These boots are made for–staying home?

I had a research trip planned.

Doing research trips is new to me. I mostly have always done my research with John Wayne movies. Louis L’Amour books.

I operate on the theory that if John Wayne says it, and Louis L’Amour says it, then if they are wrong and I say something different…no one’s gonna believe me anyway.

So I accept that the ‘truth is out there’ whether it’s the truth or not, and honestly that’s a real easy way to research a book.

But the last three book series (you understand I’m on book 65 right now–so the last three series is nine books and that’s not a big chunk)…anyway, the last three book series, I’ve visited the places I’m writing about.

And oops, I take that back because the THIRD series is the one I’m writing now. And I was going out to Casper Wyoming, head along the Oregon Trail, you know…like being on a wagon train only with four lane interstates, hotels and fast food stops with clean restrooms. Not exactly that rugged pioneer spirit my ancestors have but still…we (my cowboy and I) were going.

And then the world closed down.

A very strange, upsetting and sad business this self-quarantining.

I’m frowning as I type. We’ll get through it. This might change the world in harsh ways and wonderful ways. We may face financial hardship and we may rediscover our homes and families.

So my boots, that were made for walkin’ on my research trip are instead, sitting parked in my bedroom. In fact, I went to the grocery store yesterday…I live in a small town, no cases of this mad virus anywhere (no known cases). So going to the grocery store isn’t particularly worrisome. The shelves are even fully stocked.

In fact, though I have plenty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer on hand, I feel an almost compulsive impulse to buy more of them. But they are there, on the shelves, so I controlled myself.

So I went to get ready to go to town and I realized…I couldn’t remember the last time I’d put boots on. Yes, I own and wear boots. I couldn’t remember the last time I hitched up the team. (okay, I mean started the car, but you get the drift).

I have discovered within myself an inner hermit. A recluse. A happy loner.

I’m a little worried that when we can wander far and wide again I’ll have to force myself to move.

I’m so sorry for all the worry and stress everywhere. My mom is in a nursing home and I see her three times a week. I haven’t seen her for nearly three weeks. Phone calls aren’t the same. She’s 91 years old, coming up on 92 and I feel like she’d failed a little since she can’t have company. Not a good situation.

Anyway, stay home if you can.

Whether you can or not, God bless you and keep you.

God bless America.

God bless the whole world.

Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a signed copy of two books TWO books, ONE winner. Books one and two of the Brides of Hope Mountain series. Aiming for Love and Woman of Sunlight. Tell me what you’re doing. Are you staying in? Do you have a job that forces you to get out? Leave a comment and maybe win a book.

Let’s talk through the safety of the internet. 

http://www.maryconnealy.com

 

 

Mary Connealy
Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series
https://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules
Updated: March 26, 2020 — 5:09 pm

150 Comments

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  1. Yes, I’m staying in except to occasionally go to the supermarket. We’re under lockdown here in San Diego, CA where everything is closed except banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, and hardware stores since there are confirmed cases of the coronavirus here. Restaurants that offer take-out food are still open but with no dining service allowed. I’m also working from home, and also catching up on some reading.

    1. This is me, Diana. I’ve gone out a few times. There are, to my knowledge, zero coronavirus cases anywhere near me. But still, I’m staying home.

      1. Stuck in the NICU these last 11 weeks with my 23 weeker. Reading has been a great escape!

        1. Oh, my goodness! You’re little one has been in the NICU half of his/her little life? I do pray all goes well, and yes, keep reading!

    2. I’ve read most of your books and really love them, would love to win these two books as I’ve been wanting to buy them. We are staying in mostly too.

      1. Lisa, thanks for stopping in. And thank you for the kind words about my books. You’re in the drawing!

    3. I am staying home with my two adult daughters and my husband who is still working. Last night he moved to our camper since 2-3 of his coworkers are sick and unsure of what it is. I have an autoimmune disorder so he is trying to keep me well. He’s my hero, but I miss him!

      1. A true hero! I’m glad he’s still working, though, and your two daughters can keep you company while he’s close . . . but still so far! There’s always a bright side, but we have to look hard for it sometimes!

        Stay healthy!

  2. I am trying to stay in as requested by our county but I do have to babysit my grandson so my daughter and son-in-law can work. Both have jobs considered essential. My daughter works at the VA as an RD and my SIL as a tow truck operator. I worry so much about them.

    1. Debra, God bless them. I’ve got a sister who’s a dietician at the VA and she has to go in. Of course, I go nowhere near her. 🙂

      1. I am staying in. I had foot surgery 2 weeks ago, so I had to go have my stitches out yesterday. I can’t drive or walk so I’m sitting here reading lots. Also binge watching Disney plus with the kids. Stay safe.

        1. Bobbi, I’ve never had foot surgery or broken a leg, and even though either would be really restrictive, being forced to sit and read/watch TV is sometimes tempting!

