What are you missing this summer?
I miss the lawn parties. The savory fried chicken, a freshly-cooked hamburger and fries, and playing a round or two of bingo while listening to mostly country or blue grass or even bad karaoke. In our community, a different civic group, rescue squad, or fire department take turns putting on an annual “lawn party” almost every weekend all summer. The events function as huge fundraisers but also entertainment. We usually are regulars and enjoy yakking with friends and neighbors.
I will miss going to local fairs, admiring and comparing the garden and canned goods, browsing through the photo, craft or art entries by kids and teens who’ve done prize-winning work, cruising through the animal barns, ending the evening enjoying a freshly made funnel cake or melting ice cream cone.
We will miss a summer family reunion, the potluck lunch, the catching up and comparing babies while running after toddlers playing in the church gym where the meet-up is usually held.
I miss visiting my friend, Martha, in the nursing home where we used to play bingo many Friday mornings. Well, she sat there, I played. She is now quarantined along with everyone else: no guests, no visitors, can’t even send flowers. I write cards and pray for her. But I’m glad Jackie and Charles are no longer suffering in that same institution. Oh. So. Glad. Lock down would have killed Charles anyway.
I miss not feeling free to take a plane or train and go visit my mother or sightsee; but at least we can drive to Mom’s, being careful about restrooms and gas pump handles.
I miss going to our favorite restaurant. Sitting in your car in a hot parking lot eating Wendy’s carry-out is just not the same as sliding onto a cool restaurant seat, ordering, waiting, being served water or drinks, and not having to clean up your table and kitchen afterward.
I miss going to church: the weekly ritual of dressing up a bit, driving to church, greeting folks, singing, shaking hands during the passing of the peace, enjoying coffee and snacks together. (Will we ever shake hands again?) I’m glad our church emphasizes still being the church even though at this time we don’t worship in our building.
I miss seeing friends and family; we have seen both on a limited basis, but always with masks.
Many are missing outdoor summer music concerts — just too many people gathered in one place together. What a shame. Will there be football and marching bands this fall?
I miss carefree shopping. I hate feeling alarmed and anxious and judgy when people aren’t wearing masks in stores. Or, are standing too close behind me in the checkout line, or when I absentmindedly go the wrong way on a one-way aisle. Mask or aisle battles are not something I want to get into.
These may sound like trivial things and they are, at least compared to losing a loved one to the virus or any of numerous diseases. We have missed so many funerals and memorials and our kids have missed weddings and other celebrations with friends.
But we have learned patience and making do. To be more aware that, yes, we can survive this time and hold on to hope that the virus will someday be contained, be vaccinated for, a time we will look back marveling at this sad and impossible period. We are learning that we are not immune to terrible pandemics. It is a humbling, horrid experience, and with God’s help, billions will survive and maybe, maybe learn to make this planet a safer and better place. More filled with love and care for other persons.
I’m just finishing reading a book I’m loving (and will maybe write about sometime) but it has been a profound reminder of Christ’s dying wish and counsel to his dear disciples and all of us: “Love one another.” How we can put that into practice on a daily basis is the urgent call we all need to respond to in this time of suffering for so many.
What special and specific things you are missing — or enjoying! Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834, or comment on the blog.