Journal Buddies #9 : I Can …

Living room inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin home in Spring Green, Wisconsin. A nice place to be, but your home is even better. Image: Wikipedia.



This is the 9th installment in a series of 51 posts inspired by a list of writing prompts from the website Journal Buddies. If you’d like to know more, here’s where I explain what this is and why I’m doing it.


I can stay home.

You can stay home, too, and you have to try the best you can to do that for as long as you can. We just have to stay home, all of us, today and for … we don’t know how long.

We must stay home because self-quarantining will slow the spread of the virus and that will give doctors and nurses more time to handle all the patients that are flooding into the hospitals, many of which are now setting up tents in parking garages. Please, please, please, PaperGirl readers and friends: Stay home.

My personal resolve to stay home for as long as I have to is made easier by my life circumstances. I have no illusions about that. Running water, functioning radiators, a fabric stash, and a wi-fi equipped laptop are extravagant luxuries compared to what many people within this city have to comfort them should they choose to self-quarantine. Millions of our fellow human beings in developing countries — humans every bit as susceptible to the virus as any of us — have far less still. Donating to the World Heath Organization and local food banks, which I did this morning and plan to do again, as much as I can, is one way I can help those less fortunate than I am, people for whom a decision to stay home for a long period of time is simply not possible.

There is so much I can’t do. I still can’t get my head around this. I can’t know what’s coming. I can’t beg our president to beg our nation to do what I’m begging of you: Stay home. I can’t make a vaccine or a test kit. Chicago was the first city in the country to close all bars and restaurants as of midnight last night, so I can’t go with my friends to go to a bar and listen to a piano player who might make us all feel better even for a few hours.

But the Journal Buddies prompt wasn’t “I can’t … ” It was “I can … ”

Well, I can stay home and sew. I can stay home and dance to the new Lady Gaga song on repeat, like I did yesterday, until I was a sweaty mess. I can stay home and vacuum (again.) I can stay home and kiss my husband* and tell him how grateful I am for him, how he is a hero, a genius, and a wonderful husband with whom I fall more in love with every single day. I can stay home with him a long time, that’s for sure.

I can stay home and try to work, though that is very difficult. I can stay home and have a video dinner party with some friends, something that is going to happen tonight, Sophie tells me. I can stay home and call my elderly neighbor and email her funny videos, which she is really enjoying since we can’t see each other in person right now.

I can stay home and write in my journal. I can stay home and do push-ups. I can stay home and stay informed. I can stay home and take a break from the news, too. I can stay home and put my hand over my heart and close my eyes and be still.

And I can stay home and write to you, from here. And I will. Promise.

For more information on why staying home is of utmost importance, this is an incredibly clear, readable, rational, vetted, and official message from Stay Home Save Lives organization. Please read it and share it with everyone on all your social media platforms, through email, or call someone who doesn’t use the internet and read it to them. They’ll be glad to hear from you, anyway.

Now go into that glorious fabric stash of yours. Start sewing. Go on social media and show and tell the world what quilt you’re going to start or what UFO you’re going to deal with. I mean, come on. We all know you’ve got them. We’ve all got them. And now we’ve got time to stay home and embrace them. There’s a hashtag growing you should use: #StayHomeAndSew. Personally, I love it. Those happen to be four of my favorite words in the English language: Stay, Home, And, Sew.

Hey, I know the others are a little sexier, but “And” is a very important word. It’s a workhorse. It gets around. Really, “And” is almost important as “Sew”. Not quite as important as “Stay” and “Home”, but it’s pretty good.

Let’s do this together as we stay apart at home.

Mary + Pendennis


*I did! I got married! The announcement post is drafted and now I’m fine-tuning it. I found the person who has the same shape heart as me, finally. I didn’t have faith he existed, but he does, and he’s sitting right over there, and we are together, at home.

56 Responses

  1. Leota Gajda
    | Reply

    Congratulations!! So happy for you!

  2. Elaine Hoffarth
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    I heart that you found the someone you have been looking for.

  3. Kate
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    Well, no wonder you were busy for a few weeks. May God smile on this new chapter in your life and grant you the laughter and tears I’ve enjoyed for the last 49 years!

  4. Janice
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    Mary, Mary, Mary. News of a husband in a teaser post?! I am staying home, I promise. Today I started to clean my sewing room. It is a big job because it is a big mess. But now I can’t do any more cleaning until I see the post with all the details of the husband. Please. Then I can sew.

