It's still going to be the 1st Saturday in May
It's Derby week - or it should be. I've seen the social media posts and memes...you probably have too - It's Derby Week in Kentucky - check on your friends...we are not OK. It feels so strange not to have the city a buzz with activity, fireworks, balloon glow and races, parades, chow wagons and of course Churchill Downs opening and all of the wonderful racing events there and the Derby Museum simply packed full of visitors and people. I know that these things have been postponed until September, it will be so different, and hot...really, really hot!
I thought that since we are still probably feeling the void of such a historic and momentous week, I'd share a few things that we can do to still take advantage of the weekend and maybe, do things a little differently, from the safety of our homes and neighborhoods. We can still have fun, drink a Mint Julep, get dressed up, check in with each other and take a trip down memory lane of Derby's past.
There are a few LIVE virtual events that will allow those of us whom are really missing all the festivities on the 1st weekend in May, but in a little different way this year. From friends and family that are hosting their own LIVE zoom parties to local Louisville groups working hard to bring the party to you from the comfort of your home, there is plenty that you can do to get plugged in and connected with other Kentuckians and Derby fans that want to celebrate our traditional Derby weekend. You can even download a Virtual Meeting Background from our friends at Louisville Tourism - HERE.
Virtual KYDerby at Home Party
This is a great first of it's kind event that will take place on Saturday, May 2 from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. with a day-long virtual #KyDerbyAtHome party and Churchill Downs, who will match up to $1 MILLION of COVID-19 relief donations. The day starts with a LIVE Virtual tour of Churchill Downs at 9 a.m. and offers lots of other great things from Kid's Arts & Crafts to LIVE Cocktail crafting during the day. Starting April 30th you can visit KentuckyDerby.com to donate and support the relief effort. Find all the details and the complete schedule HERE.
Recipes for your perfect Delayed Derby Day
When I was growing up, Derby Day was always a big family affair. I grew up in Lexington and my parents never went to Derby while I was living at home, but the day would start early non-the-less. My mom would pull out all the stops, from decorations, to homemade bourbon balls and a spread that would feed an army, all centered around her amazing Kentucky Burgoo. We played games, stayed close to the television and always had a Horse pot drawing for each race with the Kentucky Derby having the biggest ante's for each pull. It was always a super fun day, even in the rain and one I looked forward to and hold memories that will last a lifetime. I wanted to share with you my family's recipes for: Kentucky Bibb Lettuce Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing, Sondra's Kentucky Burgoo, Grandmother Edith's Derby Pie and of course a classic Mint Julep exactly as my mama made them. She was an amazing soul that lived for family get togethers and a great excuse to party. This Julep's for you Mamma (Sondra) - I miss you every day!
Take a walk down memory lane
As we reflect on what Derby Day, weekend, week and month means to us and are looking to a way to remember the fun times we've had and look forward to the Delayed Derby festivities in August and September, we can use some of the time to recall some of our favorite memories through storytelling and picture memory books. I have a half century of memories, even though I don't recall so far back. The memories I've made over the years include many different Derby Days, but most all good. I've had Derby Days spent at parties with family, friends and sometimes both. I've been to Derby Weekend fundraisers like the Hillbilly Outfield which raises money each year for the Make a Wish Foundation. I have celebrated Derby at Churchill Downs (both in the infield, in the stands and int the really good seats), at Keeneland, at Prairie Meadows in Iowa and once at a wedding of a family member, also in Iowa. I've also spent times at home, with just me and the kids. All of them hold special memories. A few years back, I ran the Triple Crown of Running as well as the Derby Half Marathon. Talk about a huge accomplishment for this gal, I ran each race solo, I trained solo and for the big half marathon, my oldest daughter happened to be visiting from college (USC in Columbia) and she was there at the start and at the finish. That was a real amazing mom-daughter moment. She went on to run her own half marathon a few months later in South Carolina. I put together a poster of some of my personal favorite moments, just to remind me that even though Derby Day 146 won't be running this weekend, as Kentuckians and Derby Fans everywhere, we will Get Through this Together and are all #TeamKentucky at Derby time. You can do something similar on a platform like Canva or just tape printed photos on a piece of poster board for your own walk down memory lane where you can hold some of your favorite memories close at hand.
