Being Distantly Social

“We’re sorry, but the person you have reached has been disconnected.”

Yep, that’s me.  Disconnected.  Forgive me while I vent for a moment.  Just skip this paragraph if you want.  My usually busy schedule is now blank, no quilt meetings or shows, no retreats, no classes, no sew-ins for charity or anything else.  Quilt of Valor presentations postponed.  Mountain State Fair canceled for this year, so no competitions.  No gathering of photos and quilts, crafts and recipes for entering contests which usually takes up the entire month of August.  All dinner events, overnight weekends, speaker events, parties, holiday events and socials canceled for the rest of the year.  Invitations to friends not seen for months for socially distant activities are met with ‘sorry, other plans’.  No explanation, no ‘hope we can do it another time’, just nothing.  Everyone has apparently had enough of Zoom as evidenced by the lack of participation in the last two I attempted to organize.  So discouraging.  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday, what day is it?  Inspiration for creative activities is hard to come by now as well.

Does this sound like your life, too?  I want you to know you are not alone.  We have to find new strategies for interaction as we are in this for months to come.

Autumn Jubilee in the Garden at

I was researching ideas to combat these feelings of isolation, and came across a good idea from WebMD. We need to flip our thinking around, and no longer be ‘socially distant’ but ‘distantly social’, putting the emphasis back on the social and less on the distant.  Let’s have more driveway visits, and six-foot chat time with good friends who say “YES!!!” when we ask, or at least suggest a different date.

Making Connections at

Seeing faces is important to feel connected while staying at home.  I recently had a video chat with the two lovely ladies that moderate our Friends of From My Carolina Home Facebook group, Pat and Mary.  It was so nice to see them and we had a fun hour of conversation with a bit of show and tell.

Virtual Lunch at

Plan some distantly social outings, where the event is outdoors, and you can maintain a safe distance while still being connected.  My Sweet Babboo has been planning another distantly social drive that includes ice cream for later in the year for our MINI club.

Send more Happy Mail!  I cannot tell you how much these surprise happy mail cards meant to me.  Thank you so much, Carol and Daryl!!  You lifted my spirits when I really needed it.


Dig out a magazine and make a new project for a gift or donation to a cause.  I started going through these for inspiration, and to winnow out the ones I can donate. Planning for something in the future is helpful to me, so I am beginning the design work for Autumn Jubilee.  This year, more than ever, I think we need something to look forward to.  It is always fun to see all your comments on those posts, and helps all of us to feel like we are part of something.  Share your projects in our Facebook group, Friends of From My Carolina Home.

Something that usually helps me feel more connected is doing something for someone else.  This past year the Safelight Project was more successful than ever, with enough bags to last until next summer.  Dear reader Ruth Coleman has been thinking about another way to contribute, and came up with a great idea.  She sent me this link for Soap Sacks, made by crocheting or knitting with 100% cotton yarn.  I know it will take a bit longer to do these, so I wanted to give you all a head start.


See the link for patterns, tags, and yarn recommendations.  We will definitely add these to the bags next year.  I’ll get some nice soaps to add to them in packing to save shipping costs.  Here are Ruth’s first ones, she’s getting started!  She made some face scrubbies too.

I’m working on the next Dahlia quilt for Bullington Gardens fundraiser now.  I’ll share that with you soon.

See more ideas on these posts –
Staying Busy in Challenging Times
Clearing Away, Stash Management, and a Plan

How are you keeping busy, and staying distantly social?

45 thoughts on “Being Distantly Social

  1. It is so very hard to stay social in this difficult time. I find it is even worse for my elderly mother as she can’t even get to her patio without help from me, so her local friend can’t come to visit unless it is planned with me. I am looking for crafts that my mom’s arthritic hands can work on to keep her mind busy. I know that my crafting and reading is keeping me sane. Yet, only by continuing to be strong and staying socially distant do we have a chance at having normalcy sometime in the future. Stay safe.

    1. Sandra Clark

      I’m only in my mid fifties and I’m very healthy so I continue to go to work and go about my normal activities. I live in a medium sized town so I don’t worry about Covid at all and sometimes even forget about the mask requirement until I go into Austin where there’s nazis waiting at the door to make sure you’re wearing 1. I can understand why someone who is older like in their eighties or has a health condition would be worried. However I don’t listen to the main stream news anymore I listened to doctors and I am not worried about catching Covid. I probably already had it last year. My daughter and son-in-law in San Antonio had it in July and they were sick with a headache for a week or 2 and they said it was no worse than that regular flu or a bad case of Cedar Fever that people get in Central Texas. Their 3 small CV children didn’t catch it from them.

