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Dear Reader: Celebrations


by Vaun Thygerson
Contributing writer and mother of three
I feel like a celebrity! I have been in more parades this past month than in my entire life; because it’s become the new way to celebrate special occasions during this pandemic. These parades are so much fun. The first one I went to was for my son’s good friend, who was turning 14, and I thought the idea was brilliant. We went all out and decorated our car with window paint, made a poster, and blew up a giant bouquet of balloons that floated through our sunroof. The birthday boy stood on the yard and waved at everyone and accepted gifts from the car windows. The honking from the cars and the yelling from participants made it seem like a real party!

From there, we celebrated my good friend’s 50th birthday, a couple of Sweet Sixteen celebrations, two pre-teen girls’ birthdays, and a few high school graduates. My son, who is a rising Junior, was the recipient of Liberty High School’s teacher and administration parade where they drove by to congratulate their students. We loved seeing the teachers’ cars all decorated and the Patriot mascot even make an appearance. The real treat was his PE coach blasting his signature AC/DC song from his car. It seems like such a small thing, but in this age of COVID-19, it was a HUGE gesture! 

One thing this shelter in place culture has given us is more time to be with our loved ones. In the article, “Family Harmony: How One Local Dad and Son Connected Through Music and Guitar-Making” on page 8, you will see how Justin Leland and his 13-year-old son Connor made memories while not only making music but building their guitars together. This dynamic duo can be seen on this month’s cover celebrating the wonderful dads we honor on this Father’s Day. And don’t forget to celebrate the amazing fathers and father figures in your lives on Sunday, June 21st.

For your monthly dose of humor, Julie Willis’s Humor at Home article, “What I WANT When I’m Stuck at Home (Hint: It’s Ice Cream) And What I NEED While I’m Stuck at Home (Hint: It’s Not Ice Cream),” on page 16, she writes about how lucky we were to have the quarantine hit in the 2020s versus the 1980s because we have so many more choices and opportunities at just a click away. Although her family has fared pretty well during quarantine, she wants a do-over so that she can go back to March 1st to become better prepared and ready for the stay-at-home order. 

I think we can all agree that none of us were prepared for what the last few months brought into our lives, and I agree with Julie Willis and would love a do over too! Thankfully, the proverbial light is at the end of the tunnel, and we are starting to reopen our economy and return to some normalcy. I’m not too anxious to let my life get quite so hectic. I have enjoyed this slower pace, and I want to continue the small pleasures that meant so much to us during the pandemic: a quick note from a teacher, a gift dropped off on your neighbor’s porch, and a parade where a honk said it all! Hopefully, we will get to celebrate Father’s Day in person with those we love!

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