A Few Happy Things That Happened

WESTMINSTER, Mass.—These kids have been busy. Madilyn 10, Olivia 9, Cameron 7, Jack 4, are siblings who have been making greeting cards for elderly people in nursing homes that are restricting visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The kids are crafting handwritten letters with lots of artwork and sending them all over Massachusetts.

One of Madilyn’s letters reads: “…To cheer you up I have decided to write this to make you happy. Another thing that could make you happy is reading. I hope this makes your day.”

If that doesn’t melt your heart you’re living in a GE refrigerator.

And these children are just getting started. Their mother says, “As long as we have more paper, we’ll keep doing them.”

ROCK ISLAND, Ill.—Saint Anthony’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is asking for kids to send them cute letters, too. They simply don’t see why elderly folks in Massachusetts should get all the dang luck.

Please send your cards to them ℅ Saint Anthony’s, 767 30th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201.

Thank you.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— This week, Lydia’s family has started taking road trips. Not big ones. Little ones. This is how they are dealing with being quarantined.

“I don’t think being inside too long is healthy,” says Lydia. “I don’t want my kids being afraid of the world. Getting outside to look around, seeing stuff, you know, it helps.”

So Lydia and her husband, Rob, have been cramming their kids into the minivan. Rob drives, Lydia sits in the passenger seat, using her phone to look up roadside attractions like parks, historic landmarks, you name it.

“It’s fun,” says Lydia. “We spent four hours in the car yesterday. It was like a vacation, and it didn’t cost a thing. I think my husband really enjoyed it, too.”

Yesterday, Rob took them all southward to Lynchburg, Tennessee. They stopped at a cemetery to visit the gravesite of Jack Daniels, the American whiskey distiller. When Lydia asked Rob why they were visiting this gravesite, he answered, “Because my dad always said that when he was raising me and my four brothers, Jack helped him do it.”

SAYREVILLE, N.J.—The Sayreville Police Department is in the food delivery business. They have been taking groceries to elderly people who are staying inside their homes.

“It’s scary for them to even come out of the house,” Lt. James Novak said. “We saw the issue and we worked with some local food pantries and just said ‘Hey, how can we help?’”

People have been eating well because of the Sayreville police. And all I can say is, I hope they handle grocery runs a lot better than I do when my wife sends me to the store. Because my wife swears that I have never bought every item on her grocery list.

“How is it possible?” my wife is always saying. “How can you ALWAYS forget my two-percent milk, but you never seem to forget beer?”

ATLANTA—One of the best baseball players in the world, maybe of the entire modern era—even Hank Aarron practically said so—has donated big money to charity.

Freddie Freeman gave $125,000 to three Atlanta charities to help aid those affected by the coronavirus epidemic. His donation to the Atlanta Food Bank will cover 200,000 meals, feeding a lot of kids who depend on school cafeteria meals to keep from starving.

The Atlanta Braves also announced on Tuesday that they would be donating a shipload of money, in concert with 30 Major League Baseball teams, to assist ballpark employees affected by the delayed baseball season.

God, I miss baseball.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Twelve-year-old Mark took up playing guitar this week. His mother, Carolyn, had an old guitar in the basement. So Carolyn thought, “Hey, why not teach my son to play?”

Mark and his mother have been using online videos to learn. His mother is rusty, but she’s been re-learning along with Mark.

“My hands really hurt,” said Carolyn. “Getting old sucks.”

They have practiced for many hours and have learned how to play “Hang on Sloopy,” which happens to be the official state rock song of Ohio, where Carolyn’s family is from.

As it happens, I did not know U.S. states had official rock songs. Apparently, not all states do. For example, I just looked up Florida’s rock song and we don’t have one. So I am hereby starting a petition for Florida’s state rock song to be, “Polk Salad Annie” by Tony Joe White. Because there is a line in this song in which White sings, “Gator got your granny.” If you agree, please write to your Florida congresspersons today.

But getting back to Carolyn, she tells me that she and her son are working on a few duets, and if they can play them well enough, Carolyn is going to buy a second guitar for herself. An electric one. With a loud amplifier.

“I’m moving out,” said Carolyn’s husband.

Anyway, I should stop writing since I am almost out of space. Besides, I have a few important things I need to do today. Namely, I need to go outside and enjoy the sunlight. I need to remind myself that this world is not exploding, and that people are beautiful. I need to remember that no matter what happens, I firmly believe, even though I don’t always act like it, that everything is going to be okay.