          It sounds like you are not sitting alone, so that’s a positive thing. Hang in there and stay healthy!

  3. I am staying in and reading except for my morning walk. No know virus cases in my county yet.

    1. Good for you, Estella. Including good for you with the walking!

  4. I’m staying and thank goodness for books or id be CRAZY by now.

    1. Books! The Superman of the coronavirus! Here they come to save the day!

    2. I wonder how many TBR piles are quickly diminishing, Tonya!

  5. Avatar

    Very strange times for sure! Where do you live? I live in a very rural community and our only store is a Family Dollar. No toilet paper, no canned goods, no boxed pasta, no bread… if you watch for a truck you might get some of these items. I hope we get back to our old norm which could be quite some time away.

    1. Stephanie we live outside a tiny town. The nearest two Dollar Generals do seem to have stripped toilet paper shelves. Very weird. No canned goods and boxed pasta? Really?
      I do know I bought the last bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at my store the other day.
      I hope normal comes back soon, too. The truckers are heroes! They are keeping this country alive right now.

  6. Mostly staying in except for the days I have to go physical therapy

    1. Glenda, I’m glad they let you come in. So many treatments require interaction with a hospital. My mom has a regular appointment with a wound care doctor and she’d having to skip that. So she has a daily bandaging treatment and that’s going on. Still, I hope it doesn’t get worse while they’re trying to protect her!

  7. I am a bank Teller so I have to be to work 6 days a week . I sanitized my hands so much but I feel it’s not enough . I’m sorry your mother is in a nursing home in this difficult time . I just heard on news of an organization buy I Pads to donate to nursing homes so staff can help you FaceTime your loved ones !! When I am home I’m a avid reader , I usually have 2 books going at once ? I read paperback at lunch/ breaks and my kindle at home .Stay Safe , Stay home if you can .. GOD BLESS??

    1. Rose Ann, I think our bank is closed except for an automated teller window. It seems like they will let you in, if you call and ask. But that front door is locked.
      My mom has an iPad and her aid did come in one day and help her Facetime a couple of her TWENTY-EIGHT grandkids, or EIGHT kids.
      But she’s had it a long time and she just can’t seem to get on to it.

  8. I am staying in. Thankfully, my daughter and her family are a mile from us one direction and my dad is a mile the other direction. We see each other but no getting out otherwise.

    1. Melanie, it’s so nice to have family close. My kids are an hour away and we see them often but not recently.
      🙁

  9. I am mostly staying home have went to the grocery one time. The problem I have now is that husband works a Walmart and can’t get off. He has diabetes and I have COPD so I worry all the time that he will bring it in. We are both over sixty. Because of this Walmart was the only place that would hire him after Caterpillar closed here. So he is around people all the time and they can’t keep the shelves stock at Walmart because they sell out everything as quick as they get it on the shelves. Its a scary world out there today.

    1. So weird the way the shelves get stripped. You know, once this is over, people are going to look at their pantries and realize they don’t have to go shopping again for a YEAR!

  10. Im sorry about you and your mom. I totally get it. My mother in law lives 15 minutes away in a retirement home. And my husband is care giver. Her place is under total lock down. Now one in, no residents out. Unless they want to stay in their rooms for two weeks afterwards. So a lot of phone calls back and forth. A lot of dr appt. cancel and rescheduled, etc. And your right, talking on the phone is just not the same. This is how he takes care of her. Oh and he can drop things off at the front door and they are taken to her. Sigh. As the good Lord says, This too will pass.
    I just learned that I won the book: Woman of Sunlight from Goodreads WOOHOO
    I would love to read the series and will work on it slowly.
    Thank you for coming today and sharing.

    1. Hey, Lori! I’m glad you won!
      We are the sandwich generation.
      I’ve got Mom in the nursing home and a new grandbaby I can’t go see.
      It’s weird because we feel so much pressure when we are caring for the older and younger generation. And now that we can’t…we feel pressure over that!

      Might be we should let up on the pressure on ourselves.

      1. I agree. God does not want us to pressure ourselves. Because He knows that when something puts pressure on us (weather our selves or other) and we go to Him we will feel the peace only He can give us. Always look up and feel the blessings.

        1. This is wise enough to be a daily devotional, Lori. Thank you for it.

  11. I am finishing the last book of the Cimarron Legacy. Loving Cole and Mel’s story. Mel’s boots definitely kept her going strong. What a woman! I am staying home watching winter turn very slowly to spring. Yay! Praying ?? for our amazing country as we forge through this time of uncertainty. Missing my grandkids like crazy. I agree, God bless America … and keep Her strong. Blessings on your day Mary. I can’t imagine how your heart strings are being pulled not to visit and love on your dear mom. So hard.

    1. Ah, the Cimarron Legacy series. I loved that one. And Cole and Mel, the tough, feisty lady rancher and the city slicker.

