Wednesday, April 15, 2020


by Kay Kendall

Anyone who knows much about me realizes how much I love learning about history. I used to study it in school and always enjoyed reading historical novels. I still enjoy those books but now I write them too--historical mysteries. I’ve occasionally tried to understand why I enjoy delving into the past so much, particularly because so many others do not.

Lately I have come up with a new angle in my appreciation of the past. It is SAFE back there. I know how all the various historical plots turn out—which contending princes end up seizing the thrones—which nations vanquish which. I never grow anxious reading a novel set during World War II, worried that the Axis Powers will prevail and conquer the whole world

Sure there’s plenty of bad activity, monstrous atrocities, folks killed, bad guys putting down good guys every which way—and so on. But still. I know how everything turns out. I see how everyday people ENDURED.
Because of my well-honed perspective on how people lived—back then, once upon a time—I don’t feel especially hard done by as I shelter in place now during this raging worldwide pandemic. Five weeks have passed since my husband’s and my routine changed drastically. That is a long time. I used to think I could make it to the end of April without getting stir crazy. I now think I can make it until the end of May. Furthermore, if I have to go even longer, which may well be the case, I can do that too. Easy-peasy.

Why? Because I know my life could be so much harder to endure. I’ve read a lot about living through the two world wars of the twentieth century. I know what citizens put up with back then. Think of the blitz that hit England in the early 1940s. If you didn’t march off to war, you stayed home and “did your bit” for the war effort, caring for your family, hunkering down, staying home, and at nighttime when the air raid sirens blew, you ran with your brood to a shelter. You never knew if the bombs would fall on you and yours and if you would live to see another day.
That explains why I answer the way I do these days when someone asks—by phone, text, Zoom or what not—‘How are you doing?”  I always say, “I am just fine thanks. After all, no bombs are falling.” And I really mean that with all my heart.

Long story short, I caution you never to say, “Things can’t get any worse.”
Look--Don’t tempt fate. Things most assuredly can worsen. And perhaps they will someday. But not right now. If you and your loved ones are lucky enough not to have cases of CV19, then just stay home. That’s the least you can do for humanity right now. And while you're at it, feel free to ask me to recommend a good historical novel, now that you have some extra time on your hands.  

Award-winning author Kay Kendall is passionate about historical mysteries.  She lives in Texas with her Canadian husband, three house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. Visit Kay at her website  
or on Facebook


  1. Kay, I enjoyed your blog and certainly agree.

  2. I love your perspective, and taking it a step further, what we write about overcoming the challenges of our time may be the inspiration for future generations to manage the travails that befall them. In essence, we are all writing historical novels.

  3. Kathryn, thank you for reading and commenting. And Saralynn, I like your persoective and it helps me feel a little better in this tough time.