I was flooded with memories being in Westwood. I was able to revisit old neighborhoods and take familiar walks. Some things remain the same and some have changed, but the feel of the community was familiar. We had set up The Key Idea when a freakish storm blew threw the park just as we were getting started. Torrential rain, high winds, thunder and lightning, for 15 minutes or so. Branches fell and so did our display. Everything, including us was wet. Then then sun returned brilliantly and delivered us a rainbow. The Celebrate Westwood team of Rose Ann and Lauren jumped into action and saved the day. Rough start yet a memorable event. Through The Key Idea, people talked about what is important to them in a word or a sentence. Good people live here, I filled my heart with memories and love from a time long ago.
Day 2 Visiting my past, including best neighbors from long long ago. Walking to Bogart's Pond. I'd cross the pond every day as I walked to school. It was also a favorite meeting spot for friends. Now there are big safe railings...back then, the footbridge was low and we had access to the pond for fishing, wading and skating. I used to sit here and read. Also, I had my first big important kiss here. Woohoo.
So many feelings and memories come to me as I visit my hometown, Westwood NJ. I haven't been here in more than 30 years. Family and friends moved away so I no longer had a reason to visit. Lots of things have changed, but the Bandstand, Library and Train Station look exactly the same.
Nice to revisit the long long ago and remember long forgotten things. I see lots of people who look to be my age and wonder if I went to school with them.
I feel drawn to this town right now. We'll see who we meet.
Coronavirus Chronicles: The Story of a Global Pandemic
Thursday March 12, 2020 Day 1
What a weird day. Everything is different now. Coronavirus cancels sporting events, schools, Broadway, the Boston Marathon, the St. Patrick’s Day parade and the entire NBA Season. So, we cancelled the rest of The Key Idea events and planned the trip home, five days of driving. Shopped for road food. The shelves at Trader Joe’s were nearly bare.
Sunday March 22, 2020 Day 10
Stay in • wash your hands • practice social distancing • no crowds • no groups • stay away from others • wear masks • no contact • flatten the curve
Around the world - ALL schools, churches, temples, public buildings, stadiums, museums, everything, everywhere is closed!
Wednesday April 22, 2020 Day 40
I feel really bad, some days are just so hard.
I want my life back and it will not be the same.
It’s a low low low day.
Sunday May 3, 2020 Day 52
Happy Birthday COVID style • Ellie is 6 years old! Luisa and Jesse arranged a drive by event with friends, classmates and Girl Scouts. ZOOM call with family.
Thursday May 25, 2020 Day 74
The days roll on. There is a calm sameness.
Then, America watched the killing of George Floyd. His neck under the knee of a white cop. On FB, we saw him die.
Then the protests began.
Sunday June 7, 2020 Day 87
My last class of second graders graduates. Class of 2020
Seniors stood on socially distanced orange marks in the Sandwich High School parking lot.
All who wanted to could drive through and celebrate them.
Many students held signs supporting BLM.
Coronavirus Chronicles • Reopening Book 2
Thursday July 16, 2020 Day 127
So much is unknown.
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 Day 139
The uncertainty looms…
what about school • what about sports
Virus is spiking across the USA
Swam at Grey’s Beach with Robin as the tide rolled in.
So hot again nearly 100 degrees
Tuesday August 25, 2020 Day 167
4 Months ‘til Christmas. What will be the status of the pandemic then?
So weary of the coronavirus and all the precautions and limitations
Meanwhile getting spaces cleaned out for remote school.
Computer space, Writing space, Project space.
Wednesday September 16, 2020 Pandemic day 189
First day of first grade• fully remote school.
Zoom Rules of School and let’s get to know ya'
Friday, September 18, 2020 Day 191
Notorious RGB passed away 87
Now what? Our country is at a crossroads.
The GOP will pack the court with extreme conservatives.
Friday October 23, 2020 Day 226
I’m upset about so many things. I’m on high alert.
ANXIETY Having trouble sleeping.
I’m worried about everything • catching the coronavirus • all children everywhere • the election • the economy • the poor • the future
Thursday October 29, 2020 Day 230
Stay away, don’t get together with family and friends
Boston Marathon is cancelled in 2021
Broadway is closed at least through May
No parties, no parades, no celebrations of any sort and no end in sight
Plan to wear masks until the end of 2021
Thursday, November 5, 2020 Day 239
Biden is expected to be the winner, but still..
Our 3rd day of tallying a record shattering number of votes.
Trump is inflaming his base by claiming victory- attacking states that didn’t vote for him.
FRAUD he cries. Millions of mail-in ballots postmarked by Nov 3 can arrive by Friday in PA. It’s the one remaining swing state to count.
Saturday November 7, 2020 Day 241
Biden Harris • a national sigh of relief.
I think I’ve been depressed for a while. I can breathe now. A huge weight has been lifted.
RIP Alex Trebek 1940-2020 I will miss you.
Coronavirus Chronicles • The Second Surge Book 3
Nov 9, 2020 Day 243
The US leads the world in confirmed cases.
Monday November 16, 2020 Day 250
Today 73,000 American are hospitalized, more than any other day. Recommendations
•wear a mask •avoid people outside of your household • stay home
New restrictions across the country.
Don’t travel for Thanksgiving Family, groups, even small gatherings are super spreaders.
Friday December 18, 2020 Day 282
Another COVID holiday coming up. It’s so strange to be always home. We rarely go to stores, few outside visits from friends • Colder.
We walk around the neighborhood.