  12. Mary, an excellent blog as usual. I’m not an anxious person but I have a knot as big as Texas in my stomach and it’s not going away. I’m not an extrovert at all but now all I want is to be with someone face to face. This feeling of aloneness doesn’t go away either. It’s okay if I choose to be alone but this forced kind is like being in a prison. I pray it’s over soon for everyone’s sake. Can I borrow a roll of toilet paper? I don’t have a Montgomery Ward catalog.

    1. We’re actually set for toilet paper, Linda. If things get SERIOUS send me your mailing address.

  13. Day 4 of working from home. Too many distractions and hubs thinks I am a short order cook!! Thanks

    1. LOL, oh, Teresa, my son in law is working from home and he spends tons of time on the phone. Meanwhile his four year old daughter stands outside his ‘office’ door (the spare bedroom) pounding on the door yelling, “Daddy let me in!”
      While my daughter tries to drag her away while juggling her wiggly 16 month old.

  14. I’ve been staying home as recommended. Thankfully this quarantine has forced me to read books on my shelves I’ve never read before, enjoy outdoor time more, and to buckle down and work on the church Christmas play for this year. I don’t like staying home all the time, but good always comes out of hard things!

    1. Elizabeth! I used to do our church Sunday School Christmas program! I wrote it, directed it, made the costumes, bought candy to give out to the kids. Remember those small paperbags with nuts still in the shell, and hard ribbony candies and an orange or apple?
      I made those for years.

  15. Avatar

    I stay at home with my husband. He has breathing problems. We shop as we usually do. No binge shopping. My mom who has diabetes had the flu a little while ago just as the madness was rolling in. I worry about her every day. I am really close to her and I miss her. I worry about my children and grandchildren. I have 3 children and 10 stepchildren and 28 grandchildren. Its killing me not to be able to see them. Stay safe and thank you for sharing your time with us all.

    1. Charlene one of my sons in law is a doctor. My daughter says they have to assume everyday he could be bringing it home. He’s careful, gloves, paper coats, face masks, but still………in fact, my daughter wonders if she and her kids might’ve had it already. Mild colds they all had. Who can say? Her husband won’t order a test for them. She said if she KNEW she’d had it, then she’d FREE. She and the kids could run around again if they’d had it and are recovered. Of course, free to do what? Everything’s closed.

  16. Love, love your books! Wish I had $ to get them all! Hello from South Dakota! I’d be happy reading your latest so I have my hand up waving from the back of the….um…..uh house….I know, it funny! But hey one can try.

    1. Linda, LOL I can picture you. I’ve now got a mental class room and an enthusiastic student in the back. Except, c’mon, Linda. You’d sit up front if I was teaching, right?

  17. I’m praying for you and your mom. This situation is definitely difficult. We are staying in. My second grader’s school will begin again Monday via workbooks and online video chats with his teacher. It’s certainly going to be an adjustment. My husband is a doctor so the risk of him bringing the virus home is forcing him to stay in one part of the house and the kids and me in another. My littles just don’t understand why they have to stay away from Daddy, which is the worst. I have a new respect for single parents. And even though our parents live nearby, we can’t see them because it’s just too dangerous. I’m so thankful for FaceTime calls and cell phone cameras! And for my Kindle! I pray God will end this soon and protect us all in the meantime.

    1. Thanks for the prayers Christy!
      I get the doctor risk! Bless him for his care for others. My son-in-law is a doctor and the whole family wonders if they’ve had it. Weird mild cold-like illness went through all of them…..except him!

  18. I really could use the books since our library is closed.

    1. Hi Sue. You’re in. My library, if you phone, will meet you at the door with books. So they are staffed but you can’t come in. That doesn’t work that well for me because I’m a browser!!
      I said that to the librarian and she said, “How about you let me pick books for you. I know what you like.” LOL

      1. I’m a preschool teacher and have one week of virtual learning done! Thank goodness for Zoom. I’m a book lover and have been using this time to reread some of my favorites 🙂

        1. My grandkids are e-learning with Zoom, too. Before all this, I’d never heard of it, now I’ve signed up for it and keep in touch with my family and critique group. What a great learning and social tool during these times!

  19. Thank goodness for good books and online streaming church services!

    We are staying home. My husband is in his 80’s and I am in my mid-60’s and we both have slight underlying issues. We just aren’t taking chances. Our area has several cases and the hospitals are starting to fill up. I am thankful for order-online and pick up in parking lot groceries, as well as delivery groceries. Taking walks around the neighborhood are about the only “outside” we are doing, but yard work will be calling soon.

    My recently widowed mother lives over 4 hours away. She is in good health, but we can’t get away to visit. This is the hardest part for me.

    1. It’s strange how easy it’s been for so many of my family and friends to work from home, order grocery pick-up, cut out all activities including school. Strange to think how much running we do that’s not necessary.
      My daughter’s school is closed, probably for the rest of the year. I asked her if they’ll graduate. She said the school said something like (reading between the lines) “The last quarter of the school year isn’t that important.”
      She thought, “They why are you making us go to school from August through May. Shorten the year if you’re not teaching them anything!”

