Tim Horan

Some call it a rut.

I would say it’s a routine.

I think most people young and old like somewhat of a routine.

A routine might be getting home from work and finding a newspaper on the porch or shopping for groceries on Tuesday afternoon when the two local stores give a discount for seniors.

Growing up on a hobby farm just south of Abilene, my Sunday routine started with feeding the livestock in the morning, what we called chores. 

Then there was getting cleaned up, dressed up and going to church. That was followed by brunch with grandma Sarah, Aunt Rita and usually the local priest.

That afternoon it was watching the St. Louis Cardinals: Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Joe Torre in the summer and Jim Hart, Charley Johnson and Larry Wilson in the fall and winter. 

That night we huddled around the black and white RCA and watched the Ed Sullivan Show.

Friday nights in junior high involved a trip to town and the Plaza Theater to watch movies like “True Grit” (the original with John Wayne), “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “Support Your Local Sheriff” and “Mackenna’s Gold”.

I don’t think the Plaza showed “Midnight Cowboy” and the folks wouldn’t let us see “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” due to the rating.

Summer routines included Dad taking the bicycle to Kennedy School. Mom would take me to summer school when she went to work as I wasn’t very good at English or math and still struggle with both. After school my routine included biking to Eisenhower Park for baseball practice everyday and then to the Abilene Municipal Pool for either swimming lessons or just plain fun.

When we didn’t have baseball practice, I got dropped off at The Highlands, not the housing development but the sand green golf course south of town. There I would generally get in 18 holes in the morning, 18 in the afternoon with friends and then walk home.

In college our Saturday nights were spent with popcorn and beer, watching Saturday Night Live with our neighbors in Jardine Terrace.

Television played a huge role in our routine, not wanting to miss shows like Dallas, WKRP, Alf, Knots Landing, The Simpsons, Full House and Cheers.

With the invention of the VCR and now digital recordings, we don’t have a routine of  TV shows