Patricia Hall -- Use this one

Patricia Hall

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Well, “here” we are, in places no one could have imagined as little as three weeks ago, a shutdown of our country. But, how do we live in the “here,” and that is what I have been thinking about a lot.  Many of us are at home with children or without and that seems strange to our very social natures. Feeling a little but stranded.

I have been talking to my older grandchildren. We discussed how they will remember this time and tell about it to their children and grandchildren. For that reason alone, we need to make it worth the telling. If it is all consumed in sleeping late, watching T.V. or playing video games, it won’t be worth the air used to say the words.

As we talked, we began to develop some ideas.

They are making a mobile of 1,000 origami cranes, which means they will each have to do 10 a day.  I requested that for one each day they select a person to pray for and write that name on the paper before the folding begins. Another idea was to read a classic book aloud to each other and make a music video.

You can see they are far more creative than I am because I decided to paint a section of our fence that faces our neighbor. Somewhere on it, in small letters, I will write Corona (not the beer) 2020 and call it a memorial. They requested that I write some family stories and I want to make a simple cross stitch to remember the time.

Our daughter-in-law, Sol, who is like all our daughters, unexpectedly home teaching her two Bishop McHugh students while keeping an active two-year-old  entertained, has been in touch with her friends in Austin, Texas.  They have a community blog, sharing ideas for children’s activities and how to help each other with outside errands. Dropping items outside the door like the UPS man keeps them safely quarantined. She suggested a clearing house of ideas, websites for children’s learnings and ways to help each other out as we are isolated. So here is a way we, at the Herald, can be a part of that: Let's call it: “HELP STAMP OUT CABIN FEVER.”

One part might be called, “THINGS TO DO;” another, “HI NEIGHBOR,” and filled with ideas to stave off total isolation:


1.   Take children out for neighborhood scavenger hunts

2.   Collect trash on your street wearing protective gloves

3.   Read a classic book aloud

4.   Learn origami

5.   Make music video with your kids

6.   Let your children plan a meal and help prepare it

7.   Have a vitamin D party outside with a welcome springtime theme

8.   Mo Willems Author, author of Knuffle Bunny, on YouTube and join his doodling sessions made each day during the shut down

9.   Watch our Cape May County Zoo’s virtual zoo tour

10. Check out Instagram’s Scholastic Learning at Home, Ted Ed, Brain Pop, Quizlet, Khan Academy and PBS Learningmedia


1.   Check on elderly neighbors by phone

2.   Take turns making a dash to the grocery store for everyone on your block

3.   Take a Herald to those who don’t read it on line

4.   Drop a surprise cup of coffee and donut at the door of someone you are thinking of

5.   Send cards to residents of assisted living facilities while no visitors are allowed.

Please share your own ideas to the above by posting them to Spout Off, or to the Herald Facebook page; the more local the better.