Social Distancing Monitors

Social Distancing. Staying at least 6′ away from others, and not touching them. That’s the recommendation by those-who-know-best. So we are observing social distancing and being very careful with what we do, who we see, and where we go. Since Social Distancing was recommended, my husband and I have only gone to the grocery store a few times, and I have gone to Home Depot twice. That’s it. With one exception, which I will mention a bit later.

Both my husband and I are Rule Followers. He more so than me; but, yes, I would include myself in that category. So Social Distancing hasn’t been hard for us. It’s the (recommended) “rule.” So we follow it. Besides, it’s wise and significantly reduces our chances of contracting COVID-19.

Home Depot has established a long snake-like line to get in the store. They have tape on the ground in 6′ increments, so you know where to stand. They only let so many people in the store at one time. Masks are required. Last week I had to go to Home Depot for a new power drill. Yes, it was a must-have. I really needed it for the project I was working on. So I donned my mask and entered the super long line to wait my turn to enter the store. While waiting, I was reading email on my phone. After a while, I heard a deep grunt behind me. I turned around and saw the man behind me, pointing at me and then pointing at the marker line ahead of me.  Although he had a mask on, I’m certain he was frowning. I could see it in his eyes. Definitely the indication that he was a rule monitor and I was NOT following the rule. With my eyes on my phone, I had missed the fact that the person ahead of me had moved up a bit, meaning that I wasn’t on the proper mark.  I smiled (I could be misremembering that), and moved to the next marker.

Two weeks ago, it was my birthday.  My husband asked what I wanted to do that day, something special. I said I wanted to see our grandkids, whom we have not seen in 6 weeks.  We checked with our son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Melissa, to see if they would allow us to come for a Social Distancing picnic in their front yard. They were delighted. When Brian told Ella (aged 4) that we were coming, she said, “Grandma knows she can’t touch me, right?”  Brian assured her that I did. Next, she asked, “Does Grandma know she can’t get close to me? She’s got to stay 6′ away?”  Brian again assured her that I did know the rules.  So a few days later, on my birthday, we spent a few hours in their front yard playing – 6′ feet away from each other. Charades is a great game to play when social-distancing is required. We played that a lot. 

We have discovered that we have a rule-follower – well, more accurately, a rule-enforcer – here in our own house too!.  Every time, and I mean every single time, Rick gives me a hug, our little Stella, lets him know he’s just too close. I tried to get a great video for you, but succeeded in only getting a 4-second clip. But you see what I mean.






I’m not an in-your-face Rule Monitor, but, yeah, it’s good to follow the rules.

Stay safe!

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Comments (24)

  1. Sue Ogden

    You absolutely have to scrap this “special” birthday right away, I’m sure I’m not the only one wanting to see what you’ll dream up for it! I’d say I hope it was happy but I can SEE that it was even if a bit unusual!!!

    May 14, 2020 at 5:23 pm
    • Karen

      Yes, Sue, it definitely was! 😉

      May 15, 2020 at 5:37 am
  2. DeLoris Musick

    This is tooo cute! I’m so glad you had a good birthday in spite of the situation!

    May 14, 2020 at 6:50 pm
    • Karen

      Thanks, DeLoris! It was definitely good. Just different!

      May 15, 2020 at 5:36 am
  3. Steph

    Love your social distancing with the grand kids. I am amazed the kids remembered to stay away and didn’t get caught up in the moment! We are also being very good with our stay at home / hope to make it thru without catching this virus time. Just let our older son come home to visit today after over 3 months. Stay safe everyone.

    May 15, 2020 at 11:50 am
    • Karen

      Well, Ella (4 years old) did once. When we were all looking for the painted rocks, she grabbed my hand. It never felt so good. I glanced over at my husband, grinned, and then let go. But that was the only time there was any contact.

      May 16, 2020 at 5:59 am
  4. I love this, Karen! If only mine were closer I’d pick up your playbook and run with it. I’m sure it was an extra special birthday you all will never forget.

    May 16, 2020 at 7:20 am
    • Karen

      Thanks, Yobeth! Yes, distance is a problem. It’s a 3-hour drive to our son’s house. Plus another 30 minutes to take our dog to the dog-sitters. So 7 hours round trip… for a 2-hour visit. It’s a long day, but worth it when there are no other alternatives. Our daughter lives 6 hours away, so that’s a different story. I miss seeing her and her family!

      May 19, 2020 at 6:11 am
  5. Liz in Tx

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful birthday story! It really made me smile. Here is your adorable 4-year old granddaughter who knows how to follow the rules, yet there are so many adults who just don’t want to. A coworker (we’re all working from home) emailed me to say that one of her friends had a Mother’s Day celebration with her family, meaning her parents, siblings, and their families, at a park that was packed!

