1. Who are/were the members of your core stay-at-home group?
Just our immediate family — Myself (Ebbie), Adam, Stella, 4, and Eva, 10 months. Though Adam worked a great deal during quarantine, so it was really just the ladies!
2. What is your occupation?
Co-owners of Sift Bake Shop in Mystic and Watch Hill.
3. What was the most surprising thing you discovered during the long days of confinement?
I didn’t mind being home as much as I thought. I love a good snow day, so this was a similar feeling. Knowing friends and family were home safe as well was reassuring.
4. What was the most uplifting part of being isolated all that time?
Being with our two young daughters and enjoying every moment with them.
5. What was the most difficult part of being isolated all that time?
Same answer as above! :)
6. Did you have a special project you worked on during the stay-at-home orders? if so, please describe.
Having a 6-month-old at the time who only wanted to be held by mom made it very hard to get anything done. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
7. What was your go-to meal in the stay-at-home days?
Breakfast for dinner is always an easy favorite in our house.
8. What was your favorite sweet treat?
The girls and I made a lot of blueberry muffins ... it’s our go-to activity.
9. What mundane things did you miss the most?
Being able to put Eva in the grocery cart. Sounds silly, but I always loved taking Stella to the store as a baby.
10. What was the first thing you did when the stay-at-home orders were lifted?
Had my parents over for lunch on our deck.
11. Did you participate in any distance schooling/games/activities with teachers/friends/family members during the stay-at-home stretch? Can you share a story about one experience?
I had a few Zoom calls with friends, and that was fantastic to share some good laughs and see people I love. Thankfully Stella is only in pre-school, so her schooling routine was very lax on my end. I don’t know how parents and teachers did it. Kudos to you all!
12. How did you stay physically active?
I had put a request out in a local Facebook mom group that I was looking for a double stroller when quarantine started. A woman reached out and jokingly said she would trade us croissants for the stroller! It was the best trade ever! That stroller kept me sane and active during the quarantine. The girls and I walk our neighborhood every day, and Adam joins us if he gets a day off. If the woman who gave us the stroller is reading this … thank you … you saved me!!
13. How did you stay connected with the outside world?
Good ol’ social media! I almost felt too connected at times, since everyone was online. Sometimes you just have to log off and take a break.
14. What soothed you the most during those long weeks?
When Adam came through the door after working his long days. Everyone is happier when Dad is home.
15. What music did you listen to?
Stella loves Luke Bryan ... and I always have the “mellow folk” station playing on Alexa.
16. Did you binge any TV shows?
Of course! We jumped on the “Tiger King” bandwagon; “Ozark” is a favorite, and various documentaries on Netflix. We always watch the nightly news every day after the kids go to bed. Lester Holt is my favorite.
17. Did you have a top take-out restaurant?
There are so many great restaurants to support in the area. We love tuna fish grinders from Stonington Pizza Palace. I have been eating them since I was Stella’s age, and they are still just as delicious!
18. How about your biggest frustration?
Seeing people not taking this pandemic seriously, and people being mean and rude when people are struggling. Wear a mask, show respect, and be kind.
19. Was there a favorite board game?
Candy Land ... lots of Candy Land!
20. How have you been changed by this experience?
Like many out there, anxieties are heightened. As parents to young children and small business owners, it’s another thing to worry about.
21. What is your message of hope?
Kindness and gratitude. Never underestimate the simple act of a thank you.
— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro