Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries October 2021- ‘Lucky Dip’ and Do You Trust Me??

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1100  Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the first six months of 2021

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 50,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2021. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post.
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.

To show how your post will look when featured… here is an example from the last series earlier in 2021

 Melanie Stewart shares her mother’s experiences living in a senior residential facility and the challenges posted in the previous series in May  2021

Life During Lockdown – My Mother’s Story

Like so many of us who have elderly parents living in senior residential facilities, my 89-year-old mother Ginny has been on lockdown since mid-March because of the Corona virus. This status has remained unchanged for an unprecedented 19 weeks. Since I have shared many of her stories here, I thought I would give an inside account on life during lockdown.

Ginny had only moved into the Independent living area of this facility in late October, so she passed the beginning weeks locating all three libraries in the two buildings and learning the checkout system. She enjoys reporting to me her newest “find” from the bookshelves. She also discovered that she likes walking out to the pool area and sitting, although she won’t go in the water. I am grateful that she has some freedom to take these daily walks. She is required to wear a mask.

Once management created a safe system for family and friends to “drop-off” items, my sister Hailey started to arrive every ten days or so with a load of groceries, and Ginny loves that. She stands in the lobby, waving madly while the guard sprays the exterior of the bags Hailey has placed on a table just outside the entrance. If Ginny gets too close, the guard gently extends his arm out as a reminder. During a recent phone call, she and I shared a good laugh when I joked “what would they do if you tried to make a run for it?” After the bags have moved through “customs”, mom is given a shopping cart and takes her delivery upstairs.

With no communal dining (they deliver food directly to the residents twice a day) mom has missed that social interaction. Sometimes she will walk to the front desk to “ask” a question, but we suspect it’s a way to get a conversation started. The staff is always polite. They probably receive a lot of “questions” a day. Sadly, one day a woman approached requesting if a staff car could please take her to her hair salon, her hair was “a mess”, and when she was kindly told “no”, she burst into tears. Interestingly, not long after that, they cautiously opened up the beauty salon for one day and took appointments.

Clearly, management is fighting a conflict on two fronts which is daunting. They must keep the virus out of their buildings and they must keep up the spirits of their residents. In terms of the virus, additional measures include checking the temperatures of their staff and screening them for symptoms before each shift. All employees must wear masks and gloves. As mandated by the state, their staff is tested for COVID every two weeks.


It was after one of these tests recently that a result came back positive. The staff member works in the Memory Care section of the facility. Appropriately, they moved forward to test every resident in that section. So far, all results have been negative. Some of the tests for staff are still pending.

I feel their safety protocols have been effective. To me, 19 weeks is an extraordinary amount of time in keeping the contagious COVID out of such a large complex. But I do have fears. I have heard the stories of nursing homes where once the virus arrives, it can spread quickly in a closed environment. And I would be naïve to think that another case won’t appear inside the retirement home, especially since cases have been rising exponentially in Florida. It is reassuring that they just completed a deep cleaning of the facility because of that one positive test result.

And as the start of week 20 approaches, how does the company keep up the spirits of their residents? First, they continue to provide small, frequent surprises. For instance, mom may hear a knock on the door, and someone is delivering a small chocolate treat or a pastry. Or, she may open the door to someone with a cart asking whether she would like a cocktail. Or, she may find a cheery note stuck on her door when she opens it. And of course, they are always willing to set up the popular “tablet virtual visit” between a resident and a family member.

They have also allowed a certain number of doctor visits. Ginny needed her Prolia shot (for osteoporosis) which is administered every six months. This is a two-step process where she needs a blood test first and then she returns a week later for the shot. Hailey was able to schedule “rides” for Ginny where the resident is driven by a staff member. Mom was almost giddy after those outings, so a side benefit is the psychological boost they experience when they get to leave, if only for a while.

During my last phone call, she told me that a supervisor had distributed a sheet of paper with the heading What I will Do When Things Return to Normal. Residents are encouraged to write down the things they want to see and do. Maybe they will read off some of the responses on their intercom system as a “group” activity. As Ginny and I discussed how much she misses her own hairdresser, she said “Oh, I’m writing that down” and she did. She’s listening. She’s engaging.

