Since today is the first day of spring, I find myself thinking about one year ago.
There was no NCAA Tournament – or live sports for that matter – so we all watched in huge numbers a 10-part Michael Jordan ego-enhancing series on an NBA season not even in this century…just to get our sports fix. Last night, partly because of disappointment over Virginia Tech losing to Florida and partly because of college basketball overload, I didn’t even have the television on.
There was no Major League Baseball season and traditional opening day about to occur in a week. Perhaps it’s the lingering effects of that which make me think when they talk about a minimum number of fans being able to attend, they’re talking about some date way off in the future instead of only 10 days from now.
You couldn’t buy what you wanted when you wanted to, particularly paper products. I handle all the buying of groceries and consumables in my house, and I used to have a pretty easy system. When somebody said we were down to the last three rolls of toilet paper or paper towels, I scanned the grocery ads to see if anyone had them on sale, then went and replenished our stock.
Now, when my wife mentioned the other day that we were down to only two 12-packs of both products and she was opening one of them, I felt like I had to replenish the supply. I did, and there’s an entire corner of the guest room filled with toilet paper, papers towels and tissues. There’s no issue now, as Amazon regularly contacts me asking if I want to buy more and it can be here in two days.
But I was in a warehouse club earlier this week, and I just couldn’t resist all those big 12 big rolls = 137 regular rolls of Bounty just sitting there, secretly whispering to me “one day you’ll wish you had bought one more pack.”
A year ago I actually ran out of the type of coffee filters you use in a device called a Chemex. They were a little difficult to find any way, but when it comes to coffee, I don’t mess around. I discovered that if you were a regular Joe, everyone was sold out, but if you subscribed to the product through a place like Peet’s, they’d find some for you. So I’ve been getting a box of 100 every 8 weeks, even though I only use maybe 50 every 8 weeks.
I now have enough to drink coffee for a year. And still, I allow them to ship every 8 weeks.
A year ago there was no hockey, and no watching Alex Ovechkin drill goal after goal from “the office,” something I worried about. Father Time doesn’t care about COVID-related postponements, and another year of age affects all of us. Somehow with hockey back, it looks like Father Time forgot about the Great 8, as he seems better than ever.
A year ago I didn’t wake up every morning, look out the front door, and see a big pile of boxes. I didn’t know the exact schedules of the guy from Fed Ex, UPS, or Amazon either, but I certainly do now, and that may be one of the few good things that has come out of all this. I’ve learned to plan a little better, and for a big percentage of what we need, I can press a submit button and have it outside my door in a few days instead of having to go to a store and schlep it back home.
A year ago I worried about getting sick, the dog sitting on my lap every morning weighed half as much as she does now, and at times, the sheer boredom of house arrest, nothing to do, and no idea when it would ever end could get to you.
Today, there’s more sports on television than I ever want to watch, I can buy whatever I want (whether I actually need it or not), I’ve never been healthier (in the past year I haven’t even had a cold) and that dog on my lap still looks back at me every morning with her big brown eyes that warm an old man’s heart.
So on this first day of spring, I do find myself thinking about how different it is from this time last year.
All while thinking that maybe, just maybe, we’ve finally made it through the storm.
Please let me go on the DullesDistrict record as the one individual who did not watch a single episode of the MJ marathon.