Everything is canceled. The end. No, wait! April Fools’ Day is over. Yes, we can’t go anywhere but there are still things to do to continue to be a community. Email, Facebook, Instagram and FaceTime go a long way to mitigate the sense of isolation while we wait this thing out.
Every day online, I see evidence of people reaching out to help each other. Everyone can make a difference — just staying home is a kindness to your neighborhood right now.
I checked in with a few of my friends and neighbors to see how they were managing. It seems a lot like “Little House on the Prairie” with all of the cooking, sewing and cleaning going on. Everyone is reading, but not claiming much television time.
Jackie Troppman reports that she and her husband, Roy, are playing pool at home (they have a great pool table setup in their living room) and she is also reading, scrapbooking and enjoying FaceTime with her grandchildren.
Lynda Kouroupis is stepping up her exercise routine, putting together jigsaw puzzles and working on some sewing projects.
Tressa Williams is helping out her elderly mother a couple of days a week. At home, she is doing a lot of cooking, working down the inventory in her freezer.
Claudia Willey is transcribing 200 letters her father wrote to her mother during World War II. She plans to print them out and give a copy to each of her siblings. Her husband, Ralph, is restoring a classic car.
Vickie Goeller, who lives in the historic district, gave blood last week; there is a shortage so if you can, please donate. Vickie is a great amateur photographer as well. She was planning on visiting Whipp’s Cemetery on St. John’s Lane to photograph the flowers.
Whipps Garden Cemetery had to cancel its Daffodil Days celebration, but the blooms are beautiful this year and the cemetery is a lovely place to walk.
Another great place to walk is the Howard County Conservancy on Route 99. Its programming is suspended, but the grounds are open for experiencing nature.
Also, its website has some great programs for kids to do at home right now, and they promise to add more weekly. I checked it out and it offers scavenger hunts, animal yoga, flower dissection and nature weaving among others.
Remember when celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse used to talk about “smellivision” on the Food Network? I thought of that when chef Michel Tersiguel started posting photographs of the meals he has been fixing for his family while home. I am sure they smelled and tasted as good as they looked. Taking further advantage of time at home, Tersiguel is also offering French lessons to his two sons.
Some people who work from home all the time are Martha Clark and her daughter Nora Crist, who are readying their Clark’s Elioak Farm for opening in the near future. They use down time to paint and repair farm and Enchanted Forest exhibits, plant crops in their extensive greenhouses and open their store on weekends to sell their home grown meats. Call for hours of operation before heading out. They can be reached at 410-730-4049.
My husband, Tom, has embarked on a whole house inventory. He started this a few weeks ago but has more time to devote to it now. He is also gardening, reading and making the occasional carryout food run to help support our favorite restaurants.
I have been doing a lot of reading, cooking and taking online cooking classes. Several websites have suspended their fees for classes for the immediate future. I have enjoyed a class on the instant pot and am planning to take one on vegetarian cooking next.
My 3-year-old grandson Henry, aka Superman, has built a fortress of solitude out of a table and blankets in his living room. I’d like a turn in that.
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Our friends at Historic Ellicott City Inc. have announced that there will be no show house this year. This announcement came before the shutdown, mostly because of the lack of historic home inventory in Howard County and the increasing difficulty in finding volunteers to man the project. I congratulate them on their amazing record of 33 beautiful renovations that generated revenue for the organization’s mission of restoration, education and preservation, especially in the historic district.