  5. Karen Johnson
    | Reply

    Well said, Mary! I’m in Seattle, very near the first reported case in the US, so my state has been strongly encouraging this for weeks. I’m fortunate to be able to stay home, but I have not yet begun to sew because I’m too distracted by it all. I’ll give it a go today! Thank you!

  6. Carol Bank
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    So happy for you, Mary. Congratulations to you both!

  7. Natalie
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    I am so so happy for you and your man!
    And it’s so good to hear from you!

  8. Mandy Laseter
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    Over the moon happy for you, Mary! Congratulations! Staring at a quilt sandwich right now, trying to decide how I want to quilt it.

  9. Lynn Carpenter
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    Wow!!! After I read my husband, I had a hard time paying attention to the rest of your post! I’m so very happy for you!!!! Congratulations!!

  10. Liza
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    Yea! Congratulations! May you enjoy being home together.

  11. Jana Snow
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    Congratulations Mary!!!

  12. Teri
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    Mary, I’m so happy for you!!!! Congrats!!! You have gone from one extreme to another this past year. Hope this year is much easier. It should be with that special someone at your side.

  13. Susan Morgan
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    Knowing you have found your person makes my heart full!! I have been lucky enough to have mine for almost 49 years. WOW that makes me sound old! While my body may be my heart is young and fun thanks in part to him. Hold on tight and let go go often!! Love to you both.

  14. Melissa
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    Yea Mary! Congrats! So happy for you. ♥️

  15. Laura Lukes
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    A simple thank you for your beautifully shaped heart, and for your post.

  16. Jo
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    I am staying home with my 3 cats and 2 dogs. We are trying to make the best of it but let me tell ya! Porkchop the wiener dog is missing seeing everyone out there! He loves to go places, but those places are closed. So, we will bide our time and comfort one another.
    And OMG! Congratulations on finding your matching heart!!! This makes my heart feel better!

  17. Judy Harris-Wright
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    So…so.. happy you found your love! God bless you both with much health and happiness always I m working on a St. Patrick’s day small wall hanging, then going on to do a Easter one etc. Also thanks to you I now journal every morning. I will call three people each day just to say hi and check on them during this period. Look forward your blog about your hubby

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  19. Debbie
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    What a fun and delightful post in spite of these confusing times. SO happy for you and your hubby! Congratulations on finding each other!

  20. Sher
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    Yay! So happy for you! Congratulations!
    I’m staying home, but having a hard time getting into sewing. So much distraction.

  21. Jan Darwin
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    Congratulations on your marriage, Mary! So very happy for you. Wishing you and your husband a lifetime of happiness❣️

  22. Robyn Smith
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    What a joy to hear
    your happy news, we all need a dose of this now. Looking forward to hearing more in the future.

  23. Carmen Henley
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    Congratulations! Way to sneak that one in!

  24. Debra W.
    | Reply

    I am beyond happy for you. My sweet hubby and I just celebrated 37 years last week. He is the person I still want to spend the rest of my life with. And, no, it hasn’t always been easy, but nothing ever is that you do for 37 years. We call it “the good, the bad and the ugly…that does keep getting better”. Nothing is perfect. You need to figure out how to ride the wave of life and all that it throws you. At the door, when we are done, if you can say “it has been enough”, you will have had a wonderfully blessed life. I know I will.

    Much love and happiness as you both deserve it and more.

  25. Charlott
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    Now that’s something to smile about!! Congratulations! Now I’m busting a gut to read that announcement post.

  26. Jennifer S Fiske
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    . All worth staying home for!
    Me too!

  27. Cindy Marnin-Borcherding
    | Reply


  28. amy carlton
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    Mary Fons! I am happy for you. Hooray for love!

  29. Caroline Nelson
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    Thank you! Me and my lovely (not so much) compromised immune system thank you for this!

    AND…..congratulations! So very, very happy for you and your new hubby. Sharing the same kind of heart with our special person is the best!

  30. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Mary- I am so happy about your recent nuptuals! We all need someone to share our hearts with. I pray your marriage will last, mutually happy, and loving, forever. Can’t wait until we get to hear about your love! (How did you keep it such a secret from all of us?) Details please! I agree, we should all be staying home until we can get over this nasty virus! Stay safe, and in love!
    (I’ve been married for 51 yrs., in a happy and loving marriage!) We met at 15, dated until 19, then married. I wish you both all the best of every thing! : )

  31. Mary
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    Glad I’m staying home to read this. Congratulations on your marriage! So happy you’ve found each other!

  32. Karen
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    Talk about burying the lead, you sly thing, you! Sending bunches of congratulations, good wishes, and lots of love to you both. Stay home and ENJOY!

