By Emma Esteves

Due to the growing concern over COVID 19, there is no doubt that right now, many of us are confused, angry, sad, or maybe even anxious. While our daily routines and lives might have changed, it is amazing to see how people are still keeping themselves busy in unique ways during our time at home. I myself have also discovered some hidden talents and tricks to find entertainment throughout the day. In such uncertain times, I may not have the answers to the world’s frequent questions, but there is one thing that I am 100% sure about: I never thought that I would…..

  1. Stand on my front porch and play the ukulele

Yes. I really did this. I’m not sure how many people heard or even saw what I was doing, but after watching countless videos of people playing music from their balconies, I wanted to see if I could get a similar reaction from my neighbors. Although I didn’t go viral, one lady did honk her horn, so I consider this a win.

  1. Play the recorder at the bottom of my driveway

Once I put my ukulele away, I found a recorder (probably from third grade) tucked away in the corner of my basement. I pulled it out, blew off the dust, and printed the most basic sheet music for “Country Roads.” Once again I went outside, stood at the foot of my driveway, and let the lovely sound of crackling air twisted into the melody of John Denver’s famous tune ring out. This time, however, I am pretty sure no one heard me.

  1. Go on a walk with my twelve year old dog every night

Ok, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but let me give a brief background of my dog’s history. She’s a chocolate lab who, at ages 7 and 9, tore her ACL, had fluid in her ears (now they are all shriveled) and is the equivalent age of an 84 year old lady. I would have never thought that she could manage a long walk every night, but somehow, she continues to surprise me every time. I always joke that she is the one walking me because she still pulls on the leash like a puppy. 

  1. Engage in a three hour (very intense) game of Monopoly

Family game night never ends well. Usually, some type of civil war erupts within the Esteves household and as a result, board pieces go flying and people end up screaming at each other. Needless to say, we are all very competitive, so I was shocked when we all sat down and “peacefully” played the classic game of Monopoly one night. Sure, there were a few ruffles, like when my sister told my 10 year old brother that he doesn’t know how to spend his money, or when my other brother landed in jail after rolling three doubles and we laughed at him, but the game went on for three straight hours! I don’t think I have ever been more invested in making sure that St. Charles Place, States Avenue and Virginia Avenue were major sources of profit.

  1. Have a Family Movie night every Friday

Like game night, movie night rarely happens in our house. No one can ever get along when trying to decide on what to watch and someone is always bound to be upset by the final choice. Since we have a Disney+ Account, a lot of our entertainment stems from these choices. Past movies have included Pixar films like UP and Monsters Inc, but we have ventured into the classics as well with Rudy and Topgun. Some others (that we weren’t fans of) are Miracle Run and Run the Race. 

  1. Attempt chalk art even though I am terrible at art

It seems as if chalk art is a really common way for people to express themselves during this time. I have noticed so many cool designs when I am outside, either with inspirational messages or fun pictures. So one day, my sister decided she wanted to do the same. I marched outside with her, found a nice slice of sidewalk, and grabbed a piece of chalk. Now, I am a terrible artist, so I don’t know why I thought that this would be a good idea. Minutes in, I then remembered why I despised chalk as a kid- I hate the texture and the way it feels on your hand when drawing. I did manage to make a smiley face though, and after I finished I made the executive decision to never touch chalk again.

  1. Run a mile in my driveway

On Youtube, a few people have attempted to make running more interesting by completing a mile within the comforts of their own home….literally. I have seen a few people do 90+ laps around their living room, 1000+ laps in their backyards, or never ending loops up and down their driveways. I was inspired to say the least, and with nothing better to do one Saturday morning, I decided to lace up my shoes and see if I had the attention span and motivation to run continuous laps around my driveway. Looking back, I probably seemed like a complete fool and provided a lot of entertainment for my neighbors, but I did it. I lost count of my laps after 35, but if you are truly bored out of your mind, try walking/running/jogging a mile in a small space. It really opens up your mind.