  2. I know how you feel. I just don’t see an end to this. I thought surely by August it would be over, but not even close. I guess people are finding their “new normal” in all of this.

  3. thatfabricfeelingcom

    I adore that term “distantly social.” We visited with 2 friends in our backyard yesterday. It was lovely, low key and quiet enough for us to hear one another from 6 feet apart.


    I feel the same way. I did arranged a luncheon with 3 friends, it did not happened as I had hoped. We were to meet at a restaurant that has outside dining. When I got there, none had on mask and did not want to sit outside. So we went inside that had close sitting. It was good to visit but I was very uncomfortable. I just don’t understand some people.
    I do have a blessing in that I have my husband. We have several friends who have lost their mates. We are calling them often , which cheers us up and them.

    1. Sarah

      I feel the same way Carole. My sewing and reading does keep me going. But some days I am really productive and other days I don’t get much done at all. I have finally come to accept this lack of motivation sometimes happens. I think it is an unconscious response to the “everything is cancelled” that you mentioned. I am starting to sew for holidays, hoping to get energized by that.

      And by the way, nice shout out you (At least I think it was you!)got in the 1,000,000 pillowcase ad I saw in current issue of Quilts and More!

  5. karenfae

    I am not a social person so after the first month of staying home and only going out for necessities I got kind of used to it and most days are the same as they have always been. I did miss going to exercise though at the local very large fitness center that is owned by the hospital so we got a treadmill which between I and hubby is getting well worked out. I have mentioned to my hubby though that for very social people it must be hard – for introverts not so much. The other day I thought ok maybe seeing as masks are mandated now I should at least go through a drive through for lunch and then walk around Hobby Lobby and see what was new as I used to do that a bit – I met my daughter at her lunch time from work and we parked cars in the parking lot ate lunch with our windows six feet apart and talked. Went in and shopped a bit – but both of us were so careful to stay six feet apart (she is working so we are not in a bubble) and try to enjoy looking at things but I was thinking so much of not getting to close that I didn’t even enjoy it.

  6. Mary Stori

    Very well researched and analyzed observations. I’m so fortunate to have tons of ideas for new wall art projects and the materials to make that happen!

  7. Some days I’m happy to be tucked in at home and sewing. Other days I need to be with a friend or two. I have had friends over for coffee on my deck – we sit socially distant and chatter away. She brings her own coffee and comes up the stairs to the deck. I’ve gotten together with two other friends for a sew day, again on a friend’s deck, and it’s been so good. We have to be creative on how to gather and still stay safe.

  8. You said it well! No reference points to determine the day of the week drives me batty. Yesterday I was sure it was Thursday for some reason…lol. I socially distance to the sewing room a little each day just to find something normal in my life.

  9. Diann Smith

    You are right. I am in the same place. I call it “Covoid Fatigue”. I find myself not quilting but reading about what other bloggers are making. Ready to get out and see something besides my house.

  10. Pat Semeraro

    Distantly social is such a good idea! At least we are all in the same ocean, just different boats 🙂

  11. I’m always happy to read your posts and see how others are replying, too, Carole! I’m sure some of what you’re experiencing with some friends has to do with them not being all that comfortable even with distantly social visits, and I would put myself in that category. We’re all responding to this health issue in different ways – and that’s certainly evident in the variety of comments you’ve gotten today! The hardest part for me is not having things – like travel, especially – to look forward to. A new quilt project helps, though – and Autumn Jubilee is something I always look forward to!

  12. I have been sewing and quilting a ton more than usual, which helps. I’m usually a voracious reader but find I can’t settle down with one book, but have started many. We take healthy walks whenever we can. We have met with friends and my sister and BIL a few times in socially distant ways, always outdoors. We are all firm believers in masks but outdoors we are OK without and stay 6 feet apart. I dread winter when it will be difficult to get out. And I do find I miss “window shopping”. We really limit our shopping right now and still use curbside stores and restaurants. My husband starts back to school teaching in the fall at the University and we are dreading his possible exposures there. Hang in there Carole and continue your quilting contacts!

