New Experiences during a Challenging Time

There’s an upside to everything, although during this trying time of gloom, that maxim is rightfully tested.  My husband and I have not been out and about for two weeks; here are some new experiences I’ve had during that time:

Today, I used Swiffer for the first time!  It surely is a miracle duster. There are only two words of instructions but, full disclosure, I needed my husband’s assistance in getting it going.  1) Fluff: how to do that?  I guessed right; just take it and shake it.  2) Attach: ah ha!  This was more challenging.  I found the wand right next to my cleaning lady’s supplies. It had several pushy things and one bendy thing.  After one second (I kid you not), Marty got it on, attached, and showed me how to extend it to reach those high places.  A miracle!  And to think all these years I had to use a rag, a ladder, and Pledge!

I learned to live with substitutions.  Some local teenage boys in my town graciously volunteered to help us seniors with chores. Two weeks ago, I tasked one with food shopping giving a clear, itemized and categorized list complete with pictures (from my list on Peapod which had a delivery date 10 days out).  The teen was competent and reliable, smart and resourceful.  He went to 3 stores!  He texted me each time an item was unavailable. “Substitutions are fine,” I texted back.

  • Skippy peanut butter became Teddie (all natural, two words my husband finds off-putting).
  • Stonyfield plain yogurt was now vanilla yogurt (yech, takes like tapioca…too sweet).
  • No ”all-purpose” cleaners were in stock. “Wait,” texted Ty, “I think I found something.”  I now have 2 containers of Bissell cleaner to put in my Bissell vacuum cleaner which I do not own.
  • 42 oz of oats (I make my own granola) became 36 oz of Trader Joe’s.
  • I got to compare Zoup! With College Inn (not bad).
  • Simple white distilled vinegar became white Modena.
  • Is there any other mayonnaise besides Hellman’s? I’m about to find out when I open my new jar of the store brand.








I realized that some public mailboxes require using your hands to open; others are hands-free.

I saw a new model for a “Play Date.”  The moms were standing about 10 feet apart chatting while their two boys kicked around a soccer ball in the back yard.

I learned Zoom!  I participated in a meeting of 4 local rabbis discussing Torah and, another time in a Family Chat.  I learned how to schedule a meeting and set one up with friends.

I’m sure other new experiences await.  I have all the time in the world.  As we say in my house, “What’s time to a pig?”  (Oh, you never heard that joke, well, look for my next blog.)



  1. Jonah yolles-murphy

    Teddie >> Skippy

    • Thanks for reading, Jonah. Are you saying they are comparable? You’ll have to take that up with Grandpa!

  2. R.Joseph Murphy

    Teddie Peanut Butter rules….

    • Aha — you are in cahoots with your son. You’ll have to convince the Skippy fanatic in my house. Hint …. it’s not me.

  3. susan

    Wait until you try the sw
    iffer for floors!

    • I’m hoping my cleaning lady will resume after this is all over! So far I’ve used vacuum and sponge mop.

  4. I’m with Marty on the peanut butter issue!

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