Tag Archives: nursing homes

Find a Pandemic Pen Pal

The other day a friend of mine posted some photos from a nursing home in Texas. Some of the residents were looking for penpals. Their facility is locked up because of the pandemic, so the people are presumably getting lonely. Each person holds a white board with their first name, listing a few items they like. In a few moments of spontaneity, I wrote to one of the residents. I chose Matt because he simply wrote that he is interested in war stories. He reminded me of my dad a bit, and my dad loved war stories when he was living in the nursing home. Also, I am researching my great-uncle Chuck’s military history because my uncle asked me to do so. He told me that there is a story there, one that I had never heard before. I don’t have all the info yet, but when I do I plan to reveal it on my family history blog. I’ll probably link to it here.

Anyway, I wrote to Matt about my dad being in the Korean War and Uncle Chuck in Germany during WWII. I really hope he writes back, but he might get a lot of mail. I felt happy just writing to him, even if I don’t hear back.

I wondered if other nursing homes are doing the same. I mean, it didn’t take long to write the letter and it cost me a stamp. I found this article by AARP: Pen Pals Share the Joy of Letter Writing. The AARP article led me to this website: Snail Mail Social Club. For this “club,” you end up writing to individuals in “facilities,” as well as to the staff at the facilities. I think this is a chance to thank people who are taking care of our elders. I filled out a very brief form for Snail Mail Social Club. I put down my interests as animals, art/crafts, history, and reading. You have to choose from the choices on the list. I will be sent a list of people to write to by email.

Letter writing is strictly old school, not like what bloggers do. To blog we need the power of the internet and the power that goes into our computer electrical cord (or battery). It felt good to send out a letter. Now I better write one to my aunt!

Kind of ironic that I am posting about letter writing when the USPS is in trouble, but then maybe it is meant to be that I write about this now.

I told my mother about writing to Matt and asked if the nursing home at her campus offers something like this. She asked me to please call and give them the idea. I left a message on the voice mail of the appropriate person, but I have not yet heard back.

If we all, adults and children alike, wrote to just one pen pal, that would give light and color to the lives of so many people who are cooped up from Covid, unable to even see their own relatives in person. Imagine how it feels to be locked in, wondering if you will die before you can go for a car or bus ride or see your relatives again.

This photo is from my father’s U.S. Army photo album from his time in the military. Interesting that he seems to be posing in front of the quartermaster school. He was not a quartermaster, but he was a supply sergeant, so it’s likely that (unless I have this confused) he worked for a quartermaster. He isn’t wearing a uniform in all of his photos. In some of them he is even wearing a bathing suit. I chose this one because I like his jazzy sweater.

I’m going to close comments because it’s been a super busy week, and I need to catch up with comments and the blogs of others. Make it the best week you can (considering haha).

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Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, #writerslife, Inspiration, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

Websites and Nursing Homes

The guy who created my daughter’s website made one for me (ask me for his contact information if you are interested in hiring him). I might make a few small changes to it, but see what you think: website link. I wanted it to focus right now on Doll God, but to provide samples of my writing, as well.

Then I wanted to add something fun related to dolls and art, in honor of Doll God. So I asked blogger mareymercy if I could put up her recent doll photographs. Here they are! If you want to find her photos from the home page of my website you click on DOLL GOD and then go to Dolls as Art. There is a reason her blog subtitle is “Photography and Frivolity”–so much fun!

On my links section, I have mareymercy’s photography links. If you know of other doll art that is appropriate, good-natured, and high quality, post me the link in the comments here so I can consider adding it to my list of links.


My dad is in the nursing home now. He’s not happy to be there, and I completely understand. My experiences with nursing homes have not made me too keen on the places–even the best of the nursing homes are still “institutions” with all the potential problems of institutions.

When my grandmother was in a nursing home for rehab after surgery (years ago), a large lady named Frieda gave her baths, shoving and slapping her. Grandma had a panic attack and called me, telling me how she needed to get out of there. It’s the same for my dad. He had a nightmare that he was in jail.

Those of you so inclined please pray for him. And he will be thrilled with good vibes, virtual Reiki, and all manner of well wishes.


Filed under Art and Music, Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Doll God, Dolls, Nonfiction, Photographs, poems about dolls