And, let's not forget the cocktails: Town & Country suggests 10 "Quarantinis" to Drink While Social Distancing
Get Groceries Delivered
Deliveries are on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday until the Co-op can coordinate volunteers to expand on the days.
Delivery radius is 5 miles from the CO-OP.
ALL Orders must be placed by completing the online form. No phone orders will be accepted.
There is a $30 minimum order.
Order from Peapod, a subsidiary of Giant.
All orders must be placed online, and the total order amount determines the delivery charge. Delivery times are scheduled and as of the date of this email the first available delivery time is about 5 days out.
Sign up for the Nether-Swarthmore TimeBank and ask someone else to go shopping for you. The issue here will be paying for your food order. Handling cash or credit cards is not contact-free, as we promise our TimeBank volunteers. If you can work out a contact-free payment method with your volunteer, please utilize this method. Venmo or PayPal might work. Let us know how you did it and how well it worked!
Buy Your Groceries in the Store
While shopping, follow general guidelines on contacting surfaces, including the food itself, and on social distancing.
The Swarthmore Co-op hours are Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m.. Entry is metered, meaning that only a certain number of customers are allowed in the store at once.
320 Market is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Entrance to the store is metered. They are stocking some staples such as eggs, milk, and sliced bread that they would normally not stock.
Trader Joe's in Media hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day. From 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. each day a special line will be maintained for seniors to expedite their entry to the store.
The Giant on Baltimore Pike is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. The store is open to those age 60 and over from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. daily.
Target in Springfield Mall is open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. "Vulnerable guests are welcomed the first hour on Tuesday and Wednesday. The store is closed on Sunday.
Continue to eat well, and regularly.
Try not to fill time by eating more, especially snack foods and soft drinks.
An alternative to being "in the kitchen" is to order take-out food and just use the kitchen to warm it up after it arrives.
We are all hunkered down in Fort Swarthmore, waiting for something to break. Waiting for the next Jonas Salk to come up with the miracle vaccine that saves millions of lives.
I like the idea of daily communication and some musings of our compatriots as we wait. So let me jump in with something that might stir others. I grew up in Swarthmore. I have tried to write some of my boyhood memories. I wrote a story about J. Albright Jones, MD, a pediatrician here in town for many years. Another about Irma Zimmer, my mentor and friend. So, here is one about my back yard neighbors...anonymous to all but myself at this time.
The story may seem out of place since I wrote it as a Christmas story. But it has something of a year-round appeal because it is a love story in reality. And most of all, as we sit here isolated, it offers a bit of hope that love can show up at any time, at any age...even to senior citizens such as us.
Your old friend, G. Guy
An Irish Love Story, For Christmas
by L.T. Valentine
They seemed very old the first time that I met them. My parents, my sisters and I had just moved into our new house, in a new neighborhood and they, as an older couple, seemed like neighborhood fixtures. As it turns out, they were not nearly so old as I thought, but I was twelve at the time and eighteen seemed old to me. In fact, John was almost sixty and Nellie was only in her mid-fifties. Both of them had grey hair.
John was big, well over six feet tall and ruddy-faced right up to the top of his head, where his thinning hair revealed a scalp that tended more to freckle and burn than to tan. But what could you expect from an Irishman.
Nellie was small, almost painfully thin, with cheeks that always seemed to glow red, like she had just run up a flight of stairs, to tell someone the good news. She had sparkling blue eyes that made you think she always knew a little secret that made her laugh. The secret was John Boyle.
[the story from the newsletter continues from here...]
They had no children and, by vote of proximity, since I lived directly behind them, I became their child. I was invited to eat ice cream and taste specially purchased apples. I was paid for minor chores by Nellie when John was not available. Over the next few summers, I became the regular lawn boy, trash boy and furniture mover for Nellie who always seemed to be cleaning in the darndest places that required the furniture to be put first at one end of the room and then the other.
The chores were easy and the escape from my own home to theirs was a pleasant relief from the never-ending, never-victorious battles with my two sisters, who did not share my good fortune in the eyes of Nellie and John. After all, who would ask a girl to move furniture or cut the grass?
As I grew up and they grew old, I learned the history of their love, which is a story I think should be shared. John had asked me to accompany him one summer evening. He had to go to Suburban Station to check on some railroad problem. John, I learned, was the head of all physical property for the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was not expected to take long and the prospect of being out with John Boyle was always inviting. At worst, we would solve the problem at work and then prowl around the recesses of the building and rail yards, while John explained the mysteries of railroading and engineering and I climbed in and out of locomotives and tunnels and asked endless questions.
On the way home, at the end of that night’s adventure, John drove the Oldsmobile, a Rocket 88 if memory serves me, out of the city and I sat, alternately, looking out at the dark roads and then looking over at John. It had started to rain that night, so John was engrossed in his driving but he still had that same loving, friendly look on his face. He would talk from time to time about something we had seen earlier that night which he thought might be noteworthy to explain, in case he had not explained it before. I didn’t care how many times he explained something. He seemed to know so much and I loved hearing him tell me about things that were such wonders to me.
