Making do


For many years as a student, teacher, and parent, my life revolved around the school year. When August approached, I started regretting that summer was almost over. This has been a year like no other. Since we first heard the word “coronavirus” or “COVID-19,” seasons, months, days, school, and all our plans have come to a standstill. Conversations turned to “social distancing, wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, avoiding crowds, staying at home, and how long—how long?”

Right now, we have no answer to “how long,” but the answer will come. If we do our part, it will be sooner rather than later.

What have I been doing for the past five months? A term of my grandmother was “making do.” That is what she did to keep food on the table for a family of seven during the Great Depression. Another quote from my Gramma Mac was, “It wasn’t always what we wanted, but it was what we had.”

Even though, it has been hard to keep sunny side up for what is now seeming an endless time, I have enjoyed finding a safe way to do things without leaving my house and remembered “that’s how we used to do.”

To avoid crowds, I order my necessities (such as food) the same as my mother. She phoned Paige’s Market early morning and ordered groceries needed for our noon dinner. The list usually started with a nice size fryer and always ended with a carton of Coca-Colas. The order was delivered by a young man on a bicycle in time for dinner to be cooked. Since COVID-19, I have done the same—except the process requires more steps. I make a list, locate my favorite supermarket on computer, enter my list to be picked up curbside, receive a confirmation and time to pick up, then I drive to store, park in designated spot, raise my trunk, and my food for the week is ready for my pantry. Same today as in yesteryears—but I do miss people.

In yesteryear, when we needed or wanted something not available around the square, there was always the Sears catalogue. Every home had an updated one for each season. No matter what you desired, it could most likely be found in Sears. This included live chickens and a prefab house. You wrote out your order on a form provided in catalogue and mailed it in. In a week to 10 days, the postman or railway express delivered your package. I type in my desired item on computer and a long list appears for my choice. The order is sent immediately and arrives within two days. It is more efficient—but I do miss people.

In the words of my Gramma Mac, we have to “make do.” Even if it is not what we want, it’s what we got.

Be safe, stay well, and stay on the sunny side.

Shirley can be reached at


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