from Sue Wurster

I can’t even imagine how we would have managed to keep ourselves sane during this kind of situation in the days before the internet and social media–all of that technology is certainly proving to be invaluable at the moment!

So, what can we share about how we’re spending our time these days?  Here are some thoughts and suggestions from some BOLLI members–and we’d all appreciate more!

First, for those of us who love theatre, I did a little “arts and entertainment” culling of The New York Times and found a couple of gems.  I have two young high school friends who, last week, were bemoaning the fact that Newton North had just completed their tech/dress rehearsal, opening and closing of Hello, Dolly!–all in one night.  They had some good pictures to share, which certainly showed off their tech work, but, of course, the pictures couldn’t really provide the essence of the musical–the music!  NYT’s theatre editor Scott Heller says that many are taking kids like Jayce and Dylan to heart and are finding ways to share their work.  (Click on this link for an uplifting article:  NYT article about school musicals)

And here’s a piece about other ways to view theatre these days:  (Click here for another NYT article:  other ways to see theatre)

Click here to see this array of new work–one added every 15 minutes!


A variety of Writers Guild, Photo Group, and other BOLLI members share their recommendations:  

Lois Sockol says that, “Now that I have some at-home time on my hands, here’s a couple of rewarding things I’ve done. I made the decision (for the 100th time) to sort through and organize a collection of family pictures. After an hour or so, nothing was organized, but I had such a happy time rummaging through years of delightful memories! I have also discovered that some museums have virtual tours, and although the experience doesn’t provide quite the same thrill as my original visits, what a delight to roam the corridors of the Louvre and the British Museum! There are other virtual tour museums as well.  I just haven’t as yet made the journey, but I will.

“Part of me says get into bed,” Maxine Weintraub recommends,  “turn on old movies, and eat coffee ice cream.”  She adds that she’s taken to dancing to country music on channel 534.  (“Or maybe it is 538.”) in her nightgown for fifteen to thirty minutes every morning.  She promises to leave her building once a day to either take a walk or a drive–windows open, good music playing loudly on the car radio.   She says she’s been doing some harder stuff–“working on the collection of short stories I have been fiddling with for years.”  Staying in touch with good friends who are also incarcerated is key–  as is trying not to get annoyed at being labeled “the elderly.”

Max seems to have inspired Larry Schwirian who has taken to long walks with others (but finds it hard to communicate with fellow walkers when trying to maintain 6 foot distances between them) and suggests that “We could have a pajama fashion show.”

Lydia Bogar, too, echoes Max’s promise to get out of the house.  “The sun is shining.  Take a walk,” she says.  “Walk a long loop around your neighborhood and then drive it to measure the distance.  Tomorrow, walk a longer loop and measure that.  By the time you are ready to walk the Turnpike in the breakdown lane, the panic will have passed.

For those who need new viewing options, Kathy Wangh shares a link to free streaming sources.  Click here ,

Of course, we’re all reading.  BOLLI Matters  technology writer and resident chef John Rudy offers a link about free e-books.

Mel Markowitz suggests trying ham radio! “I’ve been a ham since 1958 and just spoke with Damian, 3000 feet above sea level on the side of a volcano, in the Canary Islands 🇮🇨!”

Donna Johns, who says her tub has never been so clean, is a fan of the online MasterClass program.

(I am a Khan Academy fan.)

Edie Aldort is also a walker–she’s appreciating the fact that the drone of traffic has lessened a bit, but she’s wondering if her dog needs to maintain a 6 foot social distance from other canines…

“This morning I am feeling grateful to be retired, in a warm, cozy house, with plenty of food and entertainment opportunities,” says Linda Braun.  She adds that her book group met online via Zoom.  “We all saw and heard one another very well;  I hope some of our classes will resume using that resource.”  (Stay tuned, Linda!)

