Little things have become big.
Small gestures mean more.
A smile can go a long way.
Just some of the lessons learned so far in 2020; as we continue to wind our way through these pandemic times.
There is joy to be had in the smallest of things, at least for me, with a chance to get to a handful of events recently, many holiday-related. As is typical, along with getting a few photos and some comment from participants/attendees, I also get in a little shopping.
And even though face coverings are usually very much in evidence or the booths are socially distanced, it does bring a small sense of normalcy to see people out choosing gifts and supporting local businesses.
On the flip side, is it just me or does it seem like a lot of what used to be the norm no longer is? Not only because we have to use hand sanitizer every time we turn around but even the rules of the road. For instance, when driving, it appears the ‘right turn only’ sign really means you can also turn left or go straight. Red lights, nowadays, are a mere suggestion; nine out of 10 motorists prefer to just go through them. No Parking zones appear reserved for those that will only be parked there for a short time.
Technology wise, the ‘do not call’ list must have gotten lost somewhere. But at least my phone is smart enough to let me know a ‘Spam Risk’ is calling and I don’t bother to answer.
Without a doubt, the months since life as we know it shut down in mid-March have tested everyone. It has been good to see a little glimmer of hope from time to time but now I feel like we are back in the danger zone, with holidays approaching and family gatherings likely being planned.
Will we even get a fall sports season? At local high schools, I mean. The fall season was originally delayed until December; we are still in a holding pattern as to whether it will actually happen.
It was just over a year ago when Escalon’s varsity volleyball girls claimed their first ever Section crown; I remember the excitement of that day and the hard fought 3-2 win over Union Mine that saw the girls bring the Division 4 blue banner home on Nov. 9.
Then it was the varsity football Cougars turn, as they continued their march in the postseason, not stopping until they got the Section banner and then won the state title, claiming the Division 4A crown in mid-December by thumping La Jolla, 52-21. Road trips for playoff games, Friday night lights, cold weather, hand warmers … and lots and lots of photos and interviews. The memories are so clear.
A year ago but a world away.
We’ll see if either of those teams gets a chance to defend their titles – if they do, it likely will be in early 2021 as the fall season moves in to winter.
Now that the weather has definitely dropped back a few degrees, it does feel like we should welcome in Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year – and however we all choose to celebrate and gather, let’s try and do it as safely as possible.
It’s also time to start on the shopping so I can get packages sent off to family on the East Coast – probably should have sent them by Halloween just to make sure they get there in time.
Regardless, as we enter the last part of the year and prepare for what is usually a ‘hustle and bustle’ season, we should also remember to take the time to offer a kind word or even just a smile. You never know, it could help make somebody’s day. And please, if the light is red, consider stopping. It’s the right thing to do.
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.