    May 16, 2020 at 8:37 am
    • Karen

      You’re welcome, Liz. I’m glad it made you smile. I hope your co-worker and her family are still well. Eck!

      May 19, 2020 at 6:09 am
  6. Just a wonderful memory of awful times.
    My Niece got to see her grandchildren for the first time this week and her 3 year old granddaughter said ” I know you can’t cuddle me, because you have germs!” Her Mum explaining in the easiest way for her to understand. LOL.

    May 16, 2020 at 8:40 am
    • Karen

      How cute. It’s a fine line in teaching small children what is safe and what is not – and not scaring them. It sounds like you all are doing a great job.

      May 19, 2020 at 6:08 am
  7. Kathleen Sakorafos

    I believe the social distancing with the grandchildren is the absolute hardest for me, we are a very close family and with 17 grandchildren and now 5 greatchildren I am truly missing all the hugs and visits, love your picnic idea, going to give that a try as soon as the weather starts permitting here in Michigan. Stay safe and I have not been to the grocery store at all, we do the curb side but did go to Menards one time early morning 7 am to pick up with my husband 50 bags of mulch last week, keeping me busy outdoors. Looking forward to your next webinar with Michelle at NAODS

    May 17, 2020 at 3:31 am
    • Karen

      Sigh.. yes, it’s the kids and gkids hugs (and ggkids hugs!) that are so hard to do without. Anything else? We can get by without, right? 50 bags of mulch! You WILL be busy!!

      May 19, 2020 at 6:08 am
  8. Marilyn McCormick

    I don’t have the chocolate mint cookies you mentioned but I wish I could send you the Chocolate Mint Girl Scout cookies my freezer which are pretty good. I guess you’ll just have to imagine them! Our grandsons are 3.5 hours away which is a bit far to sit out in the driveway, but I love your idea. My husband’s birthday was about a week before yours and it was a quiet grilled steak dinner, but I did make him his favorite cherry pie.

    May 17, 2020 at 12:28 pm
    • Karen

      Oh, Marilyn. Those chocolate mint Girl Scout cookies? I stopped buying them because they are my “Lay’s Potato Chip.” I can’t eat just one. It’s sooo hard to stop once I get started on those. Especially if they are cold. YUM. There are definitely a lot of us who are having “memorable” birthdays this year. 🙂

      May 19, 2020 at 6:07 am
  9. Barbara Hewitt

    Such a great story! Making the most out of what we have and what we can do is the only way to go!

    May 17, 2020 at 4:42 pm
    • Karen

      You’re so right, Barbara!

      May 19, 2020 at 6:05 am
  10. Karen, I can not think of a better Birthday Day gift then to spend it anyway you can with the grand children and your son and daughter in-law. EVEN this way, as hard as I know it is. That tiny human touch felt great didn’t it if even for just a minute? 🙂 I am certain she will (you too) be fine being that you “are following the rules.” Thank you for that too. I am late as always and please forgive me, I would never miss your Birthday on purpose. I missed 2 out of three of my brother’s birthdays these past 2 months. 🙁 Not even a card. I hope you had a happy and peaceful Birthday despite everything.. Next year will be better. You watch it will. Thank you for sharing this, I love reading your stories, always. Happy late Birthday dear one. God bless you, Lisa

    May 17, 2020 at 6:05 pm
    • Karen

      Oh, you’re so right. Just that few seconds of feeling Ella’s hand in mine was wonderful!!!

      May 19, 2020 at 6:05 am
  11. Karen, by any chance do you have a tut that teaches us to put glitter on flowers or even on a paper? Please and thank you.

    May 17, 2020 at 6:06 pm
  12. Sorry, not sorry, I forgot to say this… that is so cute that your Stella barks every time when Rick hugs you.. your protector and jealous fur all wants you all to herself. Haha does she sleep with you two? lol And I love the sign your son has up, SLOW DOWN KIDS PLAYING. Your grand children are proof you did a terrific job raising your son. I love the photo’s so much, you don’t even needs words with them. <3 Love you Karen. <3

    May 17, 2020 at 6:12 pm
    • Karen

      It’s so funny, Lisa, but in a way, not really… she was a rescue. We got her when she was 10 months old, and we think she came from a home where both she and the wife were abused by the husband. Stella was terrified of my husband for about 3 months. She loves him now, but she still is very protective of me. Thank you for the comment about our family. We are so proud of who each one has become.

      May 19, 2020 at 6:03 am
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