Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, December 17, 2020

A Reader Question: Indoor winter activities without gatherings?

 

As quickly as the holidays are upon us, soon we shall find ourselves in winter.  Hopefully we can do some pleasant things outdoors, like skating, cross country skiing, or just taking walks, but the gardens are tucked in and sleeping, and most of us will look for things to do indoors.  While it will take time for the COVID19 vaccine to reach us all, we must find ways to stay engaged without gatherings.  How are others embracing this?  Anyone going beyond the usual television, books, and cocktail hours?  Working on wooden boats in the garage?  Building models?  Completing puzzles?  Perfecting cooking skills? Tackling home improvement projects?  Starting (or finishing!) that book?  Learning or practicing a musical instrument?  Digging out the old oil paints and attempting Sfumato?  Learning a language in anticipation of travel?  Online classes?  Feeding the birds and taking photos from the kitchen window?  

Cheers!

 

38 comments:

  1. Heading farther south for the winter and working on my tan. More seriously, keeping tabs on folks back at home and helping those in need.

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  2. I am refreshing my waning Italian language skills with private lessons via Zoom and I have gone deeper and deeper into my genealogy work. Next year, I want to read all the Agatha Christie books I have not yet read. I realize some people complain about Zoom, but it has been a lifeline for me. I average either a Zoom class (dance classes and courses at Emory University) or a Zoom visit of some sort about five days a week. In December already, I've attended an online Christmas trivia quiz with friends here in Atlanta and another with friends in other states, a Christmas afternoon tea, a first-cousins' reunion, two book club meetings, two author talks, and visits with various friends. I am able to keep connected with my good friends here and abroad much more than I did before I knew about Zoom. All this while never leaving my house. I feel very lucky!

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    1. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and positive message! Reading this made my heart happy.

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  3. I've started painting with watercolors and doing pencil drawings again. It was exciting to order lovely, thick, cotton rag paper with a nice set of drawing pencils. I haven't bought any art materials in years. I still have all my watercolor supplies so it's just a matter of re-learning how to use them.

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  4. Susan above mentioned several of the items I'm doing. Zoom meetings with my Museum Committee of our historical society, building models for use in my classes at Penn State York, creating and completing class outlines for when we return to in-person classes, reading and today using my snow blower at our first winter snow.

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  5. During the March lockdown I read "War and Peace" and checked it off my book-bucket list! I too, rekindled my watercolor and sketching skills and then scanned old photos and documented some family history. It's also been enjoyable to play the piano and stretch myself to learn a new sonata or two.

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    1. Woody Allen once made this quip: "I took a Evelyn Wood Speed Reading Course, and then I read "War and Peace" in fifteen minutes. It's about Russia."

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  6. A punching bag in the basement is always a good idea.

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    1. I'm doing something similar; the Beach Body program 4+ days per week. It's kicking my @55, but I'll for sure emerge from this pandemic in better shape.

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  7. Online school is going on Winter Break, but we will fill our days with other learning...hands-on science projects, completing a big puzzle, sewing projects, watercolor painting, and lots of reading!

    Grateful for health and calm!

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  8. Feel a bit guilty saying this, but with two teenage daughters and four horses my life has changed very little due to Covid. I'm still working, and with what little time we have left after school and chores we watch movies and play board and card games. I am reading Nathanial Philbricks "Bunker Hill" and recently finished "Mayflower." Both really good books.

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    1. Mine didn't change, either. I just refused to stop living. I have travelled all across the country and moved overseas. I always have a COVID test before I board a plane and I quarantine, if possible, when i get to my destination. If not possible, I have another COVID test.

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    2. I highly reccomend "Second Wind" by Nathaniel Philbrick if you are in need of a light read!

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  9. Restoring my vintage MG, and sorting through my library of sailing and boat building books! So grateful just to be healthy. Thank you so very much for everything!

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  10. I have been balancing my days among many things, each and all of which I find enjoyable. I have been cooking more interesting things plus making the regular items that sustain me, like the whole wheat nut and seed bread and the harissa that will be part of my breakfast. We have two English setters that will want long walks and plenty of rubs but also assure the need somewhere along the way of loving dusting, vacuuming, and mopping. I find time for music, both playing my guitar and listening to records. I devote an hour or so to exercising by walking, lifting weights, and rowing. I have picked painting back up after far too long. I read wonderful books at a very leisurely pace. I write. I'd tackle more projects around the house, but it is screaming for mercy.

    Mostly I just try to savor whatever it is that I am doing. I credit Joan Chittister and her book Wisdom Distilled from the Daily.

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  11. Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles! It's something I used to enjoy with my Dad as a kid, but haven't done in ages! There are so many varieties (style, degree of difficulty, pictures) a click of the mouse away! Our fabulous local toy store will even make home deliveries! Remembering the joy of puzzles AND sharing the experience with my own kids (Harry Potter puzzles have been a HUGE hit!) has been a silver lining, for sure.

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  12. Wine. Lots of wine

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  13. Airfix! I haven't picked up a model kit since childhood but I have enjoyed rediscovering this hobby as an adult.

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  14. Mostly the same things I did pre-pandemic: knitting, needlepoint and drinking beer ;) Also, very lucky that my company keeps me (and my helper, Paul) busy with our handmade items.

