This weekend, families celebrated Passover and Easter in markedly different ways than in past years.
Easter egg hunts were all canceled this year, however spotted this week in the Whitman Park, in the place of eggs, were colored kindness rocks.
Social media postings on several Whitman sites showed the colorful finds and encouraged others to hide their own kindness rocks.
(The idea as a craft can also be helpful for art class during the home school day).
In an eggstra-extraordinary way a local business owner Monica Cole of Jan’s Towing and Recovery Service of Whitman put in more than just a full day of delivering Easter baskets.
Along with family and co-workers the group decorated and stuffed more than 150 Easter baskets to deliver and ready for curbside pickup in Whitman in hopping good fun.
“Easter was getting passed over,” Cole said. “We were brainstorming and came up with the baskets as a way to ease financial stress and anxiety for parents -out of the recent social isolation status and create joy and smiles for all.”
They made 100 baskets and, within three hours of posting it to the Whitman page, 90 baskets were already reserved. They increased the number to 175 baskets to make sure everyone who needed a basket could be included.
“I was excited that families in need were reaching out to us to accept the help for the free baskets,” said Cole. “During such a hard time with uncertainly families can depend on the local businesses to support them as they support us.”
Cole has been in business since 2016 in her Whitman location and in Boston prior to that. She is also a resident and raising a family here so seeing the community come together is rewarding to her and those around her on a personal level. Earlier this week she thanked the community via the Whitman Facebook page for the positive responses and expressed her full heart with the celebration of the Easter holiday.
Also shared via social media were local families who left decorated eggs at the ends of one another’s neighborhood driveways. Special sidewalk chalk messages of encouragement and Happy Easter greetings were left for morning sunrise surprises. Several prizes were left anonymously, but there were rumors that the Easter Bunny had been seen hopping down several Whitman streets.
Shopping for preparations for holiday meals is also more challenging as precautions against coronavirus are imposed.
In keeping with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, local grocery stores, such as Shaw’s on Liberty Street, are allowing a maximum of 60 people in the store at one time. Social distancing is aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus and grocery shopping in smaller groups can ease the minds and hopefully protect others as we all avoid groups in any capacity.
The Stop & Shop at Bedford Street in Whitman has also begun limiting their shoppers.
Responding to an inquiry through social media, Stop & Shop stated “that all of their stores are limiting shoppers however each state varies in capacity.”
In their online Covid19 statement they also posted general update to shoppers.
“We know that Stop & Shop plays a critical role in our communities during situations like this, and we remain committed to doing our very best to support customers and associates.”
There are also guidelines posted in how each store is handling and creating an environment conducive to the CDC guidelines.
Personal milestones are different, too, during a pandemic.
Among recent birthday celebrations Jackson Manoli of Whitman turned 2 years old. His parents held a drive-by-and-honk birthday in which family and friends could say hi. The doorway was decorated with balloons and signs and even a Whitman police officer stopped momentarily to whirl his siren a high point for Jackson. Parents Matthew and Devon Manoli said the birthday was “unique” in the sense of guests standing separated on the lawn or staying in their cars. It was not what you would expect for a child’s birthday celebration however they were all smiles over seeing family and friends showing love for Jackson who was thrilled to have “big boy chips” as he took his photo from a distance. The year they celebrated his Coronavirus birthday will be in their memories and photo albums. He had plenty of colorful balloons lining the fence to show all who drove by that he was indeed now a two year old.
With the stay at home orders and social distancing requirements to slow the spread of Covid-19 in a more noticeable form homeowners and families are spending additional time in their yards, both playing in and cleaning them up.
Dan Delprete of Dandel’s Construction in Hanson has seen an uptick of landscape projects as they began their season nearly six weeks earlier than their typical spring routine.
Samantha Murphy of Landscape Supply Yard which is also located at 1 Liberty St., Hanson said that they have seen a boost mostly on mulch and loam sales early lawn prep products.
The company supplies to landscapers so the increase in sales of these items and the movement is reassuring that yards are being spruced up daily by local landscaper businesses.
The physical activity of yard work in the fresh air and sun can be rewarding and a great project for people. They may be currently homebound but they are clearing out their yards and enjoying the exterior of those “four walls” as they practice social distancing.
“Finding the good in all the bad,” said Delprete has kept him in a positive perspective.
The weather and the days the sun is shining they are seeing more people looking at patios and taking brochures, he added.
Wyman’s Nursery in Hanson was open Easter weekend with several families buying flowers and looking for grave flower baskets.
Deb Seele of Whitman and her husband Michael who is Whitman’s town moderator were planning to clean up and decorate her dad’s grave. This year is unlike years past as she couldn’t be together with her elderly mother who is in quarantine at American Living of Hanson, she said.
Having her in the residential setting has been unsettling for now as they create a new normal like so many other families only talking through the phone. She planned to update her mom on the Easter flowers and their visit to her beloved late husband.
Heather Weydt and her daughter Jessica, 13, of Hanson purchased flowers to top off baskets they planned to construct and drop off at doorsteps for their loved ones. They planned to add a sweet Easter surprise of candies since they could not physically be with one another, she said.
Phil Wyman of Wyman’s garden center expressed his thanks and gratitude as a small business to be open in these difficult times. He had simple gardening tips for families who aspired to create a garden or plant project. The least complicated, beginner gardener could plant Pansies which he called a more “durable” flower that quickly adds color and tolerates spring temperatures.
Preparing a garden indoors with peas, lettuce, and cabbage is an easy way to get kids involved in the planting kits and seeding process.
Reaping the rewards as the blossoms flourish the project can easily get everyone involved in most age groups.
“With a little bit of love and fertilizer you will get it all back and more,” Wyman said.