I wondered to myself, on many occasions, why he and Nellie did not have any children. So, being about eleven years of age, and not having the good sense to keep my question to myself, I asked him. Being the loving and understanding man he was, he told me. I was not prepared for the depth of his answer and I will never forget that ride home as long as I live. It was the only time I think I saw John Boyle cry.
It started when Nellie was a teenager, about fifteen, when she met John at a church dance. A “Social” as it was called in those days. She was a respectable young girl from a respectable Irish family. She went to private school. She lived in the right neighborhood, Bryn Mawr, I think, with other respectable Irish families and her parents were proud. My mother would have called them “lace curtain Irish.”
John Boyle was a few years older, maybe seventeen or eighteen, as Irish as his name would suggest. But his parents were not so proud. His family lived in Yeadon. And, while he was determined to get to college someday, hard labor awaited him at the end of high school. Hard labor that was well known to the members of his family, all of whom, it seems, had joined the labor gangs on the railroad for two generations. My mother would have called them “shanty Irish.” My mother would have been wrong on both counts.
To stop a blossoming romance, Nellie's parents sent her away to boarding school and she was forced to live with relatives during holidays. Despite many efforts to find out where she was living or where she had been sent off to school, the news of her whereabouts was not shared with John Boyle and his friends.
A few years went by. High school became history and hard work became reality. John, true to his family heritage, became a laborer for the railroad. But, unlike his forebears Drexel University filled his nights and John Boyle set his sights on an electrical engineer's degree. Life without Nellie was lonely for a young man. The years passed. John dated other eligible young women, fell in love and was married.
Nellie finished boarding school, found a suitable position and, in a few years, she too fell in love and was married. Fate played cruelly with the two young couples. John's wife came down with cancer less than two years into the marriage, suffered terribly for the next several years and then, like everyone stricken with cancer in those days, she died. They never had any children.
Nellie's husband suffered even worse. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and lived a tortured life for the next fifteen years before he, too, went to his reward, leaving behind an impoverished widow and a mountain of bills. Neither of our young lovers had the good fortune to have any children, due to the early onset of disaster in each of their marriages. And to complicate things, Nellie’s mother died while she was finishing school. Her father married within two years and then he died within a few years of entering into his second marriage. By the time Nellie’s life with her sick husband had become a full fledged nightmare, both her mother and her father had died. The step mother had remarried, so the people living in Nellie’s girlhood home were total strangers to her, emotionally and financially. Nellie went from being a girl of means, to a young married woman, to a not so young widow with no future and no one to turn to for assistance.
Time moved on, even for John and Nellie. In the midst of his anguish, John, who had his degree in electrical engineering, threw himself into his work with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Being smart as well as industrious, as he approached his fiftieth year on the earth, he was Superintendent of All Buildings and Physical Plant for the railroad, a position of great significance, with an office to match. Nellie worked as a receptionist in the Want-Ad department of the Philadelphia Bulletin by day, and scrubbed floors in executive office buildings at night, in an effort to pay down the enormous pile of medical bills left behind by her now long dead husband. She had most of the bills paid off, but it was a long and tedious process that literally stole life from Nellie for many years. To her great credit, she bent but did not break under the strain, although at times she was as fragile as a china doll.
It was late one night. John Boyle was still at work. As he left, putting on his coat and hat while walking down the hallway, the cleaning crew had already begun the nightly process of caring for the executive offices at the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Railroad. An event that John had walked past many times before, without much thought about what was happening or who was doing the cleaning.
I would love to tell you that it was Christmas Eve when John Boyle left the building that night, but it is almost 35 years since I heard the story from himself and it is my somewhat fuzzy recollection that it was probably closer to February than to Christmas. But this is a Christmas story, and because the greatest gift of love in the history of mankind came to us on Christmas, I will always think of this special night for John Boyle as Christmas Eve.
As John walked down the hallway to the elevator, he passed by a woman on her hands and knees, scrubbing the floor in front of the water fountain. For just a second, something about the woman made John forget the elevator and stop walking. He turned and uttered a word. A single, solitary word that he had not spoken aloud in more than thirty years; and all he said was, "Nellie."
The woman looked up, revealing her still sparkling blue eyes, as she spoke. "John Boyle, is that you?"
It was. And they were married six weeks later, which is as fast as the church could announce the banns and the license could be obtained. They shared the next twenty-six years as man and wife. They were best friends, lovers and companions until John died. A few months later, the sparkle left Nellie's blue eyes and she now rests beside her beloved husband for eternity.
I believe the words from "The Prophet" say it best about John and Nellie. "You were born to be together and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God."
Merry Christmas, John and Nellie. And Merry Christmas to all of you, especially all of you who believe in the power of love.