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Sunday Morning: Staying connected

Life is happening, even though I am hunkered down in my condominium. How lovely it is to get the daily newspaper. The Oklahoman is like an old friend looking in on us daily and telling stories about Oklahoma City and the world as it stands today. It is a "real time” connection to what is going on. Stories about Oklahoma people by local journalists remind us how inspiring our friends and neighbors really are.

We've read stories about people who got sick, those who have died and those who have recovered from COVID-19. We've read stories about what's happening at the stores — how people bought up the toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks and disposable gloves. And we're starting to see stories about people getting ready to return to work.

But people are also kind. They are helping others. They will give you whatever masks, soaps, food that they have. If they go out, they will look for what a friend or neighbor needs that day.

Even those who shop and deliver groceries have dedicated their time to helping others. We have felt very connected to them when ordering food to sustain us. Tip them well.

The Oklahoman keeps me connected to restaurants. Dave Cathey does an ingenious job of letting me know which restaurant are open, preparing take-out or temporarily closed. The Oklahoman also has many original articles about the effects of the pandemic on people and businesses, plus stories about helpful projects and legislative progress. How my reporter colleagues have been able to get information and photos while telecommunting during the COVID-19 pandemic is mind boggling. And how special that my newspaper carrier has stayed connected to his route for years without missing a single time!

Kelly Dyer Fry, our executive editor, said it best in an April 1 column: "We need local journalism now more than ever. We are here to chronicle this major life event; we will not abandon you. All our coronavirus stories are free on” She added, “As you weed through your Facebook feed looking for solid information, the reliable stories will come from a credible news source. You can thank a journalist for that!”

We have missed reporting about the many social events and fundraisers. Many have been rescheduled for later in the year or even next year.

And some people have found creative ways to let special people in their lives know they are not forgotten. My granddaughter’s friend secretly pasted handmade red hearts and notes all over the front door for her seventh birthday.

Friends and business associates schedule Zoom and Jitsimeet video conferences to connect. It has been great to see my friends on Zoom, who just last month I met for dinner at local restaurants. Now we are waving to one another via the computer. Texting and all social media keep the connection going in our changing world, but it's also wonderful that people are taking time to pick up the phone and call their friends. What a thoughtful idea! It is lovely to share ideas, find out where the latest items you might be chasing are located, and just catch up. Oklahoma City is known for the lovely friendship connections. If you ask people what they like about the city, they always say, “the people!”

A friend sent over one of her poems: “How do I stay connected to you? With Glue? Would the amount on the back of a postage stamp do?” She advocates writing notes to people so they can keep the correspondence and maybe reread it at a later date.

Honestly, we stay connected by being curious. We want to know about you, what you're doing, what you're reading, watching and how you're faring. We can practice “social distancing,” but we can also get up close and personal by asking people how they are doing. And then, just listen. Everyone has a story to tell.

Thanks for sending us photos of you during the last couple of weeks. We appreciate knowing your creative ideas for staying busy. Please send other pictures of your home activities. Are you painting? Sewing? Writing? Planting? It helps our readers think of things to do. We know things are still uncertain, so let’s continue to tell our stories.


Sewing masks: Daughters of the American Revolution member and honorary state regent, Cindy Henderson, made over 200 cloth masks and showed others, via social media, how to make patterns so they could make them, too. On March 31, a “Service at Home” project was announced for DAR members throughout the United States, and 50,000 masks have been made and donated to hospitals. Another local DAR member, Cheryl England, also is making masks and likened the experience to the DAR members knitting sweaters, socks and gloves during World War I. Those DAR women made 24 million garments for the soldiers.

Cutting the grass: Linda Barnett and Betty Huckabay were at the Huckabay Lodge near Indiahoma at the first of the month. As they looked for things to keep them occupied, they decided the acreage needed mowing, so they got to it!

Reading to the grandchildren: Mary Price helps homeschool grandson, Asa Everett, while her daughter, Eileen Everett, helps patients at the hospital.

Sending birthday greetings: Lee-Ann Graham, Dallas, had her front sidewalk chalked up by her friends to celebrate her March birthday.

Cleaning out the cabinets: Carleen Burger shared this with us: “I have been going through papers of my stepmother ( Elizabeth Zoernig). She kept everything ... found this letter she had saved. “ This was the 1946 Bachelor’s Club Ball invitation.

Celebrating Easter: Kanela Huff and her daughter, Lisa Voegeli, celebrated Easter by decorating the Huff house and yard for themselves. Huff and Voegeli, known for their excellent party planning skills, noted they would see us at their next party, “about July 4th,” thus waving the American flag.

Practicing yoga: Susannah Brown practiced soul yoga.

Taking walks: Hafer Park in Edmond was filled with blooming tulips recently. Lillie-Beth Brinkman took pictures as she took her walk.

Getting exercise: Clara and Winn Ferate walked through Mitch Park.

Playing games on the iPad: Pippa Ralls played some computer games during her time at home.

Getting out the chalk: Caroline Browne wrote chalk messages for her neighbors.

Left-out ingredients: On April 4 in the Sunday Oklahoman, our recipe for homemade bread was minus a couple of ingredients. Sorry for the mistake.

Linda James made homemade artisan bread with four ingredients: 3 c. white flour; 1 t. salt; 1/2 t. yeast; 1.5 c. warm water.

Mix. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 8-24 hours. 90 minutes before serving, turn the dough out on well-floured surface. Form into a ball and let it rest for 30 minutes. Slash an X on top of bread. Bake covered for 30 min. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes. Get more instructions from the “It’s Always Autumn” blog,

Related Photos
Cindy Henderson. PHOTO PROVIDED

Cindy Henderson. PHOTO PROVIDED

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Cindy Henderson. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Cindy Henderson. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Cindy Henderson. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Cheryl England. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Cheryl England. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Cheryl England. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Linda Barnett, Betty Huckabay. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Linda Barnett, Betty Huckabay. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Linda Barnett, Betty Huckabay. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Asa Everett, Mary Price. PHOTO PROVIDED " title="Asa Everett, Mary Price. PHOTO PROVIDED "><figcaption>Asa Everett, Mary Price. PHOTO PROVIDED </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Birthday artwork. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Birthday artwork. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Birthday artwork. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Typed invitation. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Typed invitation. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Typed invitation. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Lisa Voegeli, Kanela Huff. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Lisa Voegeli, Kanela Huff. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Lisa Voegeli, Kanela Huff. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - A party of two, Lisa Voegeli, Kanela Huff. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="A party of two, Lisa Voegeli, Kanela Huff. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>A party of two, Lisa Voegeli, Kanela Huff. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Susannah Brown. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Susannah Brown. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Susannah Brown. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Beautiful tulips. PHOTO BY LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN" title="Beautiful tulips. PHOTO BY LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN"><figcaption>Beautiful tulips. PHOTO BY LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Clara and Winn Ferate. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Clara and Winn Ferate. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Clara and Winn Ferate. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Pippa Ralls. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Pippa Ralls. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Pippa Ralls. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Caroline Browne. PHOTO PROVIDED" title="Caroline Browne. PHOTO PROVIDED"><figcaption>Caroline Browne. PHOTO PROVIDED</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Artisan bread. PHOTO BY LINDA JAMES" title="Artisan bread. PHOTO BY LINDA JAMES"><figcaption>Artisan bread. PHOTO BY LINDA JAMES</figcaption></figure>
Helen Ford Wallace

Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for... Read more ›