My 9 month-old grandbaby provides lots of ideas:  play with the wastebaskets, dump all the bins of videos on the floor and then try to get out of the pile, pull the whole basket of old Plays magazines off the shelf and watch them slide everwhere–then try eating the covers; empty the family room toy bin, rolling everything that is round or has wheels.  If it doesn’t roll, just try to eat it instead. The 19 and 21 year-olds provide their share as well:  raid the fridge, cupboards, and pantry–leave empty bags, boxes, and bottles on the kitchen counters…or the floor.  Cook stuff, using as many pots and pans as possible–leave them on the stove or, occasionally, in the sink but certainly don’t rinse them.  Or just order in and charge it to Mum…

The hoarding of toilet paper, paper towels, wipes, and, worst of all, the baby formula my grandboy needs is so demoralizing…

BUT yesterday, on our neighborhood online message board, people were posting things like, “Am going to CVS at about 3:15—need anything?” and “My 8th grade son is volunteering to take out your trash, rake your yard, clean out your garage, or whatever.”  Seeing the neighborhood functioning like a true neighborhood is a pretty uplifting thing.

As is Gene Kupferschmid‘s view of “Two mourning doves making love on my little balcony.  A glimpse of Spring.”

Don’t lose heart–our BOLLI courses will start going online in the coming week!

“This is a time to appreciate and share gratitude for all the positive things we have in our lives. Family, friends, neighborhood, access to food. We have each other for support. I am sending an email embrace to all of you. No risk of infection! Hugs and Health,”  Marty Kafka

So, in the comment box below, tell us what you’re doing to keep alert and busy!  Share books, movies, and tv shows of interest.  Send other ideas to BOLLI Matters’s blogmaster:




5 thoughts on “SO, WHAT’RE YA DOIN?”

  1. Thanks to Sue for being our editor/mentor and friend. Could we have a group singalong a la Kate Smith tomorrow at noon?

  2. Trying to create a new normal with somethings that I don’t do on a regular basis ie mild yoga. Catching up on the pile of books I tend to collect and trying not spend all day on the tablet.

  3. Here’s another music related activity:

    WCRB (99.5) and the Boston Symphony Orchestra invite you to the virtual community of concerts performed at Symphony Hall, Monday through Saturday at 8pm.
    Here’s the schedule:

    March 23 – Nelsons Conducts Beethoven, Bartok, and Tchaikovsky
    March 24 – Mozart with Vogt and the BSO
    March 25 – Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays Ravel
    March 26 – Mitsuko Uchida Plays Mozart
    March 27 – Strauss and Mozart with Dohnányi and Ax
    March 28 – Kaufmann and Nylund sing Wagner with the BSO

    March 30 – Christian Zacharias Conducts Schubert
    March 31 – Tetzlaff Plays Beethoven’s Violin Concerto
    April 1 – Moser Plays Dvorák
    April 2 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in Music
    April 3 – Hannigan Sings “let me tell you”
    April 4 – A Young Star’s BSO Debut through Chopin

    April 6 – Johannes Moser Plays Saint-Saëns
    April 7 – Roth Conducts the “Eroica”
    April 8 – Bernard Haitink Conducts Haydn, Debussy, and Beethoven
    April 9 – All-Brahms with Emanuel Ax
    April 10 – Nelsons Conducts Dvorák’s Heartfelt “Stabat Mater”
    April 11 – Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony

    April 13 – The Brilliance of the Mendelssohn Siblings, with the BSO
    April 14 – Blomstedt Conducts Mozart’s “Jupiter”
    April 15 – British Orchestral Grace with Davis
    April 16 – A World Premiere with Gerstein
    April 17 – Nelsons Conducts Ravel, Benjamin, Berlioz
    April 18 – The Acrobatics of Brahms, with Gluzman

  4. Hi,
    I’m finding that getting outside when the sun shines is very uplifting!
    I make a point to call and talk to at least one friend or relative each day. I have spoken with four cousins, my sister-in-law, several friends including two who I grew up with. Have no worries I still have some college friends on the list and am remembering others who I can still reach out to. Of course, face timing with my grandkids who are in virtual school is the most fun! Amazing how the two who are in Kindergarten can get so excited and happy about almost anything.
    Making sure to smile and take some pictures helps as well! In between, I’ve read some to be ready for this week’s classes!
    Stay strong! Sandy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *