June 20, 2024


Home living innovation

A year like no other: From education to entertainment, COVID-19 changed everything | Home & Garden

Some years I have to cast around for top stories in Home & Garden.

In this section as elsewhere, COVID-19 took center stage. Stuck at home, Quad-Citians helped children with their school work, tackled home improvement projects, planted more gardens, baked and searched for things to be happy about.

They also canceled events — spring plant sales, 50th anniversary celebrations of Earth Day, summer garden tours, the biannual quilt show and the Gold Coast tour of homes. 

Also canceled were the Illinois and Iowa state fairs, the Rock Island County and Mississippi Valley Fair, 4-H competitions, fall and holiday bazaars and the Quad-City Arts Festival of Trees. 

The latter prompted Tim Riley, of Eldridge, and Jackson Frerichs, of Davenport, to create do-it-yourself Sugar Plum balls for their daughters at home, complete with dinner, dessert, dancing, flowers and fancy clothes.

Former Times staffer and “Home Rookie” columnist Stephanie De Pasquale Soebbing took time out from her quilt business to sew and ship face masks for coronavirus protection, and showed us how to do it ourselves.

Bird-watching soared both nationally and in the Quad-Cities as people with little else to do finally took notice of a fascinating world just outside their windows.  Kelly McKay, of Hampton, Illinois, tells me he has twice as many people signed up to be “feeder watchers” during this year’s Christmas Bird Count as in a normal year.