Since we’ve all be secluded and practicing social distancing for over a month now, I thought I’d check in with friends to see how everyone is keeping busy. My Key West friend Rob who sends a cartoon every day, and Carole who shares tidbits with a slew of people on a regular basis, has kept the corona quips coming and I’ve received dozens of hilarious videos that I then pass along. It’s nice to know that humor is sustaining everyone. So what are folks doing while social distancing? Many of you are cleaning house, one increment at a time. I was able to straighten one kitchen drawer, clean my kitchen floor, wash slipcovers that hadn’t been washed in a very long time and a slew of other mindless projects in my ongoing avoidance of getting on with my writing assignments. My new book, “Nantucket Looms: Designs For Island Living” is due out next spring.

I hear that many of you have taken up a new craft or are doing simple fix-it projects on your home. Others are redecorating, painting rooms that have been neglected and many more are taking on-line classes. I just learned how to join a group discussion on Zoom, which was surprisingly satisfying. The second one with all family members proved that you need a leader to keep everyone from talking at once. Many of you are doing aerobics and yoga online and some are taking classes offered free by colleges. I tried using that as a procrastination technique, but felt too guilty to continue looking for the perfect subject. Families with little kids are trying their best to follow a curriculum of classes during the week and find the discipline taxing.  But others are rather enjoying the lack of stress, sleeping later than usual, the relief of not having to socialize for a while and catching up on reading, a guilty pleasure in the middle of the day.  I have a weakness for junk candy and by summer the evidence will be obvious if I keep it up.  Walking and biking seem to be the best way to get outdoors, exercise and keep a distance from others.

I’ve been rediscovering old fave recording artists from the past, but who, it seems are still truckin’. This morning I found a UTube featuring new recordings by Leon Redbone who’s voice and songs I love.

This is a good time to watch old favorite movies, taking up an instrument, a new language, a class on something obscure that’s totally out of your comfort zone, sorting through things you’ve saved for years to see if they’re still relevant, are just a few suggestions. Two of my friends watched a how-to video to learn how to cut each other’s hair. They did such a good job that they decided they could save a fortune going forward.

Cooking seems to be a biggie. My friend Liz baked cookies to deliver to friends and neighbors. My daughter Robby and her friends are sewing masks from Lilly Pulitzer fabrics for neighbors and friends. One woman in town sewed several dozen colorful asks, put them in plastic baggies, hung them on a clothesline between two trees in front of her house with a big sign encouraging passers by to “Take One”. I gave Robby a stack of our Nantucket Names fabric that my husband designed for the pillows we carried in my store to give to the workers in Nantucket Cottage Hospital. So far we have no Corona virus patients in our hospital. Let me know what you’ve been doing. Stay healthy.