Then I need to write some letters to a nursing home in Rock Island, Illinois.


  1. Rosemary McKnight - March 20, 2020 10:51 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing these stories of the good that is going on across our nation. Keep sharing!!! We need this.

  2. Lloyd - March 20, 2020 11:32 am

    So thankful for you daily dose of Good.

  3. Steve Love - March 20, 2020 12:17 pm

    Thanks for your morning comments and a positive outlook on this beautiful world. I sent your letter writing idea to the grand kids. Maybe it will catch on!

  4. June Gibson - March 20, 2020 12:51 pm

    You bring a bright light into a world of fear each time you write a column. You can make anything bearable with your words. You make us smile each day, and in these times, that’s almost a miracle. Thank you.

  5. fannieinez - March 20, 2020 1:01 pm

    Sean, your column today has proved two things..there are wonderfully good people in this world and you can’t drink coffee and cry happy tears at the same time. God bless you and this world full of good-hearted people.

  6. Edna Barron - March 20, 2020 1:15 pm

    The positive side to this crisis is how Americans help each other. You be safe and have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  7. Jeri - March 20, 2020 1:18 pm

    Believe we will take flowers to a local nursing home and contact our state legislators about the needed state rock song.

  8. Ann - March 20, 2020 1:32 pm

    Thanks for showing that people DO shine

  9. Margaret H Crowder - March 20, 2020 2:27 pm

    Ken Burns show “Baseball” free – https://www.pbs.org/show/baseball/?fbclid=IwAR145ilFH0ydRwGM3ZXQX9FONn9uVCnw8NBiUM8GgIJHf9WUfx6Ub9Nudzw

  10. Susan Johnston - March 20, 2020 2:43 pm

    You are a blessing to so many. Thank you for seeing the positives this life has to offer.

  11. Anne - March 20, 2020 6:29 pm

    Sean I loved reading all the generous things people are doing! As far as FL not having a state rock song, you might have to check with Louisianna before you try and take Polk Salad Annie, since that’s where the lyrics refer to! And we all know they rival FL in the gator count. Maybe you could think of a rock somg about hurricanes…that would certainly fit the bill!
    Thanks for your uplifting sharings.
    I lived near the Atlantic & made it through all the hurricanes in FL 2004-2014)🤪 Anne

  12. Linda Moon - March 20, 2020 6:38 pm

    Here’s my list of a few happy things that happened just today: *running into a former co-worker at The Pig who is also the mom of one of my former students *meeting some ladies from Colorado while they’re here in the South *the pet store had my kitties’ favorite food in stock *being reminded of my big yellow bear, Sloop, who I named Sloop long before the “Sloopy” song came out *my husband’s carburater finally got fixed *reading this entire post, Sean of the South!

  13. Marci - March 20, 2020 9:01 pm

    Speaking of good deeds, several well known comedians are performing in an on line show to raise money for the employees of Zanies in Nashville and Stand Up Live in Huntsville, AL. You can go to their website for details, but the show will air at 7:00 central time.

  14. AlaRedClayGirl - March 20, 2020 11:51 pm

    If Alabama doesn’t have an official rock song, obviously, it should be “Sweet Home Alabama”

  15. Nancy M and Woody the cat trying his best to distract me - March 21, 2020 4:02 am

    I love your happy stories! When I went grocery shopping earlier this week, they were out of many things. That can be your excuse for now.

  16. Bill in the Panhandle - March 21, 2020 6:25 pm

    I want to nominate Jimmy Buffet’s “It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere” as the Florida State Rock Song. Remember we have two time zones which bedevils the talking heads during elections.We Trailer Sailors (Sailboats that are normally trailered) already require at least one CD on board. And it’s the theme song for us BEER (Backwater Beer Environmental Rendezvous) participants (well I use to be), that get together for a weekend plus in Pensacola and sail our small boats to Navarre and/or Gulf Shores, drink lots of beer, fellowship and singing and show off our little boats (mostly 25′ and under)
    Anyway we would have a head start on the State Song.

  17. Anne Godwin - March 21, 2020 10:22 pm

    Thanks, Sean, just yesterday, I pointed to the poke salad growing in our yard. Told my husband we’ve got planty to eat! Arond the corner, I spotted some plantain. We’re good! Stay safe…


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