Patsy Pridgen

Patsy Pridgen

Patsy Pridgen

During these long weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been blogging about my sheltering-in-place, social distancing, home-schooling experience.

Here’s some of what I’ve written:

March 29, 2020: It seems strange to be in town and not go to church on Sunday. But listening to the service on YouTube has its benefits. I get a blend of what are usually two separate services, the contemporary and traditional, and can “attend” church in my pajamas. This past week I volunteered to help a third-grader with his distance learning. My 8-year-old grandson had lots of worksheets and a lengthy weekly story. A weekday trip to the Harris Teeter was a little disturbing as I noted shortages of fresh vegetables. By now, I’m used to the toilet paper aisle being bare, but are people hoarding cucumbers?

April 3, 2020: Does banging out “Chopsticks” over and over on the piano count for music class? It does in Grandma Patsy’s School for a Displaced Third-Grader. After only two weeks of home schooling, I’m close to the point of anything goes. In a former life, I taught English in the community college to adults who at least sat still and pretended to pay attention. Teaching a third-grade boy who prefers fishing and Fortnite is, let us say, an adjustment.

April 14, 2020: I can’t go to church, the dentist, book club, the hairdresser, writers’ group, garden club, Talbot’s or out to eat. So I’m de-cluttering and purging, and feeling very frugal about it. Yesterday’s project was a closet in my office. Another area I’m cleaning out is the freezer. Finding no hamburger in the grocery stores now on at least a couple of occasions sent me digging for various dabs of leftovers. I located spaghetti sauce, which I thawed, heated and dumped on some just-cooked pasta.

April 24, 2020: Stuck at home now for days on end, I’m concentrating on the little things in life. Sheltering in place has given me time to stop and smell the roses, in my case, the tea roses that are beginning to bloom in my yard. I also made banana bread instead of just tossing out my last two overripe bananas. My husband and I don’t need the calories, but the bread was a treat. We’ll walk it off during our now daily one-hour trek around the neighborhood.

May 5, 2020: We went to the beach this past weekend, and my husband and I weren’t by ourselves. There were plenty of folks soaking up the sun or standing in line — six feet apart — to buy a shrimp burger at the Big Oak in Salter Path. Right or wrong and days ahead of the official state decree, evidently quite a few of us decided to use our own common sense to get out and do at least some of the things we used to enjoy. I guess the desire for our old life outweighs our fear of the virus.

May 15, 2020: Hallelujah! The 2019-20 academic year for Rocky Mount Academy ends today, which means Grandma Patsy’s School for a Displaced Third-Grader is over. If only the coronavirus could be dismissed as well.

To read more of the coronavirus blog (and see pictures), go to