“I’m bored.”

Not something one should ever say to my wife Kathy.

• Clean out the shop.

• Put the dishes away.

• Clean out your closet.

• Paint the garage.

• Organize the storage room.

• Wash my car.

• Change the oil in my car.

• Write a column for the newspaper.

Well, you probably get the picture. There is aways something to do. Judging from the several thousand posts a day on Facebook, people are doing some of those things during this stay-at-home order.

By now I’m sure many of you are suffering with an acute case of cabin fever which usually doesn’t happen when the temperature tops out at close to 80 as it did on Tuesday.

My dictionary defines cabin fever as irritability, listlessness and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter. That definition may soon be amended to include “and during a pandemic.”

I have also noticed there are more people outside walking, riding bicycles, running through sprinklers, playing golf.

And yes, this pandemic is testing our sanity.

Note to Gov. Laura Kelly: We are ready to start playing baseball again, swimming in the pool, playing basketball in the park, having coffee with friends, playing cards, going to church, getting a haircut, shopping for scented candles and buying toilet paper!

We are probably not ready to start shaking hands.

And while everyone is ready to get back to normal, it should probably be a while longer until the “curve” has flattened, and even then, there may be a new “normal.” 

I took a look back at some of the things we did as kids before cell phones and Netflix.

• Play games. 

Who else stayed up until 3 a.m. trying to finish a game of Risk? Some of you may also know that “exequy” is really a word one can use to score points in Scrabble. Love is never having to say you are “Sorry” if you win at that board game.

Do you carry a “Get out of Jail” card in your wallet or purse?

There is actually a YouTube video on how to play “Chutes and Ladders.”

• Read a book (or maybe a newspaper.)

As high school students, we often read books. Among them were “The Godfather,” “Jaws” and, who could resist “How to Eat Fried Worms.” We didn’t have a banned book list then and many times we read the book in anticipation of the movie.

It was some time in 1979 that I read “The Stand.” It was the first of many books that I have read by Stephen King over the years. That particular book is about a pandemic of a weaponized strain of influenza that kills almost the entire world. Might be a good read again. I’ve preordered his new book already. Yes, I’m still a fan!

I am currently reading about Louis Pfeifer in “When I Was A Child.” When he was two, his mother froze to death near Hays. His father lost the farm in the drought in the 1930s when the wheat never grew or grasshoppers or jackrabbits ate it. At the age of 10, Louis and his older sister Jerry were taken to the St. Joseph Orphanage north of Abilene. That’s the point where I am reading in the book now.

• Get outside.

As a youngster growing up near Brown’s Park, there probably isn’t a square foot of walkable ground that my shoes haven’t been on in that park. Now lots of Abilene citizens are rediscovering the feeling of walking in those wide open spaces or along its trails.

Fly a kite, climb a tree, build a treehouse, learn to cook, jump rope, throw a Frisbee to the dog, dig dandelions or mow the lawn. These are a few outdoor activities we did as kids. Those are all being renewed with extra time on our hands now.

Boredom can be tackled but remember to practice social distancing, whatever you do. We need to follow the rules before we can safely venture back to work or group events.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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