Mom has been phenomenal in this trying time. She just seems to roll with it which amazes me. Unfortunately, she is showing some naivete (or maybe just wishful thinking) in regards to her upcoming birthday. She thinks they may let her go to her hairdresser because it is a for a “special occasion.” Per their protocols, this won’t happen because they need 30 days of no new cases before they even consider moving to their “Recovering” step. She forgets, I think, that family members won’t see her hair up close on her special day.

And it is special. She is turning 90! I am very disappointed that my altered chemotherapy schedule now has me having my next round three days before her birthday. I won’t be able to drive the couple of hours to wave and show my support from a distance. But we will only delay the celebration just long enough so we can do it safely. Maybe she will add “celebrating 90” on her sheet of paper. What a long, strange 19 weeks it’s been.

©Melanie Stewart 2020

About Melanie Stewart

I dig into adventure novels and I’m addicted to just about any type of horror film, but my own writing has always stuck to covering the real world. I endlessly get a kick out of learning something new, and real-life stories just have that potential to connect, to pass something valuable on.

About five lifetimes ago, I worked as a freelancer for a local newspaper in suburban Chicago. I covered everything from cloning & measuring the risk of heart disease to my “Day in the Life” series where I spent the day at local businesses. I loved that behind-the-scenes theme and continue to explore it.

The blog actually started with stories about my aging mom. I had hopes to build a reference site about how to help aging parents, but life never cares about timing. In six months, the real world was pushing me somewhere new.

I’m a recent cancer survivor which means I’m way more grateful on just about everything than I ever was before getting sick and that sometimes shows up in my stories too. It’s an asset I wield proudly.

I’m not a fan of egg salad, but I am of the Chicago Cubs. I’m serious about writing quality stories, but I’m not serious by nature. I have way too many 70’s and 80’s songs stuck in my head; their lyrics and beats pop into my conversations daily. I love a good laugh and make a point of finding one somewhere every day.

I am humbled and thrilled to be a blogger and have this opportunity to publish my stories regularly.

I am also widely open to writing or sharing the realities of your life. If you would like to share a guest post on just about any topic, or be “interviewed” through written questions, contact me at

Connect to Melanie: Blog: Leaving the Door OpenTwitter: @storiesonaging


I hope this has given you an idea of how the post will look.. if you are an author I will also add your books and a buy link to Amazon. Look forward to hearing from you.. thanks Sally


60 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries October 2021- ‘Lucky Dip’ and Do You Trust Me??

  1. I’m so glad to hear some positive stories from care homes, Melanie. It’s been so difficult for them, and in the UK the advice they got was confused, nonsensical at times, and changed at the drop of a hat. Many care homes were ‘given’ patients from hospitals with no thought of screening them for covid before they arrived. Disaster upon disaster. I’ve written stories of bereaved families with no direct contact for weeks, not even phone calls for some absurd reason.
    I hope your mum made it to 90, and I hope your chemo is working too, without too many side-effucks, as Mary Smith has coined them.
    Beautiful Pot Luck dip, Sally, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great way to promote that hidden treasure that lurks in all our archives, Sally. I always feel sorry for some of those posts, especially those containing helpful information and advice. Count me in (if you want to go through my archives). If you do, take a torchlight and supplies.

    And thank you for mentioning how important it is for bloggers to have an ‘about’ page and links to their social media accounts. I know many shy away from self-promotion, but we have to do all we can to promote our writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Plaisted Publishing and commented:
    Good morning everyone, I’ve run across a post you’ve just got to stop what you’re doing and read.
    Not only is it another grand promotional opportunity from our dearest Sally Cronin​ but the story she chose to demonstrate what posts would look like when shared onto her blog is most incredible.
    This is a heartwarming must read.
    #Author’sCorner #NewsNuggets #Marketing

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Haha! “Do You Trust Me???” 😉 Sounds like a fun series. Love that bloggers will have to trust you rummaging around in their posts and choosing ones you want. Looking forward to seeing what you find. I don’t blog often and don’t know that I have anything all that interesting, but feel free to root around in those archives if you want. (Happy belated birthday to your mother, Melanie.) 🥳

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Melanie is such a great writer! I first connected with her because her experiences with her mom reminded me of mine with my mom. As people live longer and these costs continue to rise, many haven’t realized what an enormous economic challenge assisted living will be for them down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – September 12th – 18th 2021 – Queen, Self-Care, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health, Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up -19th-25th September 2021 – Excursions, Free Book/blog Promotion, 70s Hits, Stories, Poems, Book Reviews, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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