What I’ve Learned…So Far

See the missing piece? They are sending a new puzzle.

See the missing piece? They are sending a new puzzle.

I know we will soon be deluged with articles listing things we’ve learned from being quarantined or sheltered-in-place because of the coronavirus, so I figured I’d get mine out early! They will be like those annoying lists of bests and worsts at the end of the year. Less is more.

But I have learned a few things, and I’m assuming you have also:

•To open those plastic produce bags at the grocery without licking your finger under your mask, use a small spritz of hand sanitizer from your purse.
•Don’t wear hoop earrings with your mask. The elastic bands get all tangled with the hoops and you might lose one. Studs work better.
•Jigsaw puzzles are way more fun, and way more addicting, than I knew.
•A shelter-in-place order can substitute for years of marriage counseling to find out if you married the right person. Gratefully, I did.
•Laughing until you pee your pants works better when close to your own bathroom. This can happen at any moment.
•Watching too much TV, streaming, etc., can give you a headache!
•Never take going out to dinner, or even sitting in a movie theater eating popcorn and sipping on a soda, for granted.
•Take-out meals never taste quite as good as they did in the restaurant.
•There’s no end to the creativity crisis can inspire in people! Such amazing videos of Rube Goldberg gadgetry, pet tricks, songfests, funny memes, etc. My favorite? “I’ve washed my hands so much I just found the answers to my 7th grade history test!”
•ZOOMing is just like Hollywood Squares and can be more fun unless you try to sing Happy Birthday all at once. Don’t try that. It doesn’t work!
•A little Covid-19 news, complete with maps and charts, goes a long way. If you wake up and don’t feel sick, have a cup of coffee, take a walk, wave at a neighbor, and find something productive to do with your day.people wearing masks

Most important, NONE of the above matters. We are blessed if we are sheltering-in-place in a home of our choosing with running water and plenty of toilet paper! Touch of Love International is helping those less fortunate in other countries. Visit here if you’d like to contribute to their Covid-19 Relief Fund. And remember to say your prayers. God’s got this.


  1. Thanks, Nancy. To paraphrase Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Keep moving when you’re out and about.

  2. Ben Ross says:

    Look at sheltering in place productively. Darren Hardy likens it to the population of the entire planet, all 7.7 billion of us, being sent to our room indefinitely. How many times have we longed for a 3 month sabbatical so we could do all the things on our personal to do list (write that book, invent the the next “Bubba Teeth,” Journal, pray for more than 10 minutes a day, build that (insert whatever that would be). Now how many of us have done it? I didn’t think so. It’s liberating and productive, and it only costs that thing we suddenly have an abundance of – TIME!

    • Agree, Ben! I finally finished the first draft of a book I’ve been working on for years. A lot of good things will come out of this giant pause!

  3. julie smith says:

    So true (especially the take-out meals.) Also, it’s ok to take 4 weeks to deep clean the kitchen. Those ancient spots on the backsplash aren’t going anywhere, and neither am I.

  4. margie brown says:

    There is a shortage of paper products and eating out but I have noticed there is an abundance of
    smiles, (even under a mask) and friendly greetings.
    Something we can all share frequently and liberally.

    • Yes! It is possible to “smile with your eyes” and I appreciate those friendly expressions more than ever.

  5. Elizabeth H. Van Liere says:

    Ah, Nancy. Such words of wisdom. Since I’ve been “INside” since last November (due to stopping driving as you’ve probably read earlier), I haven’t experienced all you have. I have been doing jig saw puzzles and don’t always find them fun. More like exasperating when I can’t find a certain piece, although I do laugh when I pick up a piece by accident that fits in the right spot, also by accident….My daughter brought home a paper back of cryptograms and I am addicted! Also, Suduku. And I love my pastor’s Sunday videos. I can see him plainly and hear him as well. So, as God says, “All things work together for good.” Thank you, Nancy. I also enjoy your blogs.

  6. your huzzband says:

    It’s good to know you found the right man.

    • LOL! Glad you’re glad I’m glad!

      • Ben Ross says:

        Nancy and Jim, You both already know something I found on a nick-knack of dime-store philosophy I found on a coffee cup several years ago. I didn’t just copy it down and leave…I bought the cup, so I paid a lot of money for this gem. “Success in marriage is much more than finding the right person, it’s a matter of being the right person.”

  7. Pat Scott says:

    One thing I have learned: Teaching middle school and high school kids is actually much easier and more rewarding in the classroom than on Zoom! I’m looking forward to May 29–our last day of school–and to getting everyone back in the building this fall ( I hope!).

    • I can only imagine, Pat. Hang in there. Two more weeks! I know they are still gleaning so much from having you as their teacher.

  8. kappy stewart says:

    I can related to everything on your list Nancy! Thanks for sharing. Off to church in my jammies!
    Miss seeing you and Jim!

    • Thanks, Kappy! Yes! I saw a suggestion that whenever the first day back is, it should be “pajama day” to ease the transition!:)

  9. “God’s got this!” That says it all, Nancy. While we humans are guessing–wrongly, it appears–He has us in His charge. Do we really need to know anything else? Peggy

  10. Thanks for your sweet shout out for TOLI! (Plus, I learned the 2000 piece puzzles are less fun LOL)

  11. Cindy Penchoff says:

    Oh Nancy! I only wish I had your tip for produce bags long ago. I’ve risked getting Covid numerous times because licking my finger was the last resort. Also my cousin said last night that she hopes when she returns to church, there is a puzzle table in the back. It’s part of her worship experience now.

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