Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – journaling the coronavirus


By Rosie Preston

Many people have shared with me the ways the coronavirus has changed their everyday lifestyles, but because of copyright issues, they will remain anonymous. However, I can write about the many changes that have occurred. Perhaps the most traumatic event occurring within us is our fear that many loved ones may have already caught or could catch this virus.

Grandparents do not get to visit their grandchildren. Nor can children visit their mothers in nursing homes. Many measures have been put in place to protect the ones we love. Many stores remained open through these stay-at-home and stay-safer-at-home orders, but a doctor I recently spoke with said that the public is not taking it seriously. It is my belief that our society is in denial as when we see what appears to be healthy people, that they could be carrying the virus or be one of the many persons who show no symptoms but are still contagious.

The word ‘plague’ has been mentioned on the news. To better understand the meaning of the word, my dictionary’s definition says, “Plague: a contagious bacterial disease characterized by fever, delirium and often infection of the lungs. It spreads rapidly and kills many people, which can cause thousands of deaths.”

Of course, I studied these horrific times in history classes, but to think I would ever learn first-hand never occurred to me. I wake with a sense of sadness almost every morning. It takes me a few moments to remember where it is coming from, and then I remember my own dear mother, who resides in a nursing home. I remember the last time I visited her. As she held me close, she made me promise that I would come back the next day.

The next day never came. It was the day that the stay-at-home order was imposed by our state. We needed to listen to the most intelligent scientists in the world in order to deal with this virus. So we wait patiently and hopefully as this invisible storm eventually slackens and allow us to reopen our society as we knew it. Just as there was after each war, there will be a new norm.
War is a word that seems to be frequently used lately. The definition I found most suitable for this is: “A sustained effort to deal with or end a particular unpleasant or undesirable situation or condition.”

My mind wants to shut these words from my thoughts, but they do not leave me. Many scientists are saying that because the virus is one that has never been dealt with before, our future seems unpredictable.

However, I must write something to smile about! I’ve found that people are doing many different things to keep busy. Board games, puzzles, writing in a journal, painting, reading or working in yards. I love the feel of the dirt and finding a seed that has started to push up through the ground or a branch that had I rooted stayed alive!

I found my favorite garden tool the other day and began digging a ditch with much gusto until exhaustion hit me. The day was so hot and humid that I almost fell over! I was lucky because the ground was wet and it was easier to break up. I worked for about an hour until knew I had expended my energy for the day. At this age, it is okay to put things off until tomorrow!

The next day, I went to my pink rose bush and cut off many branches, just the way my Maw Maw had taught me. I‘ve rooted many plants and shrubs throughout the years, yet still I wait, hoping my garden will thrive. I soon realized that my energy was quickly fading. I began to look around the yard and to find rocks to hold the branches in place. I then called my granddaughter to help me to cover the branches with the soil I had bought. We were sweating like pigs by the time we finished. Again, I had to put off until tomorrow what could have been done today. Many years ago, I could have had all this work done in no time and have energy to spare!

The next morning was very fresh and pleasant, a perfect day to paint the five-gallon buckets I had bought to use to plant roses. The heat was bothersome as the sun came closer, so I moved into the shade as I continued. Again, I had to put the job off until the next day.
The next morning, I pampered my rose bush branches as I fertilized and watered them. I then looked at the place in the yard where I had painted the buckets. Although the paint was still present, where were my buckets?

I stood for a few moments until I remembered that I had moved them as the shade moved across the yard. Oh my, where is my memory going these days? It was a great feeling to find that the buckets had not walked away during the night!

There is one thing that happens when a person retires. First, you wake up and think about what you are going to put on your list that day. You then realize that you do not have to dress to wear as if you are going to a job. Neither do you have a time frame to get your work completed.
Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I have many memories of my mother. She was a very talented writer and we frequently shared books. The food my mom cooked could have won prizes, and she was the only mother I knew who cooked everything from scratch, never using a recipe. There were so many things I took for granted as I remember her before she became an invalid several years ago.

Happy Mother’s Day to all! I hope you have a warm and blessed day! I pray for you to will stay well and that we will be able to visit again soon!
Keep Smiling, Rosie

P.S. Here’s a birthday shout out to my sister, who will still be an adult and a grandmother on May 8!
P.S. – The journaling book is still in process, so send your stories to

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