  20. I work from home, so this is nothing new to me. I’m home more than anywhere else. I’m the one that does all of the shopping, etc., so I have been out to the grocery store, and a few other errands. We aren’t being told we have to stay home yet, but a lot of stores are closed to prevent spreading things around. I really don’t see a difference in how much I’m home now vs before, but I do know I’ve not stocked up on things like a lot of other people have!! I love your books!

    1. Trudy! Your life hasn’t changed (much)! That’s nice!

  21. I am a real estate appraiser. The interest rates are really low, so I am working and super busy – PTL!! But, not too busy to read great books. I have read both of the Brides of Hope books and ready for book 3 – time to get sister out of the cave and get her a man!

    1. Lisa, I just read an article about Omaha (an hour from me with a red hot housing market) and they said houses are still selling fast! I hope that means many people are expecting to stay prosperous!

  22. I’m working from home these days and busier than ever trying to figure out how to do my job online. Blessedly, my kids are 11 and 14 now so they don’t need mom every minute of the day. It’s spring break this week and next so I don’t have to worry about making sure schoolwork gets done, which is a relief right now. It’s amazing, though, how much more groceries I need now that they aren’t buying school lunches and have all day to snack!

    1. My daughter has three much younger children. School age except for her 5 year old. She’s doing the full Homeschool thing in conjunction with their school.
      I’m not sure how it’d going. She’s lapsed into some kind of catatonic state and is no longer able to…phone me?

  23. We live in a small-ish town, and the virus has hit the nursing home here. They are totally locked down. We are a farming town (mostly dairy and berries). A local blogger (Farmer Girl) brought a newborn Jersey calf to the outside of the nursing home so all the residents had a little something to look at through the windows. They loved it! It was such a simple thing, but it was so appreciated! I love seeing the creative ways people are reaching out during this whole weird ordeal. 🙂

    1. Rosanne, I’ve wondered if I could go to the nursing home and sit outside and maybe…talk to mom on the phone through a window. The weather’s lousy though so it’d be hard to stay out long. If it would just warm up a LITTLE!!!

      1. Mary, I think you should. Talk and wave to her through the window. Blow kisses.

  24. We are staying in and the guys (hubby & older son) are working from home. My younger son will probably start his college classes remotely sometime next week. I thought I would get MORE reading done but it’s actually been less reading because all of this news is so distracting and distressing.

    1. Hi Perrianne, I love your name. That’s very unusual. I have to limit my newscast watching. It gets so depressing and honestly, they repeat everything over and over. If you can, taking a walk helps. The other day I just sat outside and the sun on my face really felt so good. We have get through this the best we can. Find what works.

  25. Unfortunately, I still have to go to work. But I’m trying to not let all of this craziness bring me down.

    1. Hi Kimberly, I’m so happy you came by. Work can help take your mind off everything unless you’re a health care worker. Then I see no escaping it. Little things seem to help. Phone calls, emails, skype, walks outside. Maybe you read a book. Whatever you choose to do, practice the safeguards that will protect you.

  26. My state’s “stay at home” order starts today, but I began to scale back shopping trips and errands mid-March when schools were told to to close and transition to remote learning. When I need a book that will satisfy story-wise as well as make me smile and giggle, I can count on yours, Mary!

    1. Hi Roxanne, thanks for coming over. We’re all in this together and no one person has all the answers. I agree about Mary’s books. They are so positive and funny and uplifting. Whatever makes you laugh I say go for it. There’s never enough laughter. Good luck on helping the kids. This is so scary for them.

  27. The stores are mobbed, schools, libraries etc. have been closed for weeks and now schools will remain closed for the rest of this year. I have been looking after my 2 grandsons 6, & 8 for weeks now alone daily from 8-5, doing schoolwork, reading,, t.v. games etc. I am 72 and need the strength to get through this onslaught.

    1. Hi Ellie, oh my goodness! Taking care of kids is rough at any age, but especially at 72. We just don’t have the strength and stamina we once had. I’ll keep you in my prayers. We’ll get through this eventually.

    2. Ellie, wow, usually they go to school right? Now they are all yours. Hang on tight!!!

  28. I walk daily but avoid the stores. As it is everything here is closed except for grocery stores, pharmacies etc. I feel so badly for the businesses and the children not having school.

    1. Hi Pearl, walking is so good for you. I see people walking everywhere. This may permanently change how we live. I pray you manage through this scary time. Cling to hope and prayer.

  29. From Pa live in a small town first case of covid-19 reported yesterday in my county. I work at a Dr.’s office so still going to work. All restaurants are take out only, shopping centers closed except grocery store and pharmacies. Eggs and bread are hard to find and you are limited to only one. No handsantitizer or Clorox wipes to be found in stores. Many of the churches are closed, but mine in still open for worship. My daughter is adjusting to online college classes.

