The Richland Springs Report


As we begin week four of our social distancing and homebound learning, it is time to take stock of where we are. I feel I am a little more comfortable with this online classroom. I have a way to go, but I don’t feel so frustrated. Most of my students, and hopefully their parents, have reached a zone of comfort. I wish I could say that all of us are totally at ease, but that would not be true.

I hear Governor Abbot is considering a return to school. I’m not sure what that means. I haven’t heard him speak, but does he mean before June, during the summer, next August? What does he consider reasonable? I have been trying to keep my poor students on track just in case they reopened school in May, but it is an impossible task. Not all parents are teachers, not all students want to be students, and not all programs are easy to follow. So, if my parents are wondering what in the world I am doing, that is the key. When they finally tell me, they are not expecting kids to complete all the course work of the year, then I will relax. All I ask from you students is to not consider this a six-month holiday, because there is always a day of reckoning. Even if we don’t get all the work done, we are learning about work ethics. We are learning that even when faced with the great temptation of sitting around in our pajamas and watching game shows, we get up and do our work first. We are learning that even though we are doing work around the house or ranch, we are also staying dedicated to getting our schoolwork done on time. Times like these are character building times. Since I have some strong characters in my classes, I’m anxious to see how well we all finish this year of chaos. So, hang in there everyone, and show me what strength you have been storing up in your hearts and heads.

I was thinking about the positives of this seclusion experience. There is one group of people who are perfectly comfortable with social distancing. I suspect that every introvert that detests communing with others is in hog heaven. Now they are not considered anti-social, they are compliant citizens who are practicing social distancing. Yes, I can hear happy introverts doing a silent cheer and happy dance.

I have been watching the different church services in the area.

Shiloh had a beautiful sunrise service with their congregation happily participating in their cars. The sight of all those cars was a delight to my heart. The same thing happened at my church. Our congregation gathered in their cars and joined us as we sang hymns glorifying our Risen Lord. It was so good to see them even though dimly through a window. The Bible says we see Jesus dimly now, but one day we will see Him as He truly is. That day is coming closer. In the meantime, we all enjoyed marvelous sermons of hope from our local pastors and just a few minutes of seeing our friends. I do miss the hugs. If there are any folks in need of assistance, please call Bonnie Burkhart or Elizabeth Johnson from Shiloh, or Brother Mack, Debbie Phelan or anyone else from the First Baptist Church. I suspect Paula Sue Shannon would take requests from her congregation if they were needed. We have a wonderful community that is available if you need help.

We missed the severe storms around here on Saturday that hit several central Texas communities. Please pray for those homes destroyed by strong winds and tornadoes. Our little county remains COVID-19 free, and that is a blessing. Don’t get sloppy about your social distancing habits just because we have no cases. That can change in a heartbeat. Remember our most vulnerable are our grandparents, sick members and the very young. That means all you young healthy students remember that you may not get sick, but you may put the life of a family member in danger. Be considerate and stay home.

I just want to remind some parents that if you don’t have Wi-Fi at home, you can call your phone provider, and they will give you a free hotspot until school goes back. There are also three hotspots in town: one at the old bank, one in the Baptist parking lot, and of course, one at school. If you don’t have computer technology, or your younger students need paperwork, the school has a pickup each Monday. Just call your teacher and ask for more work or work in a different format.

My request is that you don’t fall behind. Please get help and get the work in to the teacher. Six weeks grading period is over and report cards will be sent out this week. I hope and pray that there won’t be too many surprises.

So, at this time, pray for all, because that is really all we can do.

We need to pray for our leaders in all branches. We need to pray for this pandemic and its effect on the economies and populations of the world. Our President and his council are working long hours to find a safe road through all this mess. Our medical personnel around the country are working overtime to save lives. In the midst of that, there are thousands of families who have lost loved ones and need help and comfort. Most of all pray for our precious troops and their families. Love your neighbors, care for them, but keep your distance.

Thank you to all the workers who are keeping our stores open. Praise God, Christ has risen and given us a pathway to eternal life. Have a safe week everyone.