Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tuesday Thoughts About...

...what we personally can do to help during this pandemic.

I'm so proud of Stephanie (#middlechildproblemsbedamned!---#inside joke) for taking a proactive part in helping small businesses and those people who have become her friends. Stephanie mentioned that she had reached out to all the small businesses that she uses. She asked a simple question. "What can I do to help?" People were surprised, but grateful. She bought products and gift cards for future services. What a fabulous idea!!! Why didn't we think of that?

So, I decided to put together a list of things we could all do.

1. Reach out to those people you see on a regular basis and find out if they would like you to purchase future services---hair dressers (that sounds so weird to say---but I think that's what they are still called), nail people, aestheticians, masseuse, private gyms, and anyone else you see on a regular basis.

2. Reach out to those small, local stores that you frequent to see if you can purchase a gift card for future redemption. I've sent an email to Nashville Needleworks and am waiting to hear back. On the other hand, with so much free time, maybe their business has picked up! The store is closed, but they will arrange for your purchases and pick ups on the sidewalk.

3. Pick up meals from your local restaurants. They just had a report on the news, that you are not going to get the virus via food you order or the packaging. They say the risk is very low. Same for groceries. Just be sure to wash any fresh produce that doesn't require cooking. A light rinsing is all that's required.

This leads me to tell you about our experience on Saturday. We were craving burgers, so decided to go to Sonic. I brought along a Chlorox wipe to use on the order button. They have an app you can use too. We ordered, but got the idea that the guy didn't get it. Neither of us could understand the guy. A couple minutes later, the "car hop" (if that's what they are still called---that sounds funny too) approached on skates. There did not appear to be any drinks. We told her what we had ordered and she took the whole thing back. She came back a few minutes later and said our order was "free!" What??? We said "NO!" and insisted on paying. It was just a mistake. Probably at any other time, we would have thought we hit the jackpot. Not this time. All these places are struggling. We're trying to do our part. Getting free food for a simple mistake right now is not in our plan.

4. We're allowing our cleaning lady to "shelter in place" with her son while continuing to pay her. Stephanie and Mindy are Venmo--ing me so we can give her the cash. Last week, I texted her to pick up her money as I know she needs it. I put her money in an envelope on the front porch. She was so grateful that she sent the following message: "Mrs. Barbara, we want to thank my son and I for being so special and very generous of you, many thanks to you and Mrs. Mindy, that God our Father multiply you forever." As I've mentioned in the past, we have a bit of a communication problem. She probably uses some sort of translation app as I do with her. This makes me wonder what kind of messages she gets from me! Mostly I play charades with her.

One thing is for sure. I'll be very happy to have her back when this is all over. I have never taken her for granted! I do not like cleaning but am very particular. Luckily, Butch is more than willing to help. We're sticking with cleaning on Monday---our normal routine.

5. Allow all of your "outside" workers to continue working as usual---if they are willing: lawn people, landscapers, mowers, etc. My garden girl made a point of emailing me and telling about all the precautions they were taking---like wiping down any gates, hoses or anything else they touch. She  just wanted to be able to keep her crew working. As far as we're concerned, she and our mower provide essential services for us! We're grateful for them.

Thank you, Stephanie, for reminding me to think beyond ourselves.

I've decided to add another list of things you can do for your own sanity and maybe someone else's too boot.

1. Call someone you haven't talked to in a long time. For me, it's quite a sacrifice to get on the phone at all. I've always considered it a time waster. My time waster in recent years has been the internet. You can kill an hour without blinking an eye. And now, we're adding puzzles to that list of time wasters. It's no wonder I don't have the time to do all the things I want to do!

As Mindy observed, "Who would have thought that 2020 would be the year that puzzles would make a comeback!"

2. Have a FaceTime chat with someone. It can be a time waster too, but it just feels different when you are seeing them---more like hanging out together. We're doing this with our family for happy hour on Fridays. Most of our family are working from home. Let's face it, Fridays are still Fridays and the beginning of the weekend. People say that when you are retired, every day is like a weekend. Nope, Fridays are still the start of the weekend. It just feels different. Oh, and we're having a couple extra happy hours ourselves now. Definitely makes us feel better---if you know what I mean!

3. Share your hobbies with others---books, movies and all those darn puzzles we have right now. I'm sharing scrapbooking with my AYM group. We're having a little gathering today. I've put together a simple end page that we are all going to do. I sent them the list of supplies needed over the weekend. I think it's going to be fun. We'll see how it goes.

4. Watch your favorite old movie. Mindy told me that she made Justin watch Grease. How in the world has he never seen that? Oh yeah, probably because he wasn't born yet when that movie came out! Turns out he liked it. Who wouldn't? Still a great movie---and the music...

I watched my 2nd favorite movie of all time---Wuthering Heights with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon on Saturday morning. (My most favorite is My Foolish Heart with Susan Hayward and Dana Andrews). Later in the afternoon after watching the movie---during our puzzle time,  I told Butch that I've decided that the most romantic word in the English language has to be "darling!" I told him that I'd like him to start calling me "darling!" He just looked at me like I was nuts. I'll have to let you know how that goes! Whatever happened to that word anyway? Let's bring it back!

5. Pull some games out of the closet and play. Someone asked me how I got Butch to play games. I said, "I just say, 'it's game time!'" And he complies! Actually, I think he appreciates that I am trying to keep up busy. Plus, when we were dating and then before we had kids, we played games all the time. All. The. Time. Even over the phone. While I was in the hospital after Sandy's birth, we played Battleship over the phone. One time I wanted to pass the time!

We played this one yesterday.
It was a Route 66 game that I gave Butch for Christmas---you know my obsession. Turns out, it was a lame game! It's up for grabs if anyone wants it.

We've always been a game playing family, but had gotten away from just the two of us playing. We're bringing that back.

I hope you find a take away here for you and your family. Please share any ideas you might have.

As for my "darling"---I still have an ace in the back pocket---our stamp collections!!

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