    1. Hi Renea, please be safe there at work and take every precaution. This is such a crazy, scary time for all of us. We had our first here a week ago. So sad. This is changing our whole world. One thing that is not changing is books. We can still read and immerse ourselves in make believe worlds and escape our problems for a while. Cling to hope and pray this is all over soon.

    2. Renea, our church (oddly) has three big bottles of hand sanitizer. I think it’s because of the hand-shaking/greeting time. They’re just sitting around and rarely get used.
      Because I can find NO HANDSANITIZER (for heaven’s sakes I just wash my hands) but I had a mental image of myself sneaking into my church with a small bottle and pumping the church’s hand sanitizer into mine and running.

      And that’s when I knew I was losing my mind.

  30. We have 21 cases so far (no deaths) in our county. We are not on quarantine yet, but I think it’s coming. Everything is closed except for groceries and they are hard to come by. I’ve done one quick trip to Walmart using the pickup, but all I got was cat food and drinks. I’m going to have to venture out soon for more, but am not looking forward to it.

    I was thinking last night this is one of those cases where it scares you to read the news, yet you need to know what you are supposed to be doing.

    1. Hi Linda Orr, I totally understand. I’m afraid to go out too and I have to limit myself to one hour day watching news. We had our first death here a few days ago and that’s compounded all the fear and anxiety. Try to find something that lifts your spirits and gives you hope. I pray this is over soon.

  31. I’m a librarian and and we had to close the library until at least sometime in April, so I am home, surviving mainly off of audio books, puzzles, and quilting projects. I am so very thankful for online resources so I can still get my book fix in. 🙂

    1. I’m crazy dependent on my computer/internet/tv, Ashley. I’d be in BIG TROUBLE without it.

  32. I am so sorry you can’t get in to see your mother. I think not being able to be with loved ones, especially the elderly (I need to be careful with that phrase since I am in my early 70’s) is the most distressing. The news of those who have family members in the hospital dying and not being able to be with them to say goodby is heartbreaking for all of them. We volunteer with a VA program, No Vet Dies Alone, because we believe that it is important to have someone with you to hold your hand at the end. These are in most cases strangers, but a connection is still there. For obvious reasons, that program was shut down. All the volunteer things that keep us on the go with veteran activities, Red Cross and others have been terminated. There are still a few meetings, but they are conference calls.
    My husband has been working in the vegetable garden. We already have asparagus coming up and he picked rhubarb and kale today. The weather has been so crazy all are at least a month early. I am trying to get the clutter and chaos that is our house organized and start spring cleaning. So far, I haven’t gotten very far. I have only managed to read one book an old, 1972, Harlequin. Good heavens, how times and writing styles changed. It took me a while to get through the less than 200 pages.
    I am calling my daughter who is in Chapel Hill, NC (we are in TN) or checking in on her on facebook. She is in her last semester of law school and dealing with big disappointments since graduation has been canceled. Her 8 year old is upset because she misses her friends and may not see them again. Our son-in-law has serious medical issues but still needs to go out and work. We miss them and we can’t visit each other. Our other daughter and her family lives nearby, but she is a postal clerk and is around other people every day without any protection. We say HI on the phone or from a distance. Our son and his family also live nearby and since he works construction, etc. on his own has been able to stay away from people.
    As with everyone else we worry about family members, hoping they can stay safe and healthy. We hope you and everyone do the same.

    1. Patricia, It’s sad to think of people dying alone. 🙁 I saw my daffodils are up. And it’s really late for that. I haven’t looked at the asparagus. I wonder if there’s any out there?

  33. I’m going a bit stir crazy, lol! Two weeks of not going much of anywhere except for the rare grocery store run makes one a bit cuckoo. I’m normally one to love staying home, but now that we are under the stay-at-home order I don’t like it.

    I’m a substitute lunch lady, but of course am not working right now. My husband works at a resort hotel and as of last week, Oregon shut down all hotels. He applied as a temporary sanitation tech for the bus company and got hired. We’re praising the Lord for something anyway.

    I read for relaxation and to escape all the craziness in the world. I thought I’d get more reading time in, but find myself doing other things around the house. I wished now that I would have kept all my jigsaw puzzles that I gave away.

    Anyway, just trying to keep from going insane is a 24 hour job around here. ?? Thank you for the giveaway chance, Mary. Your books are a great escape from reality!

    1. Trixi, I hope it lets up soon! 🙁

    2. Trixi, we have to look for the bright spots and find ways to keep our spirits up. I’m a horrible introvert but I feel this crazy need to be out of here. I view my home as a jail these days and I hate that. Try to find things that help you keep your sanity.

