A (brief?) return to normal
Iíve been spending some time in the office on Sunday afternoons lately, partly because it gives me a chance to get a head start on the week and partly because it gets me out of the house.
Iíve been doing my best to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, which means that I spend a lot of time at home. Thatís not necessarily a bad thing, but it is different. There are no trips to see a movie in Fayetteville or a minor league baseball game in Springdale. No visits to any of my favorite restaurants. The most difficult thing of all is, no trips to central Arkansas to visit with my son and his family. I completely missed my grandsonsí baseball seasons ó I wasnít there for Liamís first T-ball game or to watch Hayden pitch in his 11-year-old league.
Fishing has been one of my favorite pastimes lately, but thatís an activity for early morning or just before sunset, not the heat of a July Sunday afternoon.
This past Sunday, I had planned to go into the office for a while to review our entries in the Arkansas Press Associationís annual editorial contest. Weíve done very well in that competition over the past few years, in part because we try to be thorough in deciding what to enter. Our associate editor, Samantha Jones, had asked me to look over some specific things on Sunday and I promised her I would.
As it turns out, I broke my promise.
Anyone who knows me knows that Iím a huge baseball fan and in particular, a huge Chicago Cubs fan. Of course, the pandemic forced the start of the major league season to be delayed, but it finally started late last week. The Cubs opened the season by beating the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night, then lost to the Brewers on Saturday.
The two teams played again Sunday afternoon. Frankly, I expected the Cubs to lose that game because of their starting pitcher. The game started at 1:20 p.m. By 2 oíclock, I figured, Iíd be ready to throw in the towel and head to the office.
I was quite happily mistaken.
It turned out that the Cubs pitcher performed very well and led them to a 9-1 victory. After starving for baseball for months, there was no way I was turning that game off.
Thankfully, Sam forgave me for breaking my promise.
Not quite 24 hours later, Iím especially glad I kept watching. Two major league games scheduled for tonight (Monday night) have been postponed after 10 Miami Marlins players and two coaches tested positive for COVID-19. It wonít be long, Iím afraid, before the entire season is called off.
That might be a harbinger of things to come in other aspects of life, but thatís a column for another day.
For one day, at least, things finally seemed normal again.