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Coming Out Of The Long Winter Of Our Discontent

June 8, 2022

The classic story The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe, Narnia is gripped in an eternal winter. (And it’s never Christmas.)

As the calendar rolls over from May to June we are finally into the summer months. Here in Pleasant Grove it will be in the high 90s this month. I finally turned the sprinklers on my lawn last weekend.

Each season gets it’s three months and Spring separates Winter from Summer. But, it really feels like we are just coming out of a long, long two-year winter. During the winter there are things we can’t do. We can’t go swimming. It’s tough to go camping. Parks are closed. Utah shuts down. Except for the ski resorts of course. But, with the drought, even the ski resorts have had a difficult time doing their normal business.

COVID has been the Winter of our Discontent. We’ve had to put plans on hold. We’ve cancelled family gatherings. We’ve cancelled city, county and even state events.

For two years we’ve walked around afraid to breath each other’s air. We’ve covered our faces and been afraid to shake hands. Even now, we look with suspicion on someone who’s sick. Diseases have become very binary: is it COVID. . .or something else.

It’s like when Tiger Woods was winning all the golf tournaments. Sports betting would let you bet Tiger Woods would win, or someone else. That was your bet, ANYONE except Tiger Woods.

COVID is the Tiger Woods of the medical field. Well, the old Tiger Woods, before the accidents. . .and the affairs.

The last two years feels like something you would read about in the history books. And our grandchildren will. But, it seems odd to have lived through it. We all have our own stories of sickness or even death.

Memorial Day typically marks the unofficial start of summer. At my house we had a family BBQ. We used to have it every year. We didn’t the last two years. It was good to be back together.

My lovely daughter is part of the Pleasant Grove royalty. She will, of course be part of our local Strawberry Days festival. But, she will also be attending parades in all the surrounding towns as well. It’s almost like the last two years didn’t happen.

Next month the Follow The Flag organization will hang Lady Liberty in Grove Creek Canyon. There will be a flag walk the Sunday before. There will again be speeches and performances. Just like before the pandemic.

Later this month my family will gather at Palisades State Park for a family reunion. My daughter is coming from her duty station in South Korea. My dear mother is coming from Arizona.

We’ll visit. We’ll eat. We’ll fish a little. The grandkids will play in the water. All of us have either had COVID or been vaccinated or both. That’s part of our life now. The realization that COVID is part of every family gathering. It’s with us when we go out. It’s with us when we stay home.

With our immunity and vaccines we’ve given ourselves the tools we need to defend ourselves. But, the battle hasn’t been won. Only an uneasy truce.

Enjoy your summer. Go to the pool. Hold reunions and BBQs. Enjoy backyard parties and summer concerts. Take some time to go fishing.

The winter is finally over and summer has finally arrived.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here

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