  34. It is shocking that I am having such a hard time with this! I like my space, I love to read, knit sew…all solitary pursuits but here I am lonely and wanting to talk to someone other than myself. My children call, I have little to say. But I remember that I have food, clothing, shelter and so much more than many. I thank God, Jesus the Redeemer, and the Spirit who comforts me…I am rich indeed. Love your stories

    1. Do you have a neighbor you can meet in the park? Sit six feet apart?

    2. Wouldn’t it be weird if the jigsaw puzzles where one of the things Walmart had a run on?

  35. Starting chemo Monday so I’ve been juggling appointments and lab tests. Reading has been a great escape. Watching funny movies and reading happy books like yours. They always make me laugh. Blessings. Take care.

    1. Nancy, I’m so sorry about the chemo. God bless you.

  36. I’ve been home. Cleaning, organizing, a little baking, and a lot of reading ?. I tend to be a home body anyway, combined with the fact the weathers getting nicer and I can go outside so some too, so this hasn’t been terrible for me. I agree that it maybe harder for me to get moving again once things are normal.

    1. Hi Rachael, I’m glad you’re keeping your spirits up. We have to have hope or we’re sunk. Sending love and hugs your way.

  37. Mary, my Iowa map says Sioux City has some, so not TOO far from you! We have a few in our county. I have been wanting to ask you how it feels to write about quarantines just before they hit??!! ‘Aiming For Love’? I saved it to read on our vacation (which we sneaked onto the calendar just before the virus came loose) so it was pretty darned timely, albeit eerie timing!! Stay well. Sometimes hibernation is good for us 🙂

    1. Hi, Karen! I just saw that on the John’s Hopkins coronavirus map!!! There’s one in Monona County, too. That’s ONAWA! You know you’re right about that book. My sisters in that series were/are in a ten plus year quarantine.

  38. Staying in. I have asthma and am at risk.

    1. Denise, good for you. I keep hearing ‘underlying conditions’. I suppose I might qualify. I’m for sure old.

  39. I love this series! I’m staying home, reading. Nothing better to do for now!

    1. Paula, Mary’s series are so good. No one is better at humor than she is. She keeps me in stitches. Stay healthy and positive. This will eventually be over.

  40. Staying in. We are sheltered at this time. However, I am enjoying staying in. More time to read and get other things done. I am an introvert so it does not bother me to stay home.

    1. Mary B…more time to read. Atta girl!

  41. I’m mostly staying in. If the weather is good, I might go out and ride by bicycle (I can’t believe most of the snow and ice has melted away so early) and go to the post office to get a couple of packages, but that’s about it. I don’t even have to go to a shop or a supermarket if I don’t want to. I can just make an order and get everything delivered at home.

    1. Hi Minna, I wondered how things were there. You sound in better shape than we are. Find things that keep your spirits up. I sat outside one one of our warm days and feeling the sun on my face really lifted sagging spirits and gave me hope. Love and hugs.

      1. Well, I’m glad I don’t live in Helsinki (or any other part of Uusimaa). Things are a little bit worse there than in my neck of woods -at the moment. http://www.dailyfinland.fi/national/15067/Govt-locks-down-Uusimaa-to-contain-coronavirus

  42. My husband has been home from work for two weeks now because of the virus. We have only left to go get groceries. Other then my kids and their activities, we have always been a family that sticks close to home. Yes, I’m an introvert and have enjoyed being home more, but my kids are starting to miss their friends and activities. I’m praying for y’all and for this mess to pass soon.

    1. Hi Joy, thank you so much for your comment. We have to look for a bright side to all this madness and cling to hope. Walks outside really help. Love and hugs.

  43. I haven’t been out in 2 weeks except for walking around the neighborhood. I live in the Dallas area and there have been about 1800 cases and 300 deaths in our county. I’ve learned to order groceries online for pickup but you have to order days in advance and even then they become out of stock of things on your list by the time the order gets filled. You can’t even order toilet paper and hand sanitizer. You have to go inside to try to get those things….not sure that makes sense if we are supposed to stay away from people. Weird. It’s been difficult to write and so today, after I check email, I’m shutting off my phone and tv. I’m going to just be. I think it will do me a world of good.

    1. Hi Sherrinda, in all this madness that we cannot control, you have the right idea in preserving your sanity. Turn off everything and just be. I think that’s an excellent plan. Sending love and hugs.

    2. Hi, Sherrinda. I left the house on…maybe…Wednesday?
      Is anyone else forgetting what day it is?

  44. My husband is a baliff and cannot work as courts shut down. My oldest daughter works for Scholastic. She can only work if school. No school so no work. She has her own jewelry business. Three events were cancelled so there went another income. My grandson just became a Dad on March 11th. He lost two jobs he worked to provide. Unemployment won’t pay his rent. He worked for two restaurants so hard telling when he can work again. Praise God my youngest daughter already home schooled so granddaughter fine. She left public schools because principal was mean because her daughter got physically sick in social settings. I was praying over my FB friends but gave up and just slept. My grandkids and kids i hate this for. Me I am 70 and this world is not my home. I will get back to praying today and reading Word. I have to walk away when news comes on.

