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Life goes on

Life goes on Life goes on

Dear Fred, Last week my wife and I marked our 24th wedding anniversary.

As anniversaries go, 24 years is one of those ho-hum milestones, kind of like “ordinary time” in the Catholic liturgical calendar. It helps fill in the space between more momentous times and there are some valuable lessons learned along the way.

I bring this up future reporter Fred not solely to get suck-up points from my wife when she eventually reads this, but to highlight that life goes on even when dealing with pandemics or the occasional flat tire.

Fred, I am sure this will add an important angle to the article your editor in 2021 assigned you on the 100th anniversary story about how people dealt with the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. I really hope you were able to push for a series, or at a commemorative special section rather than a one-off piece.

I tend to be something of a closet romantic when it comes to anniversaries and will make a point of getting a card or flowers and taking my wife out to a nice dinner at our favorite restaurant and to see a movie of her choice.

The governor’s Safer at Home restrictions put a damper on my anniversary planning and on date nights in general — it is like they don’t want you to go out and have a good time. Which is entirely the point of the order as a way to reduce the chance of infection.

My wife and I couldn’t go see a movie or play, since the theaters remain closed. Even making a nice meal for her at home is a hassle with my teenaged son and collegeaged daughter at home and underfoot all the time.

Fortunately we could still order our special anniversary dinner and eat it by candlelight. We even stopped and picked up some popcorn from Broadway Theatre so that we could at least have the good stuff while sitting in our family room watching “Phantom of the Opera” on YouTube.

In normal years, this coming weekend would have been one of the busiest of the year with the Pine Line Marathon, Maple Festival and the Medford Area Senior High School prom. I would have been kept busy running between events and then hopefully caught a few hours nap in the evening to get ready to run a trivia station at the post prom party.

It is rather depressing that COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of all those activities. I remember the year I ran the full marathon, I worked for long months aheads of time to get ready for it. I just imagine the disappointment of those who have set the goal only to have their opportunity robbed from them by an all but invisible virus.

The same holds true for the organizers of Maple Fest. The Lions clubs in Taylor County work together to put on this event and it is truly something special. I can only hope the organizers don’t let it die and instead come back stronger next year.

As far as prom, it is one more thing that has been taken away from the class of 2020. As any teenager can tell you, prom is a lot more than just a high school dance. It is a high point of the year, especially for upperclassmen. About the only good thing to come out of prom cancellations is that we don’t have to deal with cringeworthy videos being shared of elaborate “prom proposals” or have the anxiety of prom dresses that cost as much as my first vehicle.

Rather than attending these events, my plan for the weekend involves a technology-assisted board game night with my family members in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Hawaii and competing in K99/WIGM’s radio trivia night on Saturday.

Life goes on. We can complain and gnash our teeth at the unfairness of it all, or we can roll with the punches and look forward to a brighter time in the future.

Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News.