Spring of 2020 Letter from the McKenzie Chamber of Commerce President, Nadine Scott 

 

~Happy Spring~ The decorative plum and cherry trees are in full bloom. My Camilla is top heavy with blossoms. The daffodils and crocus are full of color and cheer. The year round hummingbirds are buzzing around and the seasonal ones are due to arrive any day. The “Queens” of the Yellow Jackets are out, get those traps set so we don’t have a situation like we did two years ago with thousands of yellow jackets and lots of sting bites. There were so thick at my house I could not go out in my garden. 

COVID-19 has forced many businesses to close. Folks have been laid off or are working from home. Child care and schools are closed. All of this is affecting our community and world. As a community we need to support each other. Emotionally it is hard on everyone. It has been a life changing event. Lane County, the City of Springfield, the City of Eugene and Community Lending Works have come together to create a Small Business Emergency Loan Fund (SBELF) to help our local businesses weather this storm. Funds are limited at this time and will be evaluated ongoing. Eligible businesses include those with 20 FTE or fewer as of the end of 2019 and located within Lane County. The funds will be managed by Community Lending Works. Interested businesses will be able to apply starting at noon on Sunday, March 22, at www.communitylendingworks.com. This is a start in the right direction. 

Not being able to have direct contact and socializing is probably the hardest for most of us. Being home with a lot of time on your hands and no where to go can make you anxious. Remember we did not always have cell phones to text and computers to bury ourselves in, sometimes to avoid one on one communication. Now is a time we all need communication for one reason or another. Pick up the phone and call your neighbor, check in on an elderly person, call your kids instead of face timing them. A familiar voice is always welcome. Go for a walk, walking alone can be therapy for the mind. Take the hanging clothes off that exercise machine and use it. Watch an old movie while working out, time goes much quicker and you feel better in more ways than one when you are done. I would bet you have a book or two you have stashed for a rainy day that you could read and enjoy your alone time. Puzzles, Scrabble and Chess stimulate the mind and a great way to pass the time. 

Do you have bored children at home? You would be amazed how many kids really enjoy cooking and prepping for meals. My grandchildren cook with me all the time. They are 3, 4, & 6. We make healthy kabobs from grapes, cherry tomatoes, olives & cheese cubes. They love to make blueberry muffins and their own individual pizza. The more involved they are the more they will eat the product. They make their own salad with their favorite ingredients in it and they get to pick the dressing. Homemade French Fries are top on their list, I toss them in oil and bake them on a sheet pan at 450 degrees instead of frying them. This is a great time for you to stock up on ” homemade do ahead dinners” and put them in the freezer for when you go back to work. Coming home to a dinner you can just pop in the oven and make a salad makes you look like a “Rock Star” to your family. A few I have been working on are: Chicken, Spinach and Cheese Enchiladas, Turkey and Sausage Meatballs in Marinara sauce, Chicken Noodle and Vegetable Soup, Split Pea and Ham Soup, Vegetarian Lasagna with eggplant, zucchini, onion, peppers and three cheeses, Stuffed Chicken Breasts with mozzarella, spinach, onions and sundried tomatoes, Marinated Flank Steak, Slow Cooked Pork Butt in orange juice and spices makes several meals for great tacos. Mac & Cheese with cooked ground beef and chopped onions is great for the kids. Tired of cooking? I just heard the Vida Cafe will be doing Take Out food from 9:00am – 3:00 pm every day except Wednesday. Call ahead and they will deliver to your car. 541-896-3289. If there are any other businesses on the river doing this please let me know so we can post it on our Chamber website. 

Times are a changing. We need to stay positive, healthy and smart. Turn OFF the news for a day. You will be amazed how much better you feel and the world is not going to change that much in 24 hours. Staying busy and focused on family and friends and your health. We will get through this and it will make us all better educated people for the future. BE WELL~~