  13. Hi Carole. Yes, social distancing is challenging. I am a homebody (my daughter calls me a hermit)..I like being at home, so it’s easy for me these days. My husband, however, newly retired, hasn’t reached that point yet and loves to be out and about. He’s learning to relax now. We are both blessed with more craft projects that time! I am working now on Christmas gifts for my family and friends. It is my hope that I will have them all finished by December 1 so I can enjoy the season without the rush-rush to finish projects just under the wire (like I usually do!). I find myself writing more letters these days…yes, the handwritten, old-fashioned snail mail letters! I have several pen pals and it is such a joy to receive actual letters and cards in the mail. That they took the time to write you a letter makes me feel loved. I think my letters do the same. I have a high school friend who now lives in an assisted living facility. I send her a postcard each Monday with a short recap of what I’ve been up to. It’s like having a chat over coffee each time, something I wish we could do in person. She has told me that her facility has restricted visitors and the residents are not allowed off site yet either. The mail means so much to her as the only form of communication with the outside world. She has no computer. This week I’m sending a homemade fabric mask with her card. Just a little something to help brighten up her corner of the world! And, mine too.

  14. I want to also share an activity I have been involved in for about 5 years now. It is called Postcrossing and is a worldwide postcard exchange program. Free to join and participate in. Basically, you send a postcard to someone whose address is randomly drawn from the pool of members. They will register the card on the site when they receive it (a unique tracking number is used). When this happens, your name is put into the address pool for someone else somewhere else to send a card. Right now, I receive between 3-5 postcards a day from all over — US, England, Germany, France, South Aftrica, China, Japan, Australia, etc. I have also found several penpals that I cherish…I currently write to pen friends in Finland, Spain, France, Australia and several here in the US. We are socially distant due to geography, but yet still connected through the written word. And, the people I have met are down to earth, with hopes and dreams, just like you and me. It’s like having a worldwide backyard fence of neighbors to share your life with. I get my coffee klatsch time in too…I do my postcard writing while having my morning coffee. It’s like sitting down with a different group of friends every day. Check it out! I hightly recommend.

  15. I hadn’t heard that term yet ‘distantly social’ – that’s wonderful! You had some great idea’s. Thank you. Today we are having 2 couples over and I have arranged the patio seating for distant visiting. guest are bring their own drinks and I am suppling each with their own bottle of blue cheese stuffed olives, smoked oysters and individual crackers. This will be our big hoorah for summer visiting and a real spirit pick me up for us all. I posted my progress on my Dahlia panel on FB the other day. Not sure if you got to see it 🙂 She’s keeping me smiling.

  16. Rosemary B

    It makes me cranky and lazy. Or maybe it is just all of the usual running around I have to do to keep the house full of food, and daddy’s too.
    Summer is not helpful. I can’t stand this heat and wearing a mask.

    I do well being solitary with hubbs, but I just went over to see the grand babies yesterday at youngest daughters. That was totally wonderful. Leaving was painful with two grand girls sobbing saying good bye.
    It has been so many months, I forgot what life is like before covid…. or maybe for me it has not changed much.
    I do love staying inside in the summer and sewing

  17. jancarall

    I feel your pain. It is as if people died while living. I don’t get it. Fear is a powerful thing. If anyone doubted it before this virus hit, they cannot deny it now. I have migraines, the worst trigger is perfume (a 72 hour migraine). People who have socialized with me, is well aware of it, yet they still wore perfume. But now I am suppose to care about their health and wear a mask around them. Do they care about what affects my health? Okay my vent is over as well. I love your blog. I love seeing the beauty which surrounds your world.

  18. Jennifer Rauch

    Ohboy! Cranky & lazy – that is me some days! Hub is micromanaging what I buy, what we’ll eat “how about____?” tho we’ve just had that dish earlier in the week. Why do we need that? Why so much? We have the $ for everything, & when he says “Oh,we’re out of ___!” I like being prepared with that extra item that we use all the time! Seems like he wants a medal for swishing out the toilet from time to time! I know, I know, I’m lucky he is taking any interest, but kinda got used to going to Scrabble group & stopping on the way for my Jr. Bacon cheeseburger & Sr. soft drink! Gym has opened up now, so we’re together again riding to/from, but online Scrabble with my buddies is missed. I’ve read & read & read sooo many books! Made soooo many cards of encouragement! We’ve started taking a day-trip drive to explore our state – last week it was covered bridges! We printed out a list & took a picnic “just in case”, enjoyed discovering a distant special place was open for lunch outside. Aah! A few weeks earlier we drove an hour to the big city to try to find renovated homes we’d seen on an HGTV show! Very distinctive, & we had the street names only, so that was a fun challenge for a little getaway. Mostly, if I need to vent, I try to be brief, then shove the frustration behind me, take a deeeep breath & carry on!

