There is an old curse which is, ironically, attributed to the Chinese. “ May you live in interesting times.” It can also be used as a positive wish so the legend goes. I think we can all agree that blessing or curse it is now upon us.

I grew up in Xenia. I have lived in either Xenia or Wilberforce for 50 of my 72 years. When I finished my doctorate in middle age and had some interviews in cities like New York City, Richmond, Virginia I began to think that having been a country chick for all those years I might like to live in a city. I loved NYC and would have accepted the job offered there except that I was afraid of the cost of living and the fact I would have had to learn to live without a car for which I would not have been able to afford the parking or garaging bill. Hofstra University was offering a decent salary that would have seemed wonderful in Xenia, but not so great in NYC.

In this era of a pandemic I am quite grateful that I came back to Wilberforce.

I do not see people fighting over toilet paper in our stores in Xenia. My neighbors stop and ask if we need anything when they are going to town. There are fewer people to avoid and fewer to infect you. I have not seen any ramped up security necessary at any of the places we patronize.

As limiting as it is at the moment, no eating out in restaurants, our daily YMCA visits have been forbidden and starting soon we will all be on some form of lockdown besides essential trips, it is also a time to catch up on some things. Reading, organizing your kitchen cabinets, changing out your fall/winter clothes for your spring/summer ones, baking something you haven’t made for awhile and, if it ever stops raining, working on that garden. I have told my friends and family that mine should be epic this year since I do not have anything else to do. They have not closed the places I can buy flowers in town yet, but I do miss Wickline’s still.

We have ways to communicate with family and friends, including ways to see them and talk to them, the modern era does have some advantages over the ages of plague a while back.

It is also time for some contemplation when you turn off the television, step away from the computer and close the book and just think. Just to get you started I will offer you some of my favorites. Stay well and enjoy!

Is the universe clocklike or cloud-like? Are things planned and happen for a reason or are they random and have no logic or purpose? Think about things that have happened to you in your life and others in your circle.

How can people love Brussels sprouts?

Why do some people seem to enjoy harming other people physically, emotionally, psychologically when it seems there is no benefit to the person doing the harm?

Why didn’t Harry Potter’s parent simply disapparate when Voldemort attacked them?

Why would some schools forbid the teaching of “ To Kill a Mockingbird” because it “ makes people uncomfortable?” Teaching is not about making people comfortable, I had Mary Dickerson for Algebra I and was terrified most of the year. But I learned algebra.

By Cookie Newsom

Cookie Newsom is a Greene County resident and guest columnist.