Sequestering at Home? Meet the Pattons!
This is the third in our series -giving insight into what our Directors are doing during this COVID-19 pandemic, and the governor’s “stay at home” directive.
Port Ludlow Performing Arts might be a tad unique in that it has two people sharing one “director” position. When Sharla Erich moved into the role as president, June 2019, PLPA needed to enlist someone who could take over the very critical Educational Outreach program. This is the aspect of PLPA that supports music in our area elementary schools through the Adventures in Music (AIM) program, where we partner with the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra. In addition, PLPA works closely with Chimacum High School and Quilcene High School by bringing one of our entertainment groups to CHS for an educational and entertaining music assembly. Who would be interested in supporting and perpetuating these activities?
As it turns out, all we had to do was ask – aka the PLPA Communications Team Chair, Peggy Welker, who mentioned it to her friends, Shelley and Gregg Patton. Gregg’s a retired journalist and Shelley a not-so-retired educator … and they said they’d like to work together, as a team, taking on the role of Director of Educational Outreach. Now, nearing the end of their first year on the PLPA Board of Directors, the Pattons agreed to share a glimpse into their activities during this time of COVID-19 self-quarantine.
“What am I doing at home in the pandemic?” Gregg pondered the question. “Not as much laundry, since I can get away with, wearing the same pair of jeans and hoodie all week.”
He continued, “We count ourselves among the lucky ones whose lives haven’t been altered drastically, other than loss of social and entertainment options. For retired people, we are just a little MORE retired – more TV, more reading, more looking out the window at the amazing Pacific Northwest.”
Before turning the conversation over to Shelley, he concluded, “We also have ample time to handle the springtime explosion of yard work, and, sadly, no good excuses to avoid it.”
Shelley was quick to agree with Gregg’s assessment. “As far as what I’ve been doing while confined to ‘the big house’ … I will say I am extremely fortunate to be one of the lucky ones. I have all I need in terms of great company – husband Gregg (ahhh, shucks), food, lodging, good friends and family.” Shelley admitted their loved ones were “are all over the place when it comes to their social media acumen, but are happily willing to dive in and learn and/or teach me. So we are Zooming a lot.”
The outdoors appeared to play a major role for the Pattons. Shelley continued, “I enjoy robust good health and exploit it almost daily by targeting outdoor gardening projects and barreling outside to tackle them.” She chuckled, “I’m especially good at creating big piles of cuttings and branches before ‘running out of gas/energy’ … and then finally getting back to picking them up, literally, as Gregg bears down, lawnmower whirring, headed toward the space(s) occupied by my piles. You should see the look of exasperation on his face … and the ‘phew’ on mine!”
Shelley smiled at the memory and then added, “Seriously, though, the yard does look like there really is a plan and the occasional ‘stand back/hands on hips’ survey pleases my eye, I must say.”
Is Shelley trying out any new “pandemic” recipes? “I can’t claim any new mastery in the kitchen, but mealtimes have taken on a new expectant patina with Gregg saying, ‘Aww, c’mon … it’s gotta be lunchtime!’”
“I am feeling some Covid-19 fatigue,” admitted Shelley, as Gregg nodded, “and am trying not to get too immersed in all of the coverage -just trying to keep up with what I need to know to keep myself safe … and others around me. Thank you, Dr. Fauci! My hope is that we can see this through patiently, intelligently … with compassion and empathy, remembering that what we’ve learned (or perhaps have always really known) is truly important.”
One final comment? “We really miss our time with the kindergarten kiddos and the students we work with through our PLPA functions!”