Editor in Chief of American Miniaturist and Dollhouse Miniaturist Kelly Johnson  from Kasson, Minnesota is in lock down but  spirits are kept high..

I’ve heard it said that Minnesotans are a “tough and hardy bunch”. However, I’m not sure I feel particularly hardy or tough. Some days I feel scared, worried, and a little lonesome.

Like most everyone during this new way of living in “Pandemia,” I’m scared that someone I love will become sick and die. I’m worried that I might become sick and leave this world sooner than I’d really like to. And I’m lonesome. Coming from an introvert that might be hard to believe but I miss my grown kids… and I miss my Lily.

Lily is, in every sense of the word, my granddaughter. She came to our family when my youngest son, Jacob fell for Lily’s mom. The first time I met her, my heart was stolen within the first 15 minutes. She is so full of life and makes me feel young when I’m around her. We enjoy working on crafts together, playing games, baking and we even had a tea party with my dog, Arthur. Lily mastered the art of the “pinky lift” while we drank our tea and attempted to speak with english accents. Such fun. I just miss her.

And I miss the freedom of knowing that after a looooong winter, my husband and I can go to our favorite place in northern Minnesota. Each year, Dan and I make the trek up north and rent a beautiful cabin on Lake Superior. Minnesota is called the “ Land of 10,000 Lakes” and yet the county we live in has no lakes. How does that happen? So up north, we indulge our senses with the fragrant pine trees, the peacefulness of the loon calls and the incredible beauty of Lake Superior. Just writing about this makes my heart ache a bit.

Okay, so enough complaining and feeling sorry for myself.

In Minnesota we have springtime just starting. For us here, spring is a big deal. We spend several months indoors because the winters here are brutal. It isn’t uncommon for us to deal with dangerous windchills and day after day of the eternal white stuff.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that we had a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the next day we had 10 inches of snow and white out conditions. It was Easter Sunday. But the positive of that experience was because of Covid-19 and the Stay At Home orders, we didn’t have to worry about traveling in bad weather for our family Easter dinner.

I’ve also resigned myself to be more grateful and to count my blessings. I am grateful my husband has a good job at Mayo Clinic as a Chaplain. Although he had to take a pay cut recently, he is not one of the 30,000 people that is being furloughed. I am so thankful for this.

I am thankful that I can enjoy the birdsong. The birds don’t know about Covid-19 but I bet if they did, they would still sing.

This may sound silly, but I’m also grateful for my Alexa. I have one of the devices in my bathroom and in the evening while I’m in the shower, my husband will hear me shouting, “Alexa, play worship music”. And I sing in the shower.

I am grateful for the sunsets I see each night. Every one of them different as if the painter decided to try a new batch of colors from his palette. They seem more brilliant to me. Maybe because I’m stopping and actually seeing them.

Tough and hardy? Well, maybe but I’m still not convinced it’s a true statement.

I think this pandemic has made me more grateful. More aware of my blessings and of the things that really matter. This pandemic has forged something inside of me that makes me want to control what I think, how I feel. I don’t want to get caught into the trap of fear. I don’t want to panic and worry I won’t have a enough toilet paper or Clorox Cleaner.

Instead, I want to appreciate my family and play with my Arthur. I want to focus on good things. I want to give little gifts to those I love even if they are sent through the mail. I want to think about things I can do. I want to dance in my kitchen and play my piano loud in my sunroom. With the windows open! And I want to shout at Alexa to play some music so I can sing like I’m in the shower.

And Lake Superior…hmmm. For today, I will settle for turning on the video that’s on my phone, closing my eyes and listening to the waves crashing to the shore. My guess is that Lake Superior still sings her song during the pandemic.