(Image courtesy Cleveland.com)

Well, now that we have a good bit lot of time on our hands, it can be somewhat challenging to find (constructive ways to fill it. Especially if a lot of our familiar haunts such as restaurants, bars, gyms, etc., are closed. So…

Walking

Weather permitting, which has been surprisingly good for late March in Buffalo, we go on walks. They range from 30 minutes to +60 minutes. Most often it’s the two of us, but we have gone on walks with family and friend. (Note: the “group” is no larger than three people and we maintain recommended social distance)

Clearly, there are benefits. An obvious one is getting outdoor exercise. Coming out of a western NY winter, that’s always time well spent, but more so these days. The other benefit is that we’re socializing. These are mental health breaks in the clearest sense of the phrase.

Non face-to-face communication

Somewhat along the socializing lines is a bump in data/phone usage. We keep in touch with our respective circles of friends and family via phone calls, texting and FaceTime. With our son/daughter-in-law and grandson 2,000 miles away, this is the norm, but we’ve expanded the circle to include family/friends that we’d see on a frequent, regular basis.

Reading

If you have the time, you may as well learn something. Or at least be entertained. I recently finished two hardcovers; ‘Reality Isn’t What it Seems’ and ‘The Great Detective…’. (The first was very well written, the second, less so). The hardcover supply dried up with the closure of public libraries, but via the library site I did download an app to enable me to read eBooks. I have finished four books dealing with physics/cosmology and have just changed it up a bit with Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘A Study in Scarlet’. I’ve enjoyed the series ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (Jeremy Brett) and ‘Sherlock’ (Benedict Cumberbatch), but this is actually the first Sherlock book I’ve read. I’m hearing Watson’s narrative in the voice of Jeremy Brett.

Online Courses

Again, if you have the time… Just before all hell broke loose, I’d completed an online Course via Coursera. They have quite a few topics that are free, and some that aren’t. I’ve completed about a dozen Coursera offerings and always enjoyed the experience.

I’ve also resuscitated online lessons in German. I’d taken some adult ed courses quite a few years ago, got away from it, now here I am, back again. This may be a test of the “teach old dogs new tricks” maxim. Wir werden sehen.

Golf

In addition to walking, another recreational option is golfing. Several area golf courses are open, subject to constraints. Any dispute whether golf courses are “essential businesses” is mute. The courses have instituted items such as; one (1) person only per powered cart, or in some cases, no powered carts offered. Some courses have mothballed their rental pull carts – if you need to use a pull cart, better bring your own, or you’ll be carrying your sticks. Some courses have also removed the cup liner and flag sticks, with the instructions “holes are cut center(ish) in the green” so there is some point of reference. Regarding tee times and greens fees – call in, information will be exchanged over the telephone. Not sure how it works re having a starter to monitor/control tee-offs. With any luck, I’ll have done this next week and I’ll get back to you.

Meanwhile, be smart and stay safe…