Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘lockdown

Like everyone else, many of my plans for this year have been ruined due to the global pandemic. A long-anticipated trip to Venice, a trip to the UK to see longtime friends and to celebrate a good friend’s 70th birthday, a meeting with a Canadian friend in Valencia, visits from Canadian friends during their around the world tour, and a trip to Canada to attend my youngest grandson’s high school graduation and a huge family reunion – all cancelled. But the biggest disappointment of all, is missing the opportunity to see my 91-year-old mom.

Mom is well looked after in a care home in Medicine Hat, Alberta. I keep in touch with the staff on a regular basis, and they have informed me that she is doing well, is happy and healthy. They are doing a great job of keeping the residents safe, and no cases of COVID 19 have been detected in the care home, which is a relief and I am so thankful.

But she is not allowed any visitors, for obvious reasons. As a result, I’ve not been able to Skype or FaceTime with her from Spain for the past four months, as it is the visitors who facilitate these video calls. I keep feeling she will think she’s been abandoned because no one comes to see her. I send her emails, as do my brothers, that the staff read out to her, but I really wish I could see her, at least on a screen if not in person.

The care home recently started allowing the residents to have visits by appointment. These visits are held outside with the regulated two-metre distancing and both parties wearing masks. My darling granddaughter made an appointment last week and visited Mom. It was hard not to be able to hug her great-grandmother or hold her hand. Mom has difficulty hearing and her own voice is very soft so the distance made conversation almost impossible. Initially, mom didn’t recognize her, but when she pulled down the mask for a quick smile, mom nodded and smiled in recognition. Of course, there were tears. As there were for me when I saw the pictures and video.

Mom wearing her face mask.
A quick photo of her without the mask.
Mom with a visit from her great-granddaughter.

There wasn’t much conversation but there was a lot of love. I was so happy to see these images and to see that Mom is all right and smiling.

This is what my dear granddaughter had to say about her visit:

“I booked a visit with my lovely Great Grandma. I have always had a close emotional bond with Grandma Frisch. She often took care of me when I was young, most weekends and more, and I returned the care to her when she needed it. I love her so much. Grandma’s existence throughout her whole life thrived on family. Thrived on making sure her family was ok by visiting, keeping in touch, and keeping close bonds. She is now in her 90s so she cannot hear very well and speaks very softly. Visits with Grandma are always in close contact so we can hear each other and feel the close presence.

Visiting Grandma like this, in today’s world, I had no idea I would break down. She didn’t recognize who I was at first with a mask on so I broke the rule and pulled it down for a smile. She lit up and smiled back and said I love you. We sat for our 30 minutes of no touch, no conversation, just eye contact. And uncontrollable tears from me. It is saddening, heartbreaking, and just too frustrating to even bare the strength of holding it back. I tried to hide my tears as best as I could… and I’m usually pretty strong.. but I could see that she knew. She tried to unlock her wheelchair brakes to come to console me. But of course, she couldn’t. So I smiled instead and said over and over I Love You.

I did ask, as she was about to be taken back, that we take off our masks for a real smile. The nurse thankfully said that was ok.

Our poor elders. What is this for … what is worse… and at what cost? Humans need humans. Humans need touch, humans need love…. we survive on it. Love through our eyes at a distance will have to do for now. Grandma is well, Grandma looks amazing, and I told her everyone loves her and thinks about her every day. ❤️

Suddenly small things don’t matter anymore like eyebrow waxing or hair cuts, when there are innocent people literally dying alone. And not just from COVID19.”

I feel incredibly proud of this young woman and touched by her words. And so very grateful that she shared this with me.

Who have you been missing during these days of lockdown? Have you been able to see your loved ones?

Stay safe my friends.

I am included in this group of writers who discuss what we have been doing during this time of isolation. Thanks, Susan Toy, for putting this together.

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

This is the second part of a series in which Authors who I’ve promoted in the Authors-Readers International series tell Readers what they’ve been doing during these past few months of self-isolating … See the introduction to Part 1 for a further explanation. (All links on the authors’ names will take you to their A-RI promotion.)

Fred Stenson

Pincher Creek, Alberta, is my home since last summer, as I believe you know. The advantage is that Pincher in Iso is quite a bit like Pincher not in Iso. Have to watch my step only at the post office and Co-op. And strictly avoid Walmart. Two hour walks are frequent—to offset my beer consumption.

Working on a film with Tom Radford. Great fun.

Marcello Di Cintio

I’ve been reasonably busy during the pandemic. My book about the secret lives of taxi drivers has been delayed due to all of this chaos…

View original post 1,445 more words

One of my goals, when I started writing the Amanda Travels series, was to educate as well as entertain readers. So I am always delighted when I learn that parents are using my books for homeschooling. One parent even sent me her child’s work and reports. I was impressed with the lesson plans and projects, as well as the student’s answers.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Kegan, an eleven-year-old young man, admits he is not a keen reader but enjoys Amanda and her adventures. His mom told me she loved seeing his interest and attention to almost every detail which she hadn’t seen with any other books he’d read. Looking at his reports, I can see that he understood the idea of the story. I love it when kids get it!

Here are some of the worksheets and projects from his Language Arts class

For his first report he chose to read Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone because he is from Alberta and familiar with some of the sights in the story. He also plans to visit some of the other places mentioned.

He got 81% for his final mark. Which is excellent.

One of the projects was to write a letter to the author. This is what he wrote to me:

Dear Darlene,

I am doing a book report on your book, titled “Amanda in Alberta.” I liked it! My favourite part is the horse ride. I have been to many of these places, mostly with my dad in the semi-truck. Did you visit all of the places in your books? Can you make a book of ” Amanda in Iceland”? I think that would be awesome!

Thank you for writing these amazing books!

Sincerely,

Kegan

I loved the story map he created summarizing the story via seven events
Ten out of ten for his depiction of the cover and short summary

For his next book, he chose Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting and got 83% as his final mark!

I always include a few more challenging words in the story to help increase the reader’s vocabulary. The words Kegan added to his vocabulary from this book were – monastery, boleros, distressed, dubious, spittoon, trance, alcove, apprehended. The teacher wrote, “It looks like this story was at the right reading level for you.”

I like how he described the characters.

Amanda – happy, determined, she does not listen to Leah, kind-hearted. An explorer.

Leah – helpful, loud scream, acting, kind-hearted. The tall one.

Dona – determined, kind, helpful, big heart. Loves her horse, Pedro.

He was required to summarize each chapter, which he did quite well, as well as predict what might happen at the end of each chapter. His predictions were 50% correct and 50% incorrect. The teacher wrote, “If your predictions were wrong, that means the writer was successful in her writing in order to keep you interested and surprised.”

I just heard from his mom that during lockdown, he has been reading Amanda in Holland for his current Language Arts class.

It makes me very happy to know that my books are being used in classrooms and for homeschooling. My goal has been accomplished.

Copyright © 2020 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved

A great post featuring articles from people in various parts of the world and how they are dealing with the pandemic. Proof that we are all in this together, and globally we will get through it. My article about our little corner of Spain is included. Let us know how you are doing as well. Stay safe!

Empty beaches. Photo credit Darlene Foster

Views of COVID 19 – Thailand, Mexico, Spain and Australia

by Sue Slaght

In a time when our personal worlds have shrunk and we remain at home as much as possible, we wonder what are others experiencing? With gratitude, we begin a series on views of COVID 19, featuring friends, writers, photographers and acquaintances from around the world. 


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