Is it just me or did the first two months of 2021 pass by at breakneck speed?
Yes, yes, I know the ‘time flies’ mantra – not only when you’re ‘having fun’ but also as you age. In my case, as is probably the same with most people during these COVID times, it is likely the latter that makes it feel like we are at Warp 9.
Not that there isn’t some fun to be had, it would just be much better if we had the pandemic fully in the rearview mirror. Progress is being made and it’s at least a little comforting to see things moving in the right direction.
Later this month will mark a year since everything in this area came to an abrupt standstill; slowly, some things have opened back up and eventually, things will be back to a new normal.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of events and activities that will be impacted by COVID for a second straight year. There won’t be any booming cannons and the smell of campfires in Knights Ferry again this spring. No Civil War reenactment will be staged, losing the battle against COVID as it did in 2020. More than once, we enjoyed attending the reenactment weekend as a family; I would often cover it for the paper and the whole family would go to observe the skirmishes, visit the encampments and watch in wonder as people intentionally turned back the clock to cook over a fire and sleep under the stars.
Seeing the crowds flock to Knights Ferry and cover the hillsides to watch the battles unfold below; for me that always meant the arrival of spring in the Central Valley. In New York, growing up, the arrival of spring often came with one last-gasp snowstorm and, if we were lucky, one final unexpected ‘snow day’ off from school before the lush green grass of spring truly poked through.
The Civil War in late March would then lead us fairly quickly into the annual Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo. Though that won’t be in April this year, they do have their sights set on an August date. Usually it’s a toss-up whether you’ll be baking in the sun or dodging the mud at the arena in April; my guess is they won’t have to worry about any rain come August but as we all have learned over the last year, anything is possible.
Spring has also meant the annual Relay For Life in our area, traditionally hosted in late April or early May. That is also being pushed back to later in the year, with the hope of being able to gather together for an in-person event in 2021. October is the anticipated month, but details are still being worked out.
On the home front, the dog still takes me for a walk every day and I find that our morning routine gets my day started off on a positive note. She is always eager to go and breathing in the morning’s cool, fresh late winter-early spring air helps to clear my head and get me centered for the day ahead. We, of course, have to make several stops along the way for her to sniff a new patch of dirt or investigate a random snail on the sidewalk but it’s all part of the experience. I know a lot of people like to put on headphones and listen to music, podcasts, etc. as they log their steps but I have found it better for me to just listen to the natural sounds of the birds chirping, wind through the branches and the occasional dog behind a fence barking at us as we go by.
On a really good day, we also get out for a quick spin around the block before bed; nothing relaxes me more than enjoying the moon and stars and powering down mentally before turning in for the night.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.