I think its way to early for this because I think its just beginning. I am just preying that we will all get through this and get through this together.

    • Oh, thank you, sweetness! What lovely words… and I think if they go carefully (I’m envisioning soldiers walking between landmines) we can open this and that. Not where I am. We’re not in a position in NY to be doing too much for a while, but I see other spots and rural spots and widespread populations and I think they’ve got a different perspective.

      Tiptoe…. we tiptoe in and test the waters carefully.

      Because I’m pretty sure we’re going to see this virus again in six months (if it dissipates over the summer) and we need to be ready to face it. The more practice we have at spreading out and still working, the safer we’ll be.

      And we pray, sweet friend!

  6. Ruthy, what a great post. I am so proud of my country, my friends and the people I don’t know yet.

  7. Thank you for your wonderful and powerful post, Ruthy. Good Bless America and Good Bless Is All.

  8. Ruth, I am in awe of your poignant, moving post. You said so many things we’ll all been feeling but in a way we never could. I posted on FB today that everyone should stop whatever they’re doing and read your post. Thank you for writing the words that so many of us needed to hear today.

    • Oh, Julie, you are the sweetest thing. Aren’t we blessed to be able to use that gift God gave us to be helpers?

      I remember Fred Rogers telling children after 9/11: “When scary things happen, look for the helpers. There will always be people trying to help. Look for them.” And it’s such true, simple advice.

      We look for the helpers and it’s amazing how many of them there are right now.

      Those first line of defense medical personnel, those bus drivers, the transit workers, EMTS, our police, the thin blue line, fire fighters….

      And those grocery clerks, pharmacy clerks.

      So many blue and white collar helpers.

      We are blessed.

  9. Wonderful words today, thanks. Social distancing is such a small price to pay if it helps control the spread at all.

    • Sally, thanks for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to see you!

      I know the folks needing money, jobs, work are in a huge state of flux, though. My paycheck still comes in, but that’s not the case for millions. And what can they do?

      It’s a tough question with no easy or widespread answers, isn’t it?

      • We are very fortunate that since we are retired not much is different. A few delayed medical appointments and procedures and a vacation that will need to be rescheduled, but so minor compared to what others are experiencing. And an adult granddaughter lives with us so she runs any errands; I’ve only needed to leave the house/yard once since March 11. Stay safe!

  10. Wonderful post, Ruthy! I’m excited to see the blessings the Lord will bring out of this challenge.


  11. Lovely post! It is so hard to navigate, as you said, because first of all – we each live in different states which all have varying stages of the virus. Ours has passed the peak and our hospitals are empty with the medical staff being laid off. I feel certain states can open up slowly with smart restrictions in place. This virus won’t go away suddenly, so no matter how long you wait it will still affect some. We can’t sit like this forever! But how can anyone decide between destroying thousands of lives with failed economy over lives from the virus? You will have people on both sides. Also, you will always have those who make it worse for everyone else – the ones who made the phrase “you can’t fix stupid” a catchy one. Lol! I choose joy in all of this and our family has made so many wonderful new memories to be able to tell future generations about. We still have farm chores, homeschooling and household chores keeping us very busy. Have a lovely week!

    • Susan, you have hit this nail on the head because it’s a rough balance… if there is any balance at all in all of this.

      But like you said, each state is different and I think the president showed great judgement when he put their control firmly in their hands… with guidance.

      And people are nervous.

      And that’s understandable. From the greatest economy I can remember (and I’m not exactly wet behind the ears) to what could be total economic disaster.

      What a difficult decision that had to be, and in an election year.

      Love him or hate him, that took guts.

  12. A wonderful blog. It is going to be interesting to see what lasting effects this time of trial has on our country and the world.

    I loved “Girl of the Limberlost” and read it again a couple of years ago. It is such a good book but not one you hear of as often as the others you mentioned.

    • Gene Stratton Porter… I loved that story. And so many other coming of age stories, but I am drawn to stories of people who feel “different”… because that’s almost a universal truth for adolescents.

      The others look normal!!!!

      While we feel “different”.

      If only teens knew that feeling different is the norm.

      A lot of kids would approach the teen years differently.

  13. Yes Ruth, each of us doing our part and working together, we have got this.
    I loved Old Yeller and Old Yellers Son
    Have a wonderful week

  14. Great Blog today. Very well said. Thank you for all you have been doing to help others cope thru this life changing time. I dearly appreciate the book you sent me. I will most definitely leave you review when I read in the next week or so. May God Bless you richly!!!. Love and Hugs to you sweet lady

  15. Thank you for a lovely post, Ruth. So many have sacrificed to try to reduce the impact of this terrible disease. As you so well said, people will look at the death toll and economic impact, and question if it was worth it. The actions of those protesting that being cooped up for a few weeks is just too hard, strike me as complaints of selfish, impatient, inconsiderate, spoiled individuals. If getting your hair done is more important than slowing the spread of COVID 19, than I feel sorry for your shallow soul. We as a society have never really suffered anything like this in a very long time, well past the memories of most of us. The one bright spot, which is a large one, has been the multitude of examples of the goodness in the hearts of most people. The unity in action, neighborhood parades, the shift change clapping & banging pots to thank hospital worker, neighborhood concerts from the windows, birthday party drive by’s, meals & food being donated & delivered, hotel rooms for medical personnel so they don’t bring the disease to their families, and the list goes on. Only time will tell if reopening so many states in the next few days will be a wise move. We may find we are looking at another, more strict self isolation in a few months. I know my state has not taken this seriously. After only being “closed” for a couple of weeks, is reopening this weekend. As much as we would like to be able to travel to visit family, we will continue our isolation no matter what others do. Our age and my compromised immune system sort of make that a necessity until things are more certain.
    Sorry for rambling – side effect of not visiting with anyone in a while.

    • You ramble all you want. We need to talk. To vent. To share. To think and consider.

      We are intelligent people, we are educated. We know we don’t live in a bubble… but like you, I’m remaining socially distant until they have antibody tests. If Dave and I had Covid in March, well good… but if we don’t have the antibodies and we had Flu (They assumed flu for me and Farmer Dave tested negative for Flu but they wouldn’t test him for Covid because he wasn’t feverish at the Urgent Care clinic) then we still need to be careful

      The good Lord will take us in His time, but He also expects us to be smart about things.

      Hence the brain!

      • I have a friend in Colorado and a niece in Northern NY state who were both really ill with all the symptoms including high temperatures. Neither could get testing and both took many weeks to recover. Both are still weak and unable to do much. Both of their doctors were pretty sure they had COVID, but in early March, there just weren’t the tests available. So very frustrating. I really want widespread testing to know just how widespread this really is.

Comments are closed.