Looking back on a forgettable summer
With autumn here, we can look back at a most forgettable summer. Who would have thought that so many events would be canceled, almost all county fairs, the state fair, festivals of every kind—all cancelled? Baseball and football games played without an audience. Schools opening and then closing. Many schools not opening for face-to-face, but teaching via computers. Universities trying to open with face-to-face classes, and then closing as virus cases spike.
Many of us are learning new ways of doing things—social distancing, virtual learning, Zoom meetings, live Facebook presentations, wearing a mask wherever we go, staying away from large groups, working at home. Just the other day, while grocery shopping, the checkout person looked at this mask-wearing old guy and said, “Is that you Jerry, behind that mask?”
“Yup, that’s me,” I replied as we exchanged pleasantries.
The summer has not been all bad. The number of people with vegetable gardens has increased dramatically. Families, especially those with children who were going here and there for summer activities, have become reacquainted with each other. More of us ate home-cooked meals as restaurants closed and/ or cut back. Large numbers of people enjoyed the county parks, state’s parks and recreation areas—hiking, camping, and taking time to enjoy nature.
With the arrival of autumn—my favorite season of the year—we can look forward to cooler days, the beauty of trees turning many colors, and the final harvests of the year. We can put the summer of 2020 into our bank of memories—trying to remember what was good, and leaving behind the many heartaches and disappointments that we all experienced.
THE OLD TIMER SAYS: What a summer. More downs than ups.
Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work go to www.jerryapps.com