  33. Ann
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    Congratulations! Sewing has always been my therapy, and I again will enjoy pulling out my unfinished projects and enjoy the peace I get as I Stay Home and Sew.

  34. Pamela
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    I did exactly that today. Stayed home and sewed. It was awesome. I highly recommend it! Congratulations on your marriage and finding your special person. That , too, is awesome!

  35. Lynn Wilson
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    You knew we needed happy news today, oh, how happy you have made us! Congratulations!

  36. Shirley Guier
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  37. Debbie
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    Great post Mary, and my heartfelt congratulations to you and your husband! So happy for you!

  38. Ginny
    | Reply

    Congratulations ❣️!
    I would love to self quarantine but I can’t. I am a nurse. I go to work & take the precautions we have been instructed on. Even in rural Iowa we have been practicing for this – for years. My co-workers all have to work too! Think of all the services provided in a small hospital plus those necessary to keep it open & operational. My husband is also unable to self quarantine. He is a professional truck driver and he is helping deliver the goods we need as well as all of the other truckers out there.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      You are a true hero, Ginny. I am speechless as I think of the courage and bravery and the selflessness of our medical professionals right now, and always. There are no words for my gratitude and the gratitude of our country, even those who don’t grasp it, yet. Thank you. You are the best of us, and as many words as I’ve written, I will never know how to write how grateful I am to you and your colleagues. Thank you, Ginny. Love, Mary.

  39. Sue
    | Reply

    Congratulations to you both!

  40. Lesley Gilbert
    | Reply

    WOW – what a wonderful surprise – so happy for you and you don’t have to stay home alone – double bonus 🙂 CONGRATULATIONS to you both <3

  41. Colleen
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    Congratulations on you marriage! Sew happy for you!

  42. KimS
    | Reply

    Your followers are good writers too. It always pays to read your entire post. Special bonus this time. Couldn’t be happier for you, you deserve the best! Congratulations and blessings as you go forth together.

  43. Nicole
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    You are a sneaky, cheeky monkey for slipping that in! Well done you two. Much love, happiness, and long health to you both.

  44. Wilma Bland
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    Thanks Mary for the upbeat message to the different situation we all are in. Congratulations to you and your husband on discovering each other and recognizing you are meant for each other. From Washington a state’s edge of rain country again I say thank you.

  45. elizabeth a hinze
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  46. Maggie
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    CONGRATS, Mary! Warms my heart on this cold day ~*at home*~.

  47. Andy O
    | Reply

    Such wonderful news on this day of scary newscasts. Congratulations and best wishes as you begin this new chapter in the story of “Mary Fons.”

  48. Debbie S
    | Reply

    This is such sweet news. May you and your hubby have many happy years ahead.

  49. Jo Chalk
    | Reply

    Congratulations, Mary, I wish you many, many years of happiness. I have given myself a challenge during this time…Tackle The Stash Challenge. ☕️❤️

  50. Helen Marie
    | Reply

    Love and joy to you and your hubby! Staying home. Sewing. Reading. Leaving only when I must like today for a small head of cabbage, half for dinner and half for Pennsylvania Deutsch Pepper cabbage! Streets and food stores in our suburban village are quiet and eerily empty. My sewing area, in our family room, is noisy with color but happily quiet with a small dog to scritch and snuggle under the quilt while I bind it!

    Thinking, too, of granddaughter Merry, a college student in Chicago, who, along with her roommates, is being forced out of their apartment by an idiot who has their contact info and has been emailing messaging phoning threatening! The police have screen shots of everything they’ve received and advised them to leave. They are from Illinois, Wisonsin, and Colorado! Positive thoughts for these young women, please?

  51. Rita Smith
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    Congratulations! MARRIED! So exciting! You must tell us everything, where did you meet him, when did you get married! We all are so happy for you and we hope you share! Love you!

  52. Margie Love
    | Reply

    Congratulations, Mary. This is the brightness I have looked for today. Much, much happiness for both of you, as I’ve shared with my sweety for 42 years.

  53. Nancy Bonaguro
    | Reply

    Congratulations to you and your special one!!! How terrific! Much happiness.
    And I am sewing like you, but I’m also cleaning out closets. Finding more material, and then sewing more. Really missing my favorite quilt store!

  54. Kelly
    | Reply

    Congratulations Mary!!!

  55. Judy
    | Reply

    I am so excited and happy for you but I do have one personal question regarding this special man. Is he a quilter or just a supporter of your quilting.

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