I don’t know about you, but I really wished as I put my head on my pillow last night that I’d wake up this morning to all media avenues announcing APRIL FOOLS! You can return to your life - COVID-19 is nothing more than a bad April Fools joke! Unfortunately, the opposite was true. I awoke to learn no such luck, and actually, today, stores like Home Depot are only allowing one person in at a time. Still no toilet paper to be found, still getting price gouged on Amazon, where my favorite brand is $26. Are you kidding me? Maybe I should consider the washcloth method my granny used. Nah...my kids wouldn't go for that either. Evidence of price gouging below. This stuff best be made of silver like the lining I'm trying to find here.
How quickly things are changing and evolving – can't even keep up as we, the human race are forced to adapt to this new life of social distancing and self-imposed quarantine. Most non-essential businesses have been forced to close and essential businesses are faced with mandating how many people can shop at a time and closing off isles that they deem not essential (are you kidding me?) in an effort to prevent the proverbial “shut-in-itis” (as my granny used to call it), shoppers from making trips to combat boredom instead of the “only when you must go out” recommendation from our extremely popular Governor Andy Beshear.
Gov. Beshear’s daily COVID-19 news conferences (shown above) have become a regular on-line get-together as people across the commonwealth (like myself) and our fellow Kentuckians that are currently residing outside of the state, plug in to social media (Facebook) each afternoon at 5pm to hear daily updates, get encouragement and post comments and questions as well as offer encouragement for one another, including the Governor. You can watch by visiting the Governor’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/GovAndyBeshear. From what I gather as told to me by my friends outside of the state, Kentucky is getting a great reputation for our efforts and collaboration to “flatten the curve” of this horrible disease. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never in my life seen such overwhelming support for our Governor – he’s become a bit of a celebrity and rightly so. You can even buy Kentucky COVID-19 shout out gear where they promise that all profits will be donated to the #TeamKentucky fund. I ordered one for myself and you can pick up one for yourself and loved ones here: https://kentucky-covid-fundraiser.teespring.com/. I ordered the "We're Gonna Get Through This." even though I really wanted a "We Can't Be Doing That" - I just think that's funny stuff, maybe next time.
Every few days I'll be sharing my #healthyathome Pamela’s Positivity Ponderings or 3Ps, just a few thoughts and insights as to how things look from my (now) home office window - with a silver lining perspective. I’d love to hear from you on what you are doing to stay sane, spread joy and what I call #loveforward living (from a distance, since “We can’t be doing that”). Send me photos, recipes, ramblings and just really good stuff.
In honor of National Walking Day (April 1, 2020) - here's a little inspiration to keep the little ones busy, or in my case, finding creative outlets for myself to show the world that I am thinking of them – from a safe social distance of course, and maybe even my college kids, furloughed at home, and my high school senior who is missing certain rights of passage (another #healthyathome 3Ps subject), will join in the fun. Maybe all of our windows and doors will wake up Monday morning with a story to tell of #kyadventuresfromhome and #teamkentucky lifestyle.
Kentucky Home Art has become a thing. This surely makes my daily walks so much more enjoyable. From sidewalk chalk art full of rainbows and friendly teddy bears in windows to decorated windows and doors full of love and encouragement, this just completely warms my heart! From left to right above - my friend Tracey Weber-Dominck's kids have been busy. Check out all the cool things they are doing here: https://www.facebook.com/tracey.weberdominick. Jon@emilys_dad3 really knows how to spread love with this beautiful heartfelt window display. I found both the Team KY rainbow hearts and the "We will get through this together" stained glass art by Miranda Mook - @thecalligraphyowl both on Instagram under #teamkentucky. If you take a stroll at night, you may see homes lit up with green - in honor of those that have lost their lives to COVID-19. Let's see who will take up the challenge this week(end) and adorn your windows and doors for your passersby - use our new #kyadventuresfromhome tag and of course all of the ones our #DandyAndy suggests: #togetherky #teamkentucky #patriot #healthyathome.
Love to all - stay safe, stay home, and most of all - stay positive! We Are in this Together...and in a few weeks - I'll have the T-Shirt to prove it! (future 3Ps post coming). One last thing I'll leave you with, in the words of Brian Tracy, "You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you." Roll with the changes, ya'll.
Pamela Denny is the Executive Director of Kentucky Travel Guide. She also hosts the Facebook Group - The Positivity Principle, is a proud mom of three, author, speaker, green living coach, lover of all things compassionate and advocates for #loveforward living and in all circumstances, finding that silver lining. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.