Jennifer Dixon

Jennifer Dixon, director of programs and education at Geary County Historical Society, celebrated her birthday with family, who threw her a surprise party at home.

Heather Hagedorn, GCHS Curator

In my “normal” life, I am a pretty active—some might say “busy”—person. I go to work with coworkers (and volunteers) that I enjoy working and socializing with, I go to the gym regularly and even coach twice a week, and I am part of a weekly writing group. There are few days where I am not with other people. But now I am part of the population that is quarantining alone—complete social distancing.

Even with the solitude and definite desire to spend time with other humans again, my stay-at-home days have taken on a bit of routine in the past couple weeks—so much so that I worry it will be hard to transition back to normal life again! My days usually start with a two to three mile walk. I think at this point I have navigated every street and side street and trail in my neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods. But the fresh air, and the possibility of waving to a neighbor, combined with the ability to get out of my house make it my favorite part of the day.

I have always been an outside kind of person, but usually that means going on hikes rather than spending time in my own neighborhood. As a result of my new walking route within my own neighborhood, I’ve noticed parts of it I’d never paid attention to before: animal prints cemented in the concrete road; beautiful homes with beautifully landscaped yards; and of course the bears people have placed in the windows for kids to find as they walk with their families. I have become acquainted with neighbors I’d never met before through daily morning waves and pleasantries (from a distance), and I have become addicted to being able to take in the sunshine and fresh air daily, with no worries about rushing to my next commitment.

As glad as I will be to return to life with other people (whenever that might be), I know that I will miss this morning ritual. So rather than focus on missing what I can’t have, I have been trying to focus on enjoying this rare spring that has allowed me to enjoy Kansas and the area in which I live.

Jennifer Dixon, Programs & Education Director

Saturday, April 4, 2020

I remembered something from last week that I wanted to share. I was riding my bike and my husband was running when I smelled someone smoking. The person was a good 30 feet away and the smell was strong. It made me realize that if smoke blows around at long distances then so can someone breathing. Six feet distance is the recommended distance between people, but I believe it’s under estimated.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Today is my dad’s 76th birthday, so everyone in the house called with Facetime and sang to him. My favorite part of the long conversation was when he and Brent spoke about COVID-19 and it’s implications on health, economy, education, and sports. I always enjoy talking to my dad (daddy is my official name for him…still) and when I am able to travel back and forth to work we speak about  4 times a week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Today is when the Hands On History recorded program goes on YouTube and Facebook at 10 am this morning. I love that my cat Max walked through and that my younger girls were in it (put them through a mini boot camp!). It took hours to practice and record, but what was even more challenging was getting the video to upload on YouTube! Now, I hope our museum friends will join us today to watch – I genuinely miss them. It is not a professional video, I was hoping my film major daughter could help me, but she’s out of state and it was all I could do to get it loaded. Side note – a video can be 15 minutes or less and it will post on YouTube, but any longer and you must get a second verification from google. Eye roll!

My legs are sore from playing a game similar to soccer in the backyard yesterday and riding the bike with Brent (my husband). I’m thankful for the warm weather during this homebound time!! We will have a few days of cold again, but that just means I’ll finish organizing the basement storage room.

Also, yesterday the younger girls and I went to the high school to pick up an iPad for online school. It was smooth and easy, and clean! Initially, I felt like the school district was a bit unorganized, but we all were!! Everything was new and there were questions, but since USD 383 made a plan of action it has been impressive. I wrote an email to the superintendent and he responded. People need to know they are supported and are doing a good job!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Today, I got the most fabulous cinnamon rolls from Heather who is the curator (and my friend!) from the museum. She worked at a bakery off and on for 10 years. They were gone within hours! I have to hide things in my house from my kids, but I shared these. The exchange of food was quite clever – she drove up and popped the trunk and I got the cinnamon rolls, closed the trunk, thanked her, and we had no close contact.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Today is Easter AND my mom’s birthday which woke me in a wonderful state of mind! He is risen! We have this hilarious routine with Sunday morning couch church. One set of grandparents are not familiar with technology, but they have learned how to Facetime to see their grandchildren, soooo we set it up for them to watch church in a round about way! We Facetime them and put our phone on a tripod so they watch our TV from their iPhones!! HAHA!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Finally finished the basement storage room clean-up. Found cat poo way up under a little opening under the stairs and went into a cleaning, scrubbing frenzy…eww!

Heather brought 4 books from the museum for me to read and research about Geary County. I also went to the store and got mad about an entire family shopping there. There were two adults, so one could have stayed home with the kids or in the car.

Also, I never thought I’d be up late at night shopping for face masks – if I’m going to wear one I’d like for it to be cute! There are several on Etsy and Ebay, but my beautiful friend from Georgia is sending me some with the most southern patterns. Strangely, I can’t wait. The only issue for me is I don’t like anything behind my ears (including face mask elastic), perhaps that’s from wearing big head bands when I was growing up, but even my “getting old” reader’s glasses make me nuts. Strange fact, unless I’m out in public, I wear my glasses over my ears!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

TODAY IS MY QUARANTINE BIRTHDAY!  I didn’t know what to expect except that Heather was making her incredible cream cheese carrot cake & a Portillo’s chopped salad for me – talk about getting spoiled, fat and happy – YUM!!! Cinnamon rolls and now carrot cake!

Maybe it’s because everyone is working from home and has more time for social media, but I had so many people wish me happy birthday on Facebook today. It was so very kind and appreciated. My husband took me to Radina’s drive-through for coffee (him) and bread (family) in the morning with our dog who shares my birthday and she got a puppacino which is a cup of whipped cream and a dog treat! We drove around a bit and returned to a decorated house from my daughters…confetti, strings, balloons, presents, and flowers filled the house. I was genuinely surprised and love them so much for their efforts. All of this excitement was also incredibly humbling as I thought about single people at home. Young and senior folks who are alone concern me and it tugs on my heart to think about them.  

HEATHER HAGEDORN is the Curator of the Geary County Historical Society in Junction City.

JENNIFER DIXON is the Director of Programs and Education at the Geary County Historical Society in Junction City.

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