What little kid in the history of the universe has ever wanted to wash her hands? I remember distinctly hoisting up my 2 or 3 year old daughter Ruth at the downstairs sink – to wash her hands – while she screamed bloody murder and I pretty much did too. It was not my finest hour. Parents need all the help they can get.

Karyn Frist has written an enchanting, sweet-spirited, energy-infused children’s book that might help make washing hands a little more fun for the littles in your life. Charming illustrations by Tricia Lowenfield give the book a timeless feel. Instead of the usual Q & A format, I’m offering a written mixed tape of Karyn’s answers to my Bacon interview questions… 

From Karyn Frist:

My stress level is low to moderate, I have been homebound since a January 3rd skiing accident when I broke my leg on our annual family ski trip. My goal was to start walking and hopefully getting back to a little golf by April 1st, but that has changed. 

I try to live by the old saying to make lemonade out of lemons, but I will say this has been hard.

Maybe being homebound since January 3rd has made Quarantine easier for me than some of my friends?

I haven’t left my house much at all! I do a daily drive-through at Starbucks, then I drive by both of my children’s houses. And drive around and look at the beautiful cherry and redbud trees and then go home.

I’ve only seen my grandchildren once at a distance, it is such a void in my life

I grew up in West Texas where people are tough! When bad things happen I try to pull myself up by the bootstraps and look for the good and be an optimist.

When I broke my leg I decided I would write a children’s book. On March 3rd the devastating tornado hit Nashville. I sat in my wheelchair feeling so helpless to do anything, and soon the COVID-19 virus raised its awful head and I once again felt helpless. So much suffering and sadness. In solitude and soul searching and when your mind is clear, things come to you. One night I had an epiphany that I would continue to write a children’s book, but it would be a guide for children to learn to properly wash their hands in a fun way… and maybe it would help slow the spread of this terrible virus in some small way. 

Tricia Lowenfield is an incredibly talented and creative artist with a whimsical European folk art style. I was thrilled when she agreed to help me with this project. She is so busy, but she stepped up to the plate to work on this project. You must look at her talent – https://Tricialowenfield.etsy.com.

Many of the books I love to read to my grandchildren are the same books I read to my children, Where the Wild Things Are, The Gingerbread Man, some of the old Golden books, Goodnight Tractor by Michelle Robinson, and Tricia Lowenfield’s new book, Thank You So.

The hardest part of the coronavirus is seeing so many people suffer, not only physically and mentally, but also unemployment and falling into financial trouble. For me personally, I miss hugs from my grandchildren and hearing laughter at Sunday night dinners with my children and grandchildren. I miss my girlfriends playing bridge and golf.

I have had quite a bit of adversity in my life. And even though sometimes I felt like I couldn’t pull myself up, each time I have been able to. When you hit a dead end, look for another avenue. I depend on my faith. 

I have watched “The Night Manager,” “Grace and Frankie,” “The Morning Show,” and “Two Popes.” I have read The Great Blue Hills of God by my friend Kreis Beall, a strong woman. The Bible. For comfort and guidance and answers. Finding Mrs. Ford by Deborah Goodrich Royce.

My advice would be to get a dog and stay positive. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through the last three months without my little Miss May.

The best part of the virus homestay is simply reflecting on life, on what is really important, being thankful, and maybe cleaning out a few closets!

All of the proceeds from my book are going to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for tornado relief and the COVID 19 response.

 (Even though I have had the chance to do some wonderful things in my life I’m really a homebody which possibly makes it easier for me to stay at home.)

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For more information and to purchase a copy, please go to ButIwashedmyhands.com.

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Beautiful books and custom-made products by Tricia Lowenfield on Etsy: