Photo by Marion Herndon of azaleas in her yard, Raleigh, NC

At the risk of stating the obvious: good things are happening every day, even as most of us wonder whether we’re facing a best case or worst case scenario, as described by Nicholas Kristof in his New York Times column Sunday. (Perhaps most likely something in between?) Nashville just got the news that we’ll be sheltering in place for 14 days at least.

One of the good things that happened yesterday is that my younger daughter, home from college, cleaned her room. 

A  neighbor left a generous gift at my front door. 

Our dog did not die of an Advil overdose after deciding to sample a delicious unguarded liquigel on the floor of my daughter’s room.

The sun came out after days in hiding and my husband put the pillows and duvet on the back patio to air out. 

“Thanks for having the outside world on our doorstep each morning as we awake. We know kindred spirits are close by,” wrote my friend Barbara Phillips. That made me feel good.

Today, I’m delighted for Charlie and Lawrence Cook stop in at Bacon with their take on Life in the Time of Corona – the Books and the Bees…

The Cook family

Interview with the Cooks:

How worried are you about Covid-19?

Lawrence: I’m worried about the world in general, but not about myself. 

Charlie: I am worried about my parents and going through another financial crisis. 

You have one daughter in college and one in high school. What does all this mean for your family? 

Lawrence: They enjoy college and being with their friends. I wish they could be together and could be safe. For high school, it is hard and I’m worried about both girls’ socialization. 

Charlie: It is disruptive in their academic years. But in the grand scheme, that feels like a first world challenge. 

How will the new Shelter in Place order affect you?

Lawrence: Charlie will continue to work from home and has the best office in the house. My office is still figuring it out. I have responsibilities for essential operations for our work in Hermitage. We are low key about our ops, so the less said the better(technology needs). 

More breaks for workouts for sure!

How do you think you’ll use some of the extra time at home? 

Lawrence: Reading, gardening, puzzles, games and cleaning.

Charlie: Reading, beekeeping, watching movies, dog time and family time.

I love that reading is first! If you watch more TV, which shows will you watch?

Lawrence: No clue. 

Charlie: Concerts and documentaries.

What shows (including documentaries) have you watched in the last year or so that you would highly recommend?

Lawrence: “Vienna Blood” on PBS and you didn’t ask about my podcasts – Ologies by Alie Ward is my favorite and the Mark Fraley podcast – local Tennessee and nature etc.

Charlie: “The Patriot Act,” “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel,” “The Biggest Little Farm,” “Dark Waters”

What are you reading right now?

Lawrence: Leonardo da Vinci bio, Why We Sleep and Hilary Mantel book.

Charlie: Bio of Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

What have you read in the last year or so that you would highly recommend?

Lawrence: Sandra Day O’Connor bio; Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine and Mysteries of Blood

Charlie: Malcolm Gladwell Talking to Strangers

What essential supply are you stocked up on?

Lawrence: Chocolate and green veggies.

Charlie: Beer.

What essential supply are you not stocked up on? 

Lawrence: We are fine and feel very blessed. 

Charlie: Meat.

What is your advice for friends trying to stay mentally healthy in this trying time?

Lawrence: Be kind and keep your regular routines.

Charlie: Get outside- it is safe to be outside and actually quite good for you.

Thank you so much, Lawrence and Charlie!!

Photos from their backyard…


The tall hive has lots of honey to be harvested in June. The smaller one is the colony just getting started.


Garlic – which Judy Wright advised – with bench bought at Nashville’s Antiques & Garden Show a lifetime (2 months) ago


L’s tennis shoe and the biggest worm she has ever seen (photo taken in the last week)


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Thank you Marina Lien for the very kind gift. xoxo