Spring Is Just Around The Corner

During my campus walk this morning I was especially impressed with how cold the 19 mile per hour wind felt with the temperature just above freezing. I have heard people say that the cold wind ‘cut them like a knife.’ I understood that concept today. It is February 1, 2021…where did January go? As rapidly as the 1st month of our New Year passed…so will the other 11. I have discovered that time passes as quickly as a retired person as it did when I was working. In fact I think that it passes more quickly. It passes as the scripture admonishes, ‘like a weaver’s shuttle’ for both we slow folks as well as for Type A personalities. Sometimes I want to lasso time, as George Bailey promised Mary regarding the moon in the wonderful holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, however I have failed to do so thus far.

The news, that I have heard, is somewhat more positive regarding our 2020/2021 Pandemic, today. I truly believe that this spring will bring a substantial improvement in our health and safety. The darkest night brings the brightest dawn. So, we wait for the promise of spring and the blooming of flowers and the singing of birds and the fresh smell of freedom in the warming air. As I was taking photographs of my church, yesterday, I reflected on the many generations that have attended church in the same building that myself and my family now enjoy. The beautiful and time worn stones of the building have seen a lot of life. I have been a member of the church since our last century. Many of the folks that I knew and loved…have passed on to their reward. I was in my early 40’s when we began attending in 1998. I thought that I was old and was burdened down with the cares of my career at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale. The welcoming faces of so many of my fellow congregants…caused me to feel a part of the legacy of such a wonderful and historic church in the story of Carbondale. We were received joyfully and with open arms…and our hearts were captivated with the kindness of our friends. I am certain that it was the same in the 1960’s and the 1940’s and the 1920’s…

We are the people that are living in the history of our time. We are the people that are experiencing the most virulent pandemic in over 100 years. Our place in the history books has been secured. Let us ensure that it is a good place. We shall bow our heads and our hearts for the untold amount of people that have lost their lives to this scourge. We weep… Life is on the path to returning to a new normal. The winter clouds are parting and the warm sun of spring is peeking through the darkness of our shared night. We will enjoy each other’s fellowship in our favorite restaurants again. We will return to live theatre and to the movies…again. We will travel again and increase our understanding of each other. We will smell the warm spring breeze of gulf water at Destin, Florida again…and walk the white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. We will visit the pristine beauty and rustic pleasure of Maine and walk out on to the dock of Boothbay. We will survive and thrive…and pass on our life experiences to the next generation. We will place red flags where we have encountered danger. We will highlight the peaceful pleasures of a serene life and our staying on track toward our goal of helping the other members of our human family…as we walk back to Jerusalem…

When I was young I regularly thought about older friends. I identified with them and sought to serve them and help them with their needs. Many times MJ and I went to the supermarket to purchase the groceries for senior’s in our church. One of these wonderful people, Connie, requested Clausen Pickles. We looked and searched for Clausen Pickles…but could not find them. We decided the a substitute of a high class dill pickle would be sufficient…and thus we made an executive decision. When we presented the wonderful substitute to Connie she wrinkled her nose and informed us that the pickles simply would not do…and thus we returned to the grocer and he led us to the desired Clausen Pickles. For your further reference…at least in those days…they were usually kept with the meat. As a senior citizen I often think of the struggles of young people. It is a scary proposition to be young and perhaps with children and a rent or mortgage obligation…and the fear that your primary means of income is going to be gone…or perhaps already gone due to the Coronavirus. Being young is a struggle and merits the assistance of we seniors to make the battle at least winnable…

Puzzles are something that we have become more familiar with during our shared Pandemic. I purchased 5 from my friend, Emily, at Main Street Bookstore in St. Charles, Missouri last year. They are each 1,000 pieces. MJ is currently enthralled with the National Parks Puzzle. Such is life…it is a puzzle…at least 1,000 pieces… Often we are required to make serious decisions with little information. Often we peer at the old television show, Let’s Make a Deal, as Monty Hall asks us which door do we choose, 1 or 2 or 3? Two of the doors have bogus prizes behind them and only 1 of the doors had something of value. At times we choose wisely…and other times we choose the goat… Do not despair…take heart and courage…spring is coming…

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