Posted in A Moment in My Life

“Virtually Speaking”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, February 1, 2021

My list of things that I never thought I would do is trailing beyond the length of my outstretched arms, and I’m not referring to my bucket list. Bucket list? Do I have a bucket list? That’s a story for another time. The list I’m referring to is the short, temporary one that I started at the onset of our new norm. Had I known it would be a long temporary, I wouldn’t have used a scratch paper. I didn’t want to waste a full-size sheet of paper for something that would last a month or two, just like I wouldn’t use a sheet of paper for my grocery shopping list. Had I known what I know now, I would’ve used a notebook.

The latest addition to my list was a drive-by send-off for our church’s music director, who ended his season in the bay area and heading back home to Oklahoma tomorrow. I’ve seen drive-by parties on TV only, and quite honestly, I never thought I’d have a reason to experience that for myself until this Saturday. Not that I was eager to say goodbye, but I was excited to experience a drive-by event. So excited that I was heading out for my drive on Friday when I realized I was a day early. Hey, better a day earlier than late.

It was a gorgeous, dry afternoon, after a week of rain, perfect for socializing outdoors. I arrived at the church parking lot at 3:15, Except for one car ahead of me stopped at the curb by the office entrance, it was hard to tell anything was going on. No banners. No streamers. No balloons. No music. Nothing like I’ve seen on television. Welcome to reality! As I drove up closer, I smiled at Pastor Brian, who was talking to the driver. I drove past them and around the parking lot circle to finish off my 20-minute battery charge. I was short two minutes when I arrived. These days, I need every excuse to get in the 20-minute nonstop drive to exercise my car battery. Upon returning from the circle, I parked a car length behind the car still there, and I waited my turn. 

Five minutes later, the car pulled away. I moved up and took its place. Pastor Brian liked my little Veloster. This is goodbye, and he saw my car for the first time. Thanks, pandemic, for this bonus. It was hard to carry on a conversation knowing that we’re on the time clock. We chatted. I tried to keep it peppy. A couple of cars pulled up behind me, and unlike the previous car, I wasn’t going to keep everybody waiting. I handed him the cookies I baked for him and his family and said, “so long,” knowing that we will stay in touch via social media.

That drive-by was nothing like I saw on TV, but it wasn’t a graduation, a birthday, or an event that you dress up with party flair, but it was my first drive-by event, and now I can add this to my list. On that list, I have FaceTime calls and Zoom meetings. I’ve attended, via Zoom, a funeral, a wedding, church service, and business meetings. I’ve supported local restaurants with their curbside food order pickups. I sampled outdoor dining with my BFF and enjoyed it only to have the shutdown order reinstated. I’ve even done a curbside Friendsgiving turkey dinner pickup. I’ve gone for a hike a couple of times with folks keeping our distance up and masks on. I’ve been on both ends of dropping off treats and receiving treats with meeting friends on our porches with our faces covered. And, to top it off, on two separate occasions, I let masked strange men into my home to service my fridge and garbage disposal. Who would ever have thought that we would let in a man with a mask over his face? I never thought I’d do that in my lifetime. 

I would never have considered doing any of these items. I would never have thought we’d live our lives as if we were seeing people through the television screen, but here we are connecting with everybody through the screen or the masks or visors. I know there are many new norm things that I haven’t experienced. We’re not out of the woods yet, but perhaps I won’t need to experience more facets of this “new norm,” and that’s plenty fine with me. I think I’ve entertained enough to sense living life in the pandemic, virtually speaking.   

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