CDC approved Moderna Vaccine. A bit of HOPE.
Saturday January 2, 2021 Day 297
It started out good. Foot massage with Poppy.
Then, I felt washed in sadness throughout the day. SO SAD. Whattodowhattodowhattodowhattodowhattodo?
It has all gotten to me.
I knew back in March that our lives would be forever changed.
Wednesday January 20, 2021 Day 315
The Inauguration of Joseph R Biden and Kamala Harris
UNITY The most elusive of things in a democracy. President Biden
Bold Fearless Ambitious • Ellie witnessed a powerful moment. KAMALA
Raise this wounded world for there is always LIGHT,
if only we are brave enough to see it, brave enough to be it.
22 years, Amanda Gorman, youngest Poet Laureate …what a Rockstar
Friday February 13, 2021 Day 329
Vaccination frustration continues… open to folks 75 plus
A senate full of cowards. A sad day for democracy.
Trump acquitted of incitement of insurrection
Mitch McConnell was not honorable.
Coronavirus Chronicles • Vaccinations • Book 4
March 1, 2021 Day 355
Coming to a clinic near you.
Could that be the light I see there at the end of the tunnel?
Thursday, March 11, 2021 Day 365
…and just like that, it’s been one year.
Tried all day to get a vaccine but none are available.
No one predicted this kind of year would happen.
The weirdest year you could possibly imagine.
Finding light in the darkness is the most American thing we do. President Biden
Someday we will look back on the year or more of the COVID-19 pandemic. I've been collecting postcards that describe other's experiences and I find I must journal pretty much every day, it's how I cope.
Good things in unexpected places Embrace the unknown.
I hope the KeyStone brings the reminder that wonder and mystery can be everywhere. And that joy can be unexpected- just go with it! Surprised to see that this Cape art project is making its way to New Jersey! Found in a local park by our Cub Scouts going on a rock hunt- What are the chances!
Thank you to Ginny and Michelle and the cub scouts who found a KeyStone which was placed in a park in New Jersey almost four years ago. There are more around, just waiting for curious kids and adults to investigate something unusual hidden in plain sight.
These are strange times, We are all doing what we can to get through this. I know I can help others by sparking art.
I realized that people around the world are experiencing feelings of disappointment all at the same time. All events with family and friends are cancelled. I think it could be the first time there has been such a universal feeling.
Sharing your sadness and the ways of dealing with all the changes can be helpful. I am launching a new art project, Keys to Coping. People of all ages can join in this project with a postcard created on paper or created digitally.
What are you missing and how are you coping?
Share your disappointments or your strategies.
Please add you challenges, disappointments, strategies or ideas for coping. Participation guidelines for creating cards or digital cards are on this website. I am happy to mail you some postcards for the project, just send me your address and how many cards you would like.
Add your name for regular updates. Contact me with questions.
We had planned to be home by the first day of Spring. We never anticipated the circumstances. I will be getting out the last email post of the trip very soon. We were in LA on the day when the national closures started. We had planned to leave our van in California with friends, fly back to Massachusetts, briefly and then fly back to CA and travel for another two months. We drove home instead... 9-10 hours a day, we drove for five days. As we adjust to the new normal, we are glad to be home.
Add your name for regular updates.
I will be adding to the website soon and I'll catch up with emails as best I can.
Also, I have an idea! Coming soon.
Live music is a constant in Nashville. As we walked downtown on a Monday afternoon, we heard live music from every venue on the street. Nights, there are live bands on every floor. We always like a nice Hop On Hop Off tour of the city. Our driver, Tony, like so many people, work their jobs that support their ambition. You move to Nashville for the music, weekends Tony plays guitar in the Tim Thurman Band.
The Main branch of the Nashville Public Library is a busy place, it was voted National Library of Year in 2017 for its community programming which attracts people of all ages throughout the day. Shout out to all the middle school students and all the adults who shared important thoughts
Memphis is home to the National Civil Rights Museum, located in part in the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony outside room #306. This museum was incredibly powerful as it traced the ongoing struggle for civil rights. We visiting Graceland, who new that Elvis was twin whose brother was stillborn?
So a funny thing happened. We were expecting our absentee ballots and checked the mail at our AirBnb in Memphis only to find a flyer announcing a community potluck the following night. I contacted the host who invited us to come along and bring The Key Idea. Thank you Deborah and Mark, we had great conversations with your neighbors. And Steve, thank you for going home and getting some used keys to inspire others. We so enjoyed you all.
I am awed by the diversity of this country and we are just getting started. I think Baltimore is one of my new favorite places. The American Visionary Art Museum is a place I must return to. The amazing work throughout the museum was all created by individuals who do not self describe as artists. From the silly to the deeply profound, there is something to enchant everyone.
Next stop Williamsburg where we visited my sister Lisa and her husband Bob. Mom lives in a Brookdale facility nearby. We were able to offer The Keys to Our American Dreams to the residents who have important ideas to share. So pleased that mom is there, it's a wonderful place with interesting people.
Leaving VA, Diane and I headed out to parts unknown. Neither of us had yet been to Asheville, NC Cam MacQueen hosted a wonderful event at THE BLOCK off biltmore a vegan, social justice bar. If we lived here, we'd be regulars.
We stayed in a mountaintop cottage with a steep and curved ascent, amazing views and delicious water.
Lenore Lyons is passionate about igniting the spark that happens when people think creatively and get big ideas. There is something about riffling through a large tray of keys that encourages people of all ages to think about possibilities for their life and their loved ones.