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.
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.