This year Easter came at about the same time as Ohio was predicted to peak in the pandemic. Thankfully, social distancing efforts helped us avoid the worst predictions but kept churches and normal holiday celebrations closed. In the midst of upheaval, the core community of Lydia’s House was still able to observe our own, intimate version of Easter. On Wednesday of Holy Week, Mary Ellen prepared a beautiful Seder meal with the traditional Seder foods. From matzo, symbolizing the unleavened bread, to tender lamb– the traditional sacrifice, to parsley for new life and horseradish for bitterness and suffering. We thought
In this new world of social distancing and ‘stay at home orders,’ Lydia’s House has reassessed how we can live out and create community. Specifically, we’re discovering new ways to offer positive memories and celebration to our current and former guests. At Virginia Coffey Place, as a 6 year old tenant’s birthday grew closer, it became clear that his hoped for party could not happen. Though it took a bit of creativity, we worked together with J’s mother to create a memory that he won’t forget anytime soon – a birthday parade! We gathered together folks from the Lydia’s House
On March 22, 2020, Ohio declared “shelter in place” because of COVID-19. All non-essential organizations and businesses closed. As a family shelter we are considered to be essential, but our way of being together demanded reflection and change as a result of the mandate for social distancing. On the day of the governor’s order we had all four rooms filled with 4 adult guests, 4 children and 2 live in volunteers, all sharing meals and bathrooms and common space. We put all of our practices and norms under scrutiny. After many sleepless nights and a lot of behind the scenes
Mardi Gras, translated as: “Fat Tuesday”, is a celebration to enjoy all rich, fatty foods before the lent fasting season. So on Sunday February 23, Lydia’s House family and friends gathered together for this historic celebration. Food and drinks covered the tables, pizza, fresh veggies, and even green frosted brownies, a real feast. Everyone just milled around reconnecting with those they hadn’t seen in a while or those they had. Or danced to Will Smith’s “Getting Jiggy Wit’ It”. Others got in line at the photo booth to get their pictures taken. Still others raced around the room after children.
Growing up in my house, birthdays were huge celebrations. At 5:30 am, my entire family (all 6 siblings and of course my parents, too) would get up, light candles and come into my room singing happy birthday. Then the celebrations would begin. My mom would prepare us our favorite breakfast. “Honey Filberts,” “sticky buns” or croissants– whatever we wanted she would make (knowing that we wouldn’t eat it because of the excitement). Then we would open gifts and do everything else that comes with a birthday. But it didn’t end there. When we got to school celebrations continued with more