Chokecherry and rosehip harvesting with Little Big Horn College. Photo: Brad Purdy, BLM Montana/ Dakotas State Office Public Affairs

Clara Caufield: Enduring the COVID Pandemic

Nobody likes to a whiner, but by golly, with ongoing COVID problem and our self-enforced home isolation, a little is in order.

Here in the West, the virus continues with a vengeance, and we, especially elders with other health issues are still encouraged to stay at home, limiting our contact with others. Why add fuel to the fire? I’m a good soldier and have been largely observing this, as have many of my other friends. In some ways we’re getting accustomed to it, but in others are chafing at the bit.

My strategies are to keep busy. Who would think that a retired (or is that just tired person, like me need to continue a daily “to do” list. It gives a sense of purpose, that’s why. Most of the time, my lists are of the daily and mundane, sprinkled with a few highlights such as the weekly grocery store trip; a thrift store fling or two, though my two favorite haunts are now closed, due to some volunteer workers testing positive.

Yikes! Did I have contact with them?

Recently some friends and I had a real adventure – harvesting choke cherries and sage. Those berries are now frozen awaiting a spate of industry and inspiration. Never did get a perfect take on jelly, unlike my Grandmas. I might try to make some chokecherry lemonade, a concoction created by the Amish people which is quite delicious.

Of course, a major highlight is telephone conversations with good friends, especially two in similar circumstances (old and not in good health) that is. What would we do without the phone or computer?

It helps to keep busy which for me means beading, reading and scribbling. While my great American novel is still only a dim dream in my brain, I’ve found pleasure in sending quick email which disappears into cyber space in just a heartbeat. I still remember my Grandmas who saved each and every card and letter they ever got -going back to kindergarten creations.


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Clara Caufield can be reached at

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