COVID-19 is as serious as it gets. And I’m not in the age bracket that fares well against it. So I worry a lot. I worry about my wife. I worry about friends and neighbors. I worry about my kids. I worry about the old folks at home…
Concerned, caring people ask all the time how I’m faring; do I feel all right? what precautions am I taking? Well, I mostly run a mile or two in the mornings… and take the rest of the day off!
It’s hard for this thing to find you if you’re hunkering down at the house.
I don’t gather in crowds. I’m a little leery about eating out. We don’t have many people over. I wear a face mask. And I haven’t kissed a stranger in an airport in months…
But I am fixing to get in my car and drive 404 miles to Toccoa, Georgia, to see my 10-year old granddaughter dance in “The Nutcracker.”
COVID-19 has certainly changed the way all of us are living. Me included. I wash my hands when I wake up in the morning, before and after I eat, after a trip to the mailbox, when I touch any door handle, after I sneeze, when I pet the neighbor’s cat, after I open a can of Dr. Pepper, when I use the remote to find “The Beverly Hillbillies” reruns…
We are buying Mrs. Meyers Clean Day aromatherapeutic organic liquid hand soap with olive oil and aloe vera in the 10-gallon bucket size!
I don’t know how COVID-19 works. How it is passed around. Why two people can be exposed and one gets deathly sick while the other doesn’t. I don’t understand why a person can test positive one day and negative the next. It’s all a little past weird.
But nothing is going to keep me from seeing Avery Lee dance in this play!
Cathy goes to the grocery store when she thinks the least number of people will be there. Friends stop to talk when I’m running by… I instinctively take a step or two back. I holler at my neighbor across the fence. Cathy has learned to “FaceTime.”
That’s not to imply anyone is “running scared” over here. I’m not shaking in my boots. We’re not hiding from the human race! But we are not fools either. Serious things need serious attention. You can certainly be intelligent and cautious when the demanding times call for it.
But I am going to see my granddaughter in this play!
And listen, I don’t know “The Nutcracker” from “Swan Lake.” I’m guessing there is less flying in the former… and more water in the latter.
I fully understand that I’m going to pump some gas on this trip. I’m already lying awake at night worrying about who has used that handle before me. We will need to eat coming and going. What if our waitress has been kissing strangers in airports!
And we are not even going to talk about bathroom stops…
Avery Lee Colbert and Mother were born in April, 90 years apart. Avery’s first April was Mom’s last. Avery didn’t come by the dark hair and eyes by accident. And her gentle nature, her straightforward trust and openness, her beautiful smile takes me back to another place, another time…
Certainly you don’t love one grandchild more than the others… but that doesn’t mean one can’t be very, very, very special!
I’m not thinking about odds, illnesses, what could happen or the price of eggs in China.
She asked me to come.
I don’t want to do something wrong. I don’t want to mess with the system. I don’t want to ignore safety rules, laws or suggestive advice from the government, various health organizations or medical specialists.
And I certainly don’t want to wittingly expose myself to a deadly virus.
But I’m going to Georgia to see Avery dance if it is the last thing I ever do!
Maybe never in the history of our country do people need to think about the responsibility they have at this particular time; to protect themselves, to protect their families, to protect their friends at the post office, church, grocery, restaurant, golf course, barber shop, drug store, gas station, airport, barbeque stand, library, football game, Garth Brooks concert…
I sure want to do my part.
But I’m not going to miss my granddaughter’s moment!
And you need to understand this, how serious I am about the place she holds in my heart. If Avery Lee pirouettes across the water with those geese in “Swan Lake” next month… I’m going back!
This article originally appeared on The Star: Hunker Down: Sarah Ophelia lives on!