    1. Hi Jane, find comfort where you can in these trying times. It will all end eventually. I’m very hopeful anyway. Blessings

    2. Janet, so much to worry about. My daughter, and 2 sons-in-law are able to work from home. One other daughter on maternity leave. My daughter working from home said she’s shocked how lonely it is. Wake up, go right to work. She says going for a walk helps but the weather is dismal.
      But she feels blessed to be able to work when so many have been laid-off.
      Stressful, weird time.

  45. Nothing much has changed for us since we homeschooled already and hubby already worked from home. Farm chores still need doing and house work still begs to be done. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet and forced rest. I pray the older generation in nursing homes who aren’t getting us visitors will be ok?

    1. Hi Susan, you’re in a lot better shape than city dwellers. That’s good. And who can’t use peace and rest. I, too, worry about the elderly and pray God will watch over them. Blessings to you.

  46. We are staying in although Tom’s job is essential and he has to work. It’s not a problem to stay in cause we are basically homebodies. Stay safe!

    1. Hi Susan, keep hope in your heart and love for others. This storm will pass eventually and things will straighten out.

    2. God bless you, Susan! Stay well!!!

  47. Avatar

    I understand the stress. I’m praying for your mother, Mary. I am teacher’s assistant to special needs 6th, 7th, & 8th graders. We are off school for the rest of the school year, still don’t know for sure if support staff will be paid like the teachers are. We also had to cancel a book signing (it was going to be my husband’s first signing as an author). I also take care of my disabled parents who are high risk. I go to the stores when I have to. I love the fact that this is giving me time to work on my own stories. Enjoying that. And maybe even some sewing on my treadle sewing machine. Now, thanks to sever storms that came through last night, I have fence down…and no idea how to fix it. I mean, I know how to fix and build fence. Done it before. It’s the finances…Yep. I understand the stress. Not looking forward to going back to school in August. Hahaha. Oh, well. One step at a time. God is an awesome provider, and He loves to show off. Can’t wait to see what He does around the corner.

    1. Hi Alanna, loved your comment. That’s so true about our awesome God. He’s got this. Blessings and love.

  48. I don’t mind staying at home. The food bank where I volunteer closed two weeks ago. This has opened up another day to read. Friday’s I still attend a worship/prayer gathering in a friend’s home out of town. I’m loving the light Houston traffic!

    I’m checking on friends through texts and Facebook.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how the Lord will bring blessing out of this. He always turns thing around for His glory and our good. May this event wake-up those who need Him.

    1. Hi Caryl, I think there will be many, many changes to come out of this. We just have to wait and see what miracles He brings. I’m glad you’re coping well.

  49. We are in Omaha and people are doing a fairly good job of staying home. SO many more people outside walking, jogging, kids out playing. That’s nice to see. Love your books Mary ?

    1. That was supposed to be a heart…not a question mark. Sorry.

      1. I appreciate the clarification, Lanett! 🙂

    2. Lanett, I’m really glad to see so many people out walking. There is no better medicine than getting out in the fresh air and sunshine.

  50. I have a child care so I am still working but with fewer kids. The “stay in the house” doesn’t matter too much to me because every spring when everyone else is “going outside and opening windows for fresh air”, I am stuck in the house with windows closed because of my tree allergies. I love reading your books – they always make me feel better.

    1. Hi Linda, Mary’s books always fill my heart with good messages and no one is better at writing humor than she is. No one. I love her books and the positive people and situations that give you hope. Protect yourself and comfort the children. Love and blessings.

  51. Avatar

    I’m retired so staying home as much as possible. I am assisting my 95 yo mother so I do have to go to her place a couple times a week.

    I’m still swimming in a pool every morning early. I’m still walking. I’m doing a lot of reading, looking up recipes, listening to music and visiting my family and friends on Facetime.

    1. I’ve been looking up and trying new recipes too, Laurie! It’s been fun, actually. And yes, Facetime is great to keep up with family and friends! Never used it much before but sure am now!

  52. Mary, staying at home has been so much harder to do than I thought it would be! I am working from home, but felt so disconnected, separated. But the online church services have been helping so much! I was encouraged last Sunday, and it’s gotten even better this week. Things around us are complicated, different, unsure, challenging, but God’s peace has been so great in my heart this week. Love your books, Mary!

    1. Hang in there, Sally! It’s such a tough time for all of us. Thank Heaven we have access to our church services via the internet and streaming! And thank Heaven for books like Mary’s that bring us such joy! I love her books too! I pray others are able to find the same peace of God that you have in your heart. 🙂

      1. Thanks so much, Kit! Yes, it has been wonderful to see the streaming services that are available. And Mary’s books are a huge help as well. They are a life saver!

