Focus on Sharla Erich President, PLPA

Sharla ErichThis is the second in our series — What are your PLPA Directors doing during this stay-at-home time without concerts to prepare for, an Educational Outreach program to plan, or a ticket campaign to promote? Until our performing venue, the Bay Club in Port Ludlow, opens its doors once again, and school sessions resume, your Port Ludlow Performing Arts crew is finding new — and sometimes innovative — ways to spend the time.

When Sharla Erich, President of PLPA, was asked to describe what she was doing with all her spare time, she explained, “What have I been doing during this pandemic? Besides washing my hands? (Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?)”

Sharla chuckled and then continued, “Staying at home has given me the time to participate in activities I would not have been able to otherwise – some way more enjoyable than others! I have had no excuse to not work in my yard and as a result it is looking better than ever! Weeds, you lost the battle — at least for this year!”

But Sharla has been busy with much more than her yard. She explains, “Then, there was the 12+ hour marathon catching up on bookkeeping for a home business, and learning more than I ever wanted to about QuickBooks. Developing and implementing intentional connect programs for church and community has been both time consuming and rewarding. Volunteering at the Chimacum Food Bank and running errands for COVID-19 high risk friends (call me at 707-684-9701 if you need assistance) has kept me hopping.”

The ‘hopping’ part won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows Sharla. “Reconnecting with friends and family via Zoom video chat, some of whom I have not talked with in over 10 years, has provided such joy and helped maintain sanity! Celebrating son Steve’s 30th birthday through Zoom sessions with over 50 friends/family joining from all around the world was definitely a highlight!” (The photo of Sharla on the swing with the adorable wee one was taken a few months ago.)

What about exercise? A physical therapist, Sharla is known for her boundless energy and strenuous fitness regimen. “Attempting to prevent catching COVID-15 (gaining 15 pounds due to stay at home orders), I have managed to work in the occasional hike and bike ride with friends while adhering to social distancing … except for one selfie taken during a short lapse in memory due to the excitement of the moment.”

She paused, and then added, “Yesterday, while walking with my husband, Kevin, I noted a lady approaching on the opposite side of the road (interesting how we now calculate and navigate our position in relation to others). ‘Well … Hello, Sharla,’ said the lady, who happens to be a volunteer for PLPA. I couldn’t believe the excitement I felt, seeing someone who had a connection to my life as it used to be! We proceeded to have a short but enjoyable conversation (safe distancing) before continuing our respective walks.”

“And of course, there is trying out new recipes, playing games with others via Zoom video technology, watching submarines go by, reading inspirational books (like Unoffendable by Brant Hansen) and the simple pleasure of watching a favorite movie (those with happy endings like An Affair to Remember). Oh, and my limited beautician skills are coming in handy and improving!”

Is there anything Sharla hasn’t done during this time of confinement? “There are three items on my To-Do-List to complete before being released back into society: 1) rappel off our five-story tower to clean windows; 2) complete continuing education requirements for physical therapy license; and 3) become totally bored being at home (if that is even possible) so I will be ready and excited to “return to normal” in the near future.”

Smiling, Sharla concluded, “Until that day, enjoy the many blessings of life and I look forward to the next time I see you outside of Zoom!”