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What have our Hawthorne authors been doing during the “duration” of Corona Virus shut-in?

Lou Ellen Watts, the author of Sleeping in Dixie’s Featherbed tells us what happened for her.

Lou Ellen, whose home is Franklin, Indiana, had a full contingent of appearances for her book in Indiana and the deep South, but that was then, and there was a new “now.” Here is her personal story.

A few months ago we returned from vacation just as the corona virus “attacked”. My freezer was full of microwave dinners and I had lots of canned goods so I thought I had enough food to last forever. But now it has been days of self – confinement and Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is starting to look pretty bleak.

Since I am in the category of the elderly, I am hesitant to roam the grocery store and search for something other than microwave dinners. But I thought that I could get up at 6 AM and shop with the other elderlies at the break of dawn when the grocery stores open early for those over 65. I was told that one store required an ID showing that you are “one of those”. I remembered seeing part of the parking lot at Walmart designated for Pickups only. This could be the solution.

My computer skills aren’t the best in the world but I have ordered some things on line before so this couldn’t be too hard. I pulled up Walmart and clicked on “Pickup and Delivery” then selected “groceries”. A whole list of items with pictures flashed across the screen with “Add to Cart” underneath. This was going to be a piece of cake.

I went through and selected what I thought I would want. Next the computer said, “Create a Google Account”. What did that mean? I had a Walmart card, wasn’t that enough? I tried to create the account but couldn’t figure it out. So I went back to the beginning and started again. This time I saw that “delivery” was an option and decided that would be a better choice. I went through the list again, pressed delivery and didn’t have to create a google account. I clicked on review and noticed that the groceries were to be delivered from Rushville. That didn’t sound right so I closed the site up then started again. Now the list came up with only bananas listed. Where were the other items I chose? By this time I was totally frustrated and shut the computer off and went to the pantry and got the last Oreo.

Maybe Meijers store would be easier so I typed in Meijers clicked on “Pickup”, then chose “Groceries”. Pictures came up just like at the Walmart site and I began choosing. But I couldn’t get more than a few items to choose from. Does that meant that is all I can order from there…no Oreos, no butter, no hot chocolate? I scrolled all over the page trying to see if other items could be ordered. I pressed “return” and it did exactly that, returned then closed the whole computer off. I got up and found one stale Pop Tart and ate it.

By this time I was totally frustrated but I knew I had to do something or I would have to get up at dawn and go to the store with the other elderlies to shop.

My last choice was Krogers. The procedure was the same as the others: “Pickup”, “Groceries”, “Select”. Yahoo, it worked. I punched in my credit card number and saw one last message on the screen, “Review”. There was my list of 30 items. I began scrolling down the list and was pleased at first but then realized that I had ordered 4 loaves of bread, 3 cheese cakes, 3 bottles of orange juice and some miscellaneous items. Surely there was a way to correct that mistake but why take the chance? I might have to go through the ”Pickup”, “Groceries”, “Select” procedure again and maybe even create a Google Account.

I closed the computer and went to get a goodie to eat. There was nothing but a container of whipped cream. I yanked the lid off and squirted some of the foamy cream in my mouth. About that time my husband wandered in and said, “What’s that foam all over your mouth?” Embarrassed that he might laugh that I was eating whipped cream right out of the container I slurred, “I was just brushing my teeth.” Then clutching the whipped cream behind my back I slowly made my way back to the computer for reinforcement.