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Pandemic Be Gone!

Our columnist looks forward to new routines that put the pandemic in the rear-view mirror.

Fran LoBiondo
by Fran LoBiondo

It’s been a long time since anyone has seen me in the paper, and I’m glad to be back.

This is the first day back for our son, Gregory to his adult day program, and he could not be happier.

Ditto his parents.

There are only so many things you can do in wintertime with a deadly virus chomping at your tush and keeping most of the country indoors and the rest salivating for fun.

We did some baking during those months, and when our older son and his wife visited with our grandson, Ben, and our college girl, Therese was able to catch a ride home, it was one blowout Mother’s Day weekend.

When I see Ben racing through the house trying to beat his dad or his aunt Therese, screeching and laughing, I’m was reminded of my son George when he was three or four. He was always doing the Ol’ Softshoe, or filming everyone and trying oh, so hard to entertain us so he wouldn’t have to face bedtime.


Our children have vanished into thin air for the moment but they (and their dad) left me a very practical gift of a stationary recumbent bike to help me strengthen my legs. I have been exercising at home since my impromptu retreat at the hospital.

I Iook forward to making indoor workouts a permanent thing. My husband, who is able to finish projects with time and patience, is working on the assembly.

When I was young, I lived in Arizona for a while, and I joined a bike club. We cycled all over the Valley of the Sun in winter, and fled to cooler climes in summer.

I remember my journeys fondly. I was on my first job out of college, so I was broke most of the time, but I had some free time and used it well.

Fast forward 34 years and I have three grown children and a grandson. Probably my bike touring days are over, barring a miracle, but I can still keep in shape.

My first trip driving with no companions in the car a couple of weeks ago made me feel a little mournful, knowing that I’m closer to leaving this world and my loved ones than I like to think. There was a mixed CD playing from the time I could not make them myself, but my son made a bunch of my favorites for me.

At that moment, Emmylou Harris was singing her plaintive song, “Calling My Children Home.”

“Back in the years with all together

Around the place we’d romp and play

So lonely now I oft’ times wonder

Oh will they come back home some day”

That song never fails to bring on my tears.

On a lighter note, my husband went out to get fast food recently and the cashier offered him a pen printed with ads for a funeral home.

I hesitated, but I was starving, so I paid for the food. But I wondered how many people bring their cashew chicken and fried dumplings to a funeral home?

Life Sentences