Ridgefield staying sane: How are folks coping?

Let’s share stories

Staying sane? How? Share your story.

The Ridgefield Press is inviting Ridgefielders to share their stories, brief accounts of what they and their families are doing to stay safe and sane in the time of coronavirus. Send photos, too!

Stories should be emailed to news@theridgefieldpress.com with “staying sane” in the subject line. Please give us your full name and Ridgefield address, as with a letter to the editor.

Have fun writing them! Thank you.

Humor, crossword puzzles, birding, reading, Netflix

Patricia Knoche keeps busy with crossword puzzles, birdwatching, reading, Netflix, and having a good sense of humor.

I am an optimistic person, and am trying to keep my sense of humor through all this. I have started taking pictures of a little wooden manequin everyday, and posting them on Facebook and to friends. It seems a little silly, but it makes people smile ... and is helping to keep me sane!

Patricia Knoche

Into the open space!

James Coyle of Florida Road, chairman of the Ridgefield Conservation Commission, urges people to join him (and his dogs) in getting out and enjoyign the town’s open space lands.

One of the best things we can all do in this time of high stress is to get out of the house and out into nature. Ridgefielders are very fortunate in that we have an abundance of open space in our town. There are 5,600 acres of open space in Ridgefield, 3,200 under town management and another 1,400 acres under state and federal control (the rest is in private hands). We have 55 miles of trails! While you should still avoid group activities, you can readily go out and get some exercise. Take your dog and they’ll have a good time, too.

If you don’t happen to have the great Ridgefield Walk Book, go online to our website to look at our catalogue of open spaces. There you will find downloadable maps with trails for most of our open spaces. There are many locations to visit that will keep you and your family healthy and happy; https://www.ridgefieldct.org/conservation-commission/pages/catalog-open-spaces.

So pick a space and get out there and enjoy. I am heading out right now with these two ladies (Olive and Frances) to get some fresh air, lose a few pounds, and improve my mental health.

Jim Coyle, Florida Road

Talk, walk, read

Ellen Burns and Darwin Ellis, the owners of Books on the Common, shared this:

We’ve been so busy trying to keep up with the pace of changes for businesses here in Ridgefield: trying to figure out how to keep some aspect of the bookstore going while keeping us, our staff and our customers safe, and communicating what we're doing via email and social media posts.

Honestly, the bookstore has provided some normalcy in our life and that has kept us sane. We’re trying to work on ways that we can keep the store “open” while it’s closed. We signed up with Bookshop (https://bookshop.org/shop/botc) so we can sell online, and promoted that site along with Libro.fm (https://libro.fm/booksonthecommon) for downloadable audio books).

Talking to family members and friends both here in Ridgefield and all over the country and the world has also been enormously helpful to our mental health. We’re walking 3+ miles every day, either around the lake or on Main Street. Watching cable TV (Homeland, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Better Call Saul and The Plot Against America are the current ones we're watching). And of course ... reading.

Please stay well!

Ellen & Darwin, Great Hill Road

Exercise, lists, connect, read

Here are a few things Jenny Cox and her 20-something daughter find helpful:

We bought a stationary bike off Amazon, and we are taking turns going nowhere in the backyard.

We have been making “to do” lists that remind us that there is more we should be doing than endlessly checking the number of infected people in America. We progress sporadically on actually doing the “to do” things.

We are connecting virtually with our friends — I usually avoid all social media and Facetime, etc., but yesterday I had a “virtual happy hour” with my best friend from Chicago, and it was great!

Read, read, read. Reading helps keep perspective.

Jenny Cox, 254 West Lane