Like many families during the pandemic, the McCloskeys of Elizabethtown have struggled to keep their two kids, six-year-old Audrey and two-year-old Kellan, entertained.
A bright, colorful spot in that daily routine has been sidewalk chalk.
One night, the McCloskeys left the chalk outside. The next morning, they were surprised to see that someone had added to their artwork.
“We left the chalk out to see if it would happen again,” said Patrick McCloskey. “That was kind of the fun part of it.”
And it did happen again. Pictures turned into notes. Notes turned into conversations.
And for weeks, the identity of the visiting artist was a mystery; until they caught him on camera.
Don Muterspaw started walking with his sister-in-law, Rosanna McNece, in the spring. And every time they happened upon the McCloskeys’ property, Don couldn’t resist the chance to make a rainbow-colored connection.
“I’m probably the oldest kid in Central Pennsylvania,” he said laughing. “I have grown older, but I have not grown up yet.”
It was clear from the McCloskeys’ secret video that Don struggled somewhat to get to the ground. He says while it may be difficult, it’s worth it.
“As long as Rosanna and I are walking, I’m not going to stop,” Don said. “If they leave me a note, I’ll leave them a note.”
“I think it’s super heartwarming,” Jessica McCloskey said. “I think it’s a neat idea and it’s a really sweet gesture to kind of connect the generations in a way.”
During this time of social isolation, Don, Rosanna and the McCloskeys found a way to come together.
“We’ve connected with people via Zoom and all of those kinds of things,” Patrick said. “But we never would have thought that during the pandemic we’d be having conversations old school chalk on a sidewalk.”
The McCloskeys are grateful to Don for making their kids smile. And though his mask hides his face, you can tell Don is equally grateful.
“It’s great,” he said. “You can’t tell, but my face is really smiling.”