With widespread panic and unease permeating all aspects of daily life as the United States takes measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, there is a silver lining for at least one mom: Ann Arbor resident Liz Turner, while forced to stay home from work, is loving all the extra time to pick up sticks in the yard.
“My school got shut down so I’m back home for the foreseeable future,” said Liz’s daughter and college junior, Vanessa Turner. “Honestly, I was looking forward to spending more time with my mom, but she’s mostly just out in the backyard picking up loose sticks.”
“I guess they fall from the bordering trees or get blown in by the wind or something? I don’t really know why they’re bad, but she’s pretty intent on removing them all,” Vanessa added.
Multiple sources confirm that Liz can be observed during most daylight hours skulking around her lawn, eyes laser-focused on the ground for any would-be camouflaged sticks or twigs.
“She’s like a bird of prey,” said next-door neighbor, Ayana Price. “Is this a control thing? A desire for a sense of normalcy in uncertain times? Or does she really just love picking up all those sticks? Either way, she seems happy.”
Liz’s daughter Vanessa and our reporters alike found it difficult to reach Liz for comment as every time we attempted to get her attention she would smile and wave her bundle of sticks at us before resuming her practice.
“Maybe this is just something I can’t understand as a Gen Z-er who’s likely to never own a home,” said Vanessa. “I won’t even pick up the takeout menu that’s been on my front steps for four months.”
So what’s next for Liz when this yard-clearing chapter is complete?
“The job is never done,” said Liz as we walked alongside her, holding her sticks. “But honestly the yard has never looked better in terms of sticks. I hope I never go back to work!”
Here’s hoping she’s talking about retirement and not disease continuing to ravage the globe.