Summer can be sunny and warm, beckoning us outdoors for our recreation. This year has been a little different with the COVID-19 pandemic, however, limiting our outdoor pastimes and keeping us a cooped up inside. Even if we are free to rejoin our open-air recreational groups, there will be rainy days this summer. So, now might a good time to consider taking up an indoor hobby.
Here are eight suggestions:
1 Collect coins.
All of us likely have a coin jar that gathers our loose pocket change each night and holds it until we can haul it all to a local bank. Why not turn it into a hobby? Sure, the well-worn coins you set aside aren’t likely to ever be considered a treasure, but you’ll learn a lot about minted money from information you can find online or in books obtained from a library. Then you can go to collector shows to purchase prized coins. Google Stark County Coin Club, which meets monthly at Perry Grange during non-coronavirus periods, for help in getting started.
2 Start writing.
Write letters. Begin journaling. Put short stories on paper. Tackle a novel. Just write. Every day. You don’t have to sell anything to be a writer, and your collection of stories or books that you leave behind will become your legacy. Members of Stark County Writers Guild can help guide your development and offer both critiques and encouragement. But, the keys to getting started—words—are as close as the dictionary on your bookshelf.
3 Play an instrument.
Do you have a guitar in the closet, harmonica in a drawer, drum set in the basement or piano decorating a corner of a parlor? You promised yourself awhile back that you would learn to play. It’s time. Plenty of opportunities to learn are available, either through continuing education classes or private instruction. The best way to get started, however, might be getting a “learn-to-play” book and following the advice offered in an old joke about getting to Carnegie Hall—practice.
4 Become an artist.
People who think they might want to learn how to paint or draw often talk themselves out of it with the belief that “I don’t know that I have the talent.” How do they know? And, isn’t not knowing how the whole point of learning? The wonderful thing about taking up art as an avocation—devoid of the pressure of needing to earn a living from your skills—is that it can be relaxing if you just allow yourself to proceed at your own pace, learning as you create during private instruction or an art museum class, until you no longer think of yourself as a student. You are an artist.
5 Take up genealogy.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have answers to such questions as “where do I come from” and “who came before me” or any of the other queries that result from being part of a family? Determining from whence we come is easier today than it ever has been because of online sources—either paid or free. The genealogy departments in libraries can point you in the right direction to begin your search. But, help in getting started may also be as simple as a Google search for immigration sources or emails to older members of your family.
6 Try woodworking.
Remember wood shop class? It was awhile ago, wasn’t it? But, perhaps bolstered by a lifetime of fixing things around the house or helping friends build things, the skills probably still are there, at some diminished or perhaps heightened level. And you have tools in your garage. Put them to use. Start small. Perhaps buy a book that offers instructions and photos for start-up projects. Before long, you’ll be having an immeasurable amount of fun and have stumbled on an unlimited source of Christmas gifts.
7 Knit or crochet.
Your mother might have taught you these skills. Pick the needles back up. You know the motions from watching your mom or your grandmother. Look for like enthusiasts. Stark County District Library and YMCA of Greater Stark County both have knitting clubs. Start with one or both of them. Find individuals of mutual interest and form the kind of knitting circles that friends and neighbors found popular when you were young. The family member who gets to wear the cherished garment you complete will remember you long after the gift was bestowed.
8 Learn phone photography.
Who says you need a camera to take memorable photographs? A phone will do. And we don’t mean selfies in front of waterfalls or group shots from family functions. The elements of a good photograph are the same whether you’re taking them with a modern cellphone camera or an expensive device devoted only to photography. The handy thing about learning how to capture images with a cellphone is that your camera is almost always in your purse or pocket. If you find out that photography is for you, then you always can buy a better quality camera with an assortment of lenses and continue your picture progress with a local club, such as Quail Hollow Camera Club or the Wilderness Center Nature Photo Club.