  19. kathyinozarks

    Good post!
    We don’t feel as isolated as many because we don’t have hardly any family left and the loved ones we do have-live far away up in Chicago. We have both worked so many long hours and days before retirement that we never did much socializing any ways. we would hold huge bbq’s at our small farm several times a year though.
    retiring to a different state and rural-very difficult to meet people, and the area where our woods home was-was a big disappointment the area wanted nothing to do with “outsiders” we did end up with a handful of friends but now we moved to the lake so we have no one really any more.
    If it was not for the internet interaction with my friends and art friends I would have no one to talk with. so we have always been alone. It is harder on my husband as he needs people-but with covid and his health concerns he can’t be out in public stores much so that does bother him at times.
    we are seniors so that’s just the way of things I don’t regret moving to the lake at all-the views and being able to see people opposed to living in the woods and seeing no one has been a blessing.
    It is our mindset as well-I find happiness with each other, my arts and crafts-learning new things, watching all the “action” on the lake over the weekends-and we love the eagles when they stop by for a visit.
    sorry for the long post-I started sending out cards for different things this year for more interaction too. hugs Kathy

  20. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Yep, my sentiments exactly. We did get out for a few days and go to the Gulf to eat seafood and did a little necessary shopping and ate lunch out yesterday. Just not much mojo to do quilting or anything else. So glad for the blog hops that keep me somewhat busy. Since my daughter has to be back at school every day, the Memaw and us are taking turns with the kids until they start back, BUT as my daughter (SLP) will have to be in school every day starting last Wednesday and the kids will be in class only Thursday and Friday only with online learning the other three days (starting the 19th), I guess I’ll be teaching three days a week – at least for the first four weeks!! They will reevaluate at that point.So, I may be busier than I want – but at least it’s time with my babies!

  21. Jean McKinstry

    So many varied opinions. Distancing and masks are for a very good reason, and even younger ones can get the Covid 19, and take SO long to recover completely.We had total lockdown for 4 weeks here, did not go anywhere, friends did our groceries, those over 70 advised not to visit a supermarket, so we didn’t. It was so hard to be motivated, I did a lot of sewing of small items to put away for gifts later one, others had a Friday footpath drinkies at 4 p.m. each week, we waved to so many strangers as they walked past, called from across the street, and kept safe. Life might never be the same as before, but when we have our health, our friends, close by or SO far away, we can phone, email, blog, mail a card or letter, and keep in touch in whatever way suits best.Carole, you seem always so positive, this shows how hard the isolation is,I hope your friends rally round in a safe way, and you have a distant social get-together.

  22. Such an excellent post (love your blog!) Yes so many things cancelled and sometimes it makes me so sad and other times I am happy the spread is not worse. We have ventured out of town and that was a fun distraction – I love road trips, but we’ve had to cancel some awesome flying trips we had planned.
    Oh I hope you were not impacted by the earthquake I just heard about in NC!

  23. I miss people. I enjoy interaction with people. Now, people treat me like I am just waiting to infect them. I do all that is asked- masked, distancing, handwashing, etc, but I feel like I am being treated as a criminal when I try to get together with anyone. I like sewing, shopping for fabric, and painting with people- all gone for months. I learn from interacting with people and enjoy learning about them. I was an art teacher before retiring and loved working with students. Marguerita from The Quilters Calendar has helped me realize the possibiltiy of learning from other quilt guilds and am trying to pull my guild along to engage online. She has been a gem.

  24. Sharon Vrooman

    Our guild has found the outdoor park meetings very helpful in being ‘social’ and I meet once a month with a few gals from several counties from Hall of Fame with a park social. Our in-house quilting classes are now just one day instead of three as we had so few who wanted to come back. BUT that is all my Mom wants at this time – my time is mostly tied up with her care now.

