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Rosenwald News


Last updated 3/18/2020 at 3:04pm

Courtesy Photo

Attendees come out in numbers for the opening reception and performance night.

I almost wrote in to The Transylvania Times to say that I didn't have any Rosenwald News for the week. Something in me kept hesitating, though, and what I realized is the news and what I have to report is just not typical.

Events and activities that I might have gone to, gotten pictures and collected news of the day, but, left and right, they are being cancelled. The Mary C. Jenkins Community Center Task Force should have met this past Tuesday, for example. We have been meeting regularly every month. I feel confident that if there are decisions to be made with the architect, engineers and "design team," we will do that another way.

The good old telephone or the computer will replace our regular in-person meeting. My diabetes prevention class, 80 percent are from the Rosenwald community, was supposed to have their final class. We met over 22 times, with almost perfect attendance. To follow what wisdom and safety measures are now dictating, we will have to skip the group graduation finale. On one level, I am disappointed that we won't have that shared experience. On the other hand, watching daily what is transpiring around the world and in our own nation, I get it. Plan B comes into play. A phone or Skype call, maybe an individual session, as long as we are both healthy and able.

Believe it or not, like it or not, the coronavirus is touching all aspects of our lives. How are you dealing with that? How is it impacting your families, your day-to-day lives, your work, activities, plans? How is your health? I find myself wondering how people are coping? How are you making sense of this? If you have children or older relatives, what are your conversations like? Every day, it's as if we are waking up to a new chapter in a bizarre novel. Four weeks ago, who could have predicted this outcome? But, here we are.

Life is evolving, changing and moving fast. Relentless, and for whatever reason, I am rolling with the inevitability of it all. I find myself thinking of prevention, and, best as I am able, keeping my family as healthy as possible. I felt thankful to get a message from Transylvania Schools over the weekend, sharing that even though schools would be closed, that there was a plan to get meals out to kids in need. It was reassuring to receive similar emails and calls that give wonderful indications of how our community is rallying around to deal with things: Indications that we are looking out for each other, even in the midst of fear and unknowns.

Even though I have suspended hugging and clasping your hands in greeting, when I go out, especially in the grocery store, I am comforted to see you. Exchange a quick greeting and check in, touch elbows, wishing each other and our families well. The feeling that we are all in this together becomes clear. Irrespective of race, religion, gender, financial status, our political beliefs and persuasions, we are both looking at aisles in those same grocery stores that are low on hand sanitizer, toilet paper, rice, even. If we hadn't before, we are hopefully all being careful about who and what we are touching, not touching. We share a common concern. I pray that we are on board for solutions that expand to cover entire communities and not just our narrow slice of the pie.

I don't know about you, but the conversations in my house have shifted. It has been gradual. I now have my 20-year-old daughter, unexpectedly, at home from university. She probably will be home for the duration of the semester. Her perspective has shifted from the stuff that is still in her dorm room, to concern and protectiveness of my health, talks about the future, the economy. My 17-year-old son started virtual school this week. He is sick of hearing about the virus, but it's pretty hard to escape that subject. It is going to affect the Spring Break trip that he probably will not have. Who knows how it will affect his June graduation and what it will mean for his going off to the Marine Corps in August. I have no idea. I am grateful for our health, though, and for our continued well-being. I am thankful that I am able to put food on the table and that we are alive to see another day unfold.

Until our next meeting, be well. If you are able to get online, look up a poem that was recommended to me. It is quite profound. It is called "Pandemic" and was written by Rev. Lynn Ungar.

(Newsworthy items for submission for Rosenwald Community News are welcomed from community members, churches, clubs and groups. If you have an idea for a story or interview for me to capture, let me know at or call (828) 421-8615.) Enjoy your week.


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