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  15. A long time ago, I thought lockdown would not last as long as rereading Moby Dick. Obviously, it has! Now's the time to finally wrap up Proust in French and maybe the rest of Henry James.

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  16. My daughter and I have been working our way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and having a wonderful time with it!

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    1. That is a LOT. I'd aspire perhaps to Les Halles.

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  17. Context Travel has wonderful academic courses on just about everything. They are called Context Conversations. I just finished 3 lectures, each once a week for 8 weeks, on Istanbul, the Crusades, and Venice. Some of the courses in Art History came live from Rome, Florence and St. Petersburg. Context has kept me sane through Covid.

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  18. My wife is working on jigsaw puzzles, which is her normal winter pursuit. I have gone back to photography and man have things changed since my Olympus Om-1 film days.

    We are both buying used books, reading them and making stacks to donate to library for their fundraising. Libraries are closed in my area again.

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  19. the kindle and ipad get a lot of use - great to download books, and most magazines we read get delivered digitally.

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  20. For the past 20 yrs we have headed down to our home in Anguilla for four months. There I enjoy my little, and very different garden, daily swims and beach walks. I do bring my knitting and my Kindle loaded with all those books I have wanted to rean, but never seem to get around to at home on Cape Cod.

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  21. I'm under house arrest for a DUI offense at Thanksgiving and am spending most of my time watching "Felicity" and "Brooklyn Bridge" and playing Twister with my children.

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  22. Painting and playing with 1/56 (30mm) mid-18th century toy soldiers if there there is no snow. My son and I have a tabletop battle planned for Boxing Day. Cross-country skiing the Mid-Michigan woods if there is snow. My wife and son will probably tackle a puzzle. She'll probably play the piano more than time normally permits. Of course lots of good food and seasonal treats. Late night 'medicinal' drinks and long talks with my wife by the fireside or trees. Reading some kind of fiction. Probably several games of Yahtzee and Scrabble. Finishing Tolkien's Letters from Father Christmas at bedtimes with my son. And all to the tune of traditional German and English Christmas carols. Kind of a nice end to an otherwise trying year.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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  23. Like millions of others, I don't leave the house unless it's absolutely necessary. And even then it's restricted -- no long walks, no bike riding, no skiing, no snow shoeing, no health club, no restaurants, no sporting events, no dentist, no haircut, no pointless trips, no visits -- in sum, no nothing outside until the vaccine is in my system.

    Thank God for the Internet and YouTube. A Tip: I've been watching episodes of one of the best detective series I've ever seen -- a Swedish production called "Kurt Wallander" (not to be confused with later PBS Series featuring Kenneth Branagh).
    The original is in Swedish with English subtitles, but this doesn't distract from its brilliance in story lines, characters and acting. Written by the world famous novelist Henning Mankell. I highly recommend it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqlPZG5Z83M
    And if you speak German, another good series to while away the time is Inspector Derrick -- set in Munich from 1976 to 1998. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaBciVgB1JY

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    1. I'll take a slice of pie, coffee black.

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  24. "A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols" on Christmas Eve from King's College Chapel, Cambridge, at 17:00 - on the radio, of course.

    Otherwise, reading and enjoying classical music on the radio.

    We don't have a tv or watch videos, perhaps unlike some folks.

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  25. I really didn't change my life. I still travelled all across the country and then moved to another country in June. (I've had more COVID tests than you can possibly imagine, as I always take one before I get on a plane, although it's not required.) I've read a lot of the classics that I refused to read in school, working on another novel of my own (had a movie this year made of an earlier novel), sold another novel for movie rights, and am learning the ukelele.

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  26. Organizing the desk and kitchen drawers, riding my recumbent indoor bike, reading, cooking, and spending more time on social media. As an introvert I am rather enjoying this.

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  27. Intentions: Re-learning to make very good shortbread which i've forgotten how to do in my old age; sorting, organizing and deciding which of the 4,300 pictures (taken by family members in the past 2 years) go into albums; going for drives to places we haven't seen in our state (very few left); reading the piles of books i've set aside; and performing more "swedish death cleaning" (unfortunate term) and giving away whatever we can. The reality will probably be much different.

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  28. We are taking advantage of "attending" events we might not otherwise see: Dick Whittington streamed live by the National Theatre, the Ballet West production of The Nutcracker, a new version of The Nutcracker starring Kathryn Morgan, attending midnight mass at 3pm broadcast live from my former parish in Dublin on Christmas eve and probably other events I haven't put on my calendar yet. Other activities will include baking, walking the dogs, puzzles, finishing a quilt for my husband, backgammon, putting together some storage units to accommodate my ever-growing collection of craft supplies, writing Christmas cards that will arrive lamentably late, and as I will be in quarantine pre-surgery from the 23rd, making sure that I keep in touch with friends over Zoom and the phone. Regardless of what everyone is doing, I hope you all stay safe and well.

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  29. Finishing my last classes of my second career via on line,(Psychology), doing home office and working only three days in Hospital Administration, taking care of my son, pets, knitting, listening oldies, watching seventies movies, no class reunions, no family meetings, a different Xmas.!!!

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  30. Playing fetch in the field with our Black Lab and our German Shepard.
    Snow or shine, they love it !

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