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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From My Window

Issue Date: April 15, 2020

What Do You Miss Most?

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

A topic that comes up no matter who you are communicating with in these strange times is "What I miss most" while we are all bunkered down during the pandemic. It is fun to compare lists with others, laughing about ones that are humorous and commiserating over the ones that make us sad.

What the majority of us miss most, of course, is family and friends. Grandparents separated from grandchildren; nursing home residents separated from spouses, sons and daughters, and medical personnel separated from their own kids. It is extremely hard to endure these painful separations, but we know it is to prevent permanent separation, should any of us become gravely ill. So we watch the calendar, read the news, and wait for that first glimmer of hope for future joyous reunions. But as painful as these separations are, the loss of more than 20,000 fellow American lives already centers me on why this action is necessary. I am a hugger; I am very hug deprived right now, so look out when this is over.

Another separation I have found difficult is the absence of church. I would miss my church family and Mass observance at any time; but it felt especially difficult on Palm Sunday and Easter. It is a tiny glimpse of what life has looked like for various persecuted faith members unable to worship as they wished over the sweep of history. One of our most regrettable failings as humans has been our intolerance of those whose belief system is different than our own, with prolonged wars and persecutions resulting in millions of deaths over the globe, all in the name of religion. Every faith; Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Christian among others, has suffered persecution or discrimination and such unjust situations continue today. Our current temporary suspension of church services is a minor deprivation; we will be able to freely and safely return to our preferred places of worship very soon. In the meantime, I am assured that God is with us, whether we are in a church building, or not.

A less serious thing I miss is sports. The cancellation of the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May was a blow. The rescheduling of the Olympics was sad, as I love this multinational competition and find it an oasis of quality television in the wasteland of reality TV. I also love the sound of Brewer baseball on the radio as I work in the garden, clean up flowerbeds or organize the garage after the long winter. Brewer baseball on a radio has been a backdrop for shared work projects and long car trips for my husband and I for more than 35 years; this spring will not be the same without it.

A last less serious thing I really miss is my frequent trips for haircuts. My hair grows like crazy. I was close to needing a cut when the closure of non-essential business was initiated. In the weeks since then I've come to dread the morning battle with my shaggy hair. I look like an unkempt alpaca in the spring after an extremely long winter. I am going to tough it out, but don't think I won't be tempted to get the pet trimmer out. In the meantime I can only hope my face mask distracts people in the grocery store from noticing how terrible my hair looks. My husband is getting pretty shaggy too. When I commented he said "You can cut my hair." I reminded him I am an utter failure at cutting with scissors, starting in first grade. "You can cut it, or I will" he responded. Stay tuned to find out how this turns out. And if you think the competition to find toilet paper and hand sanitizer was fierce, wait until hair cutting appointments become available again. They may need police to keep order!

The last thing I miss is our normal Friday night outings to one of our local bar and grills for a fish fry, pizza or burger. We have ordered takeout a couple times to support our local businesses but it just isn't the same as popping in somewhere, and greeting some neighbors or acquaintances. We always go early and are always home early, but these little "dates" are very enjoyable and there is something about getting out of the house for a while that helps us focus more on each other. I am mulling trying to get this same effect by building a fire outside and having a hot dog roast some night soon. (IF it ever gets warm again!)

Nearly all of us are missing some things. But we can and will get through this. Every day that passes brings us closer to some return to normalcy " we know not when " but not before we are no longer jeopardizing the lives of thousands of people " some of whom may be very near and very dear to us.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


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