  25. We are two introverts here, and now it is canning season…We are however blessed with some nice neighbors to visit with on the sidewalk, and are most fortunate to live in a state that tells everyone to rely on common sense and be smart, so we have no rules put upon us, except by the big box stores that are requiring masks in order to enter. I feel for the states where things have gotten out of hand.

    But, enough of that! I have been less motivated this summer, but I attribute that to stress from all the chaos March-May and DH’s ill health this summer. When I need to, I seem to be able to get moving! Yesterday was nuts: I did a Dutch oven full of tomatoes, ran to Running to buy a new sieve, since my 30 year old gave up the ghost, sieved the tomatoes and put them on to cook down, mowed, grilled burgers and then did two loads of peaches. (Today has a nap on the agenda!)

    Maybe you guys need to “get out of Dodge” and head toward the Midwest for a week. We seem to have fewer restrictions and certainly have lots of space. I have another friend that lives in PA, but now summers in WY, and she said the difference is incredible.

  26. Love this, Carole! Start spreading the news . . . I’m joining in today . . . It is always about how you look at a situation. Is the glass half empty or half full? Seeing the good side of a situation is sometimes difficult but there is almost always a silver lining. ~smile~ Roseanne

  27. Tami Von Zalez

    Very isolated. Since I live in a remote area in Northern California, work was my social touchstone. Be prepared for the long haul. Those who can work remotely will continue to do so 100% for the next year and beyond.

    I am taking a hard look at early retirement just so I won’t spend the next 4-5 years in a dark bedroom in front of glowing screens for 8 hours a day.

  28. Lots of good ideas here to stay socially connected. You have to wonder where this terrible thing will end. Next year, perhaps, we can all start traveling again.
    Luckily, way down here in New Zealand, most things are back to normal, except overseas travel. But we must stay vigilant, we are told, just one case sneaking in can cause devastating effects, as is happening g not too far away in Australia.

  29. Susan Nixon

    You have some good ideas. Frankly, when I want to visit a friend, I just go visit, or they come here. Most of them, I don’t keep 6 ft. away, and we hug and talk close to each other. I’m 72 years old. If I get this virus, oh well. So far, I haven’t gotten it, and my brain isn’t fried, I’m not climbing the walls, and I don’t feel lonely. I’ve been for my doctor’s check up, several dental appointments, grocery shopping, church every other Sunday, and visits with friends. I’ve been to restaurants, fast food, the park, and walks downtown. I’ve babysat for one friend several times. Life isn’t anything if you aren’t living it. That probably doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s okay. It works for me. We all make the choices we are willing to make.

  30. It really is such an odd time. And I think fatigue is setting in. We are really noticing it here as we are back in stage 4 lock down. Curfews and isolation for us. But I am happy to do it if it works in the end.
    I have two zoom groups. We catch up on a set day and time each week. We will often just sit and sew in our homes and chat along. It is often the same topics but we check on each other and enjoy the company. It is too easy to lose track otherwise.

  31. Sherry V

    I tried the link for the soap sacks and I get a message saying that it could be impersonating the website to try to get personal information or money.

    We have done some camping with friends and have been amazed at how many people are not following guidelines. As my parents are older we have been self quarantining after the trips.

    I have also been out of work for 4 1/2 months……which has helped with getting some charity projects done, but this new normal isn’t very much fun.

  32. Lisa C.

    Carole, I feel your pain and share your sentiments. Husband and I lead a quiet life but it is difficult dealing with the grief of Covid. We have lost our peace of mind and the ability to make plans of any kind outside the four walls of our house. When we do venture out with NYS mandated face masks to do the absolute necessities, it is uneasy and just feels sad and depressing. I try to keep up with friends and extended family via emails and phone calls. Haven’t done a lot of that lately as I’ve been nowhere and done nothing to even contribute to a conversation. I read, quilt and we have a camp only 5 miles away from our home. I am so blessed for a change of scenery, but it isn’t the happy time we usually have over there every summer. We also enjoy motorcycling and have noticed that when we are driving through a rural area, people who are outside, drop whatever they are doing to wave to complete strangers, apparently thankful for any kind of distant human interaction.

  33. Linda Brayton

    I was never as socially active as you. Therefore, staying home a lot doesn’t bother me much. I make quilts for Project Linus, drawstring bags for Beads of Courage, pillowcases for a local homeless shelter, etc. I’ve already got 3 sets of cases made for your next Safelight Project (March 2021?). I’d like to knit some soap sacks but the link still isn’t working.

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