    2. I watched church online this morning and it was nice. I attend a small church and we don’t do the online thing. But my daughter attends a large Lutheran church in Omaha and it’s just the pastor giving a sermon, no … oh, you know, offering, special requests for prayers, apostle’s creed reading, those kind of things. But the simplicity of the sermon alone is nice.

      1. The online services seems to be more personal for me. I have been getting so much out of them.

  53. I work at a nursing home so I know the struggle of residents not being able to see family right now—we’ve been on lockdown for almost 3 weeks. But we keep family updated through calls and FaceTime/Skype and keep the residents occupied with activities to try to keep life as normal as possible. My boys have been home from school for two weeks and they are a little stir crazy but I’ve let them play outside the last couple days since the weather has finally warmed and that has helped. There are no confirmed cases in my KY county, but there are in surrounding counties. I haven’t seen my parents and sister in two weeks either. Since my dad works at the hospital, we didn’t want to risk mixing any exposure between our two households. My sis is my best friend so it’s been rough. I’m just praying every day for safety.

  54. Staying home mostly but need to go get food this week.

    1. Kim, I went out this morning to the grocery story. It was like an adventure! The town I went to is mostly empty, except for the grocery store and it had quite a few people in it.

  55. I stay home a lot as it is so this is no hardship for me. I have been trying to educate my children on ALTERNATIVES for items and ways of doing things. Basically, teaching them there are new uses for old cannonballs!
    I have been telling them of rationing during WW2 and the depression. I don’t think they learned much about that in their History classes in school. I remember my Grandmother saying they could not get Face Powder or lipstick during the war and that was such an awful thing!
    I applaud those in the medical profession who are working to keep people safe and healthy.

  56. I work from home and I’m able to listen to books while I work. When the books I listen are ones I enjoy, I buy the hard copy to share with my DIL. I very much enjoyed Brides of Hope series so far and have not purchased them yet. Thank you for writing and sharing your books.

    1. I’ll definitely get you in the drawing, Cheryl!!! Thanks so much for sharing books!!!

  57. Things have not really changed much for me/us. My husband and I own a laundromat which is still considered an ‘essential’ business. We are an attended laundromat so I am actually working an extra day right now.

    1. You’re helping keep the world’s clothes clean, Patty! A hero!

  58. I am still working, but down to only 3 days a weeks. However, I feel blessed that I can still work. I have loved being able to catch up on projects, reading my pile of books and spending quality time with my husband and puppies. I do look forward to getting back to road trips most of all. I have enjoyed your books over the years, plus it’s a bonus to support a fellow Cornhusker ?

    1. Ronni!!! GO BIG RED! You’re from Nebraska? Cool.

  59. I live and work at a children’s home, so while I’m going in to work, I’m thankful we’re on a 63-acre ranch with plenty of land to wander. One of my jobs through all of this is to read all of the daily updates to make sure we’re legal and protecting our kiddos and staff through everything. Reading books like yours in the evening have been so wonderful after a day of heaviness and hard news. Thank you!

    1. Erin, I once heard from a reader about a tough death in her family (or something like that, I don’t want to give details). She was asking for a book on mourning, or going through hard times.
      I send her one of my books and she said they took her away from the terrible worry and grief and were better than any book of meditation or scripture. She had plenty of them, too. But thanked me so much for my off-beat idea of sending funny books.

  60. I am staying home as much as possible. Enjoying catching up on my reading.

    1. Hi Jackie. Sounds like a plan. I love readers!!! 🙂

  61. Avatar

    I am an nurse in a Long Term Care unit, so I am still working my fulltime hours. So I have been practicing social distancing, I can say it is not easy. For me I am a big hugger and I have not been able to go and see my family at all. My mother and I have met up at the grocery store to get them groceries.

    1. Elizabeth I’ve been wondering what the nursing home my mom lives in, is doing about their employees. How hard would that be to live, away from work with the vivid worry about bringing in the disease to a very high risk group of patients.

  62. Prayers for your sweet mom and you! I’m sure it’s difficult being away from her right now. I’m a stay at home homemaker so my norm is to be home alone most of the time, but it’s different now, knowing we MUST stay in. I’ve been using the time to spring clean my house and catch up on some books from my TBR pile. Hubby & I ventured out yesterday to hunt for morel mushrooms in a secluded forest. It was amazing to get some fresh air and sunshine, although no mushrooms presented themselves to us. We also made a WalMart run for an elderly friend of ours. So far there are no positive cases in our county. We are praying it stays that way and doing our part by staying home as much as possible. We will get through this!

  63. This is my senior year and thankfully the Lord has blessed me to homeschooled most of my life so besides senior events and sports, my life is very similar. Prayers for those affected and praying we can get control on this before it gets worse.

  64. Hi Mary,
    Been staying home . Which is nothing new since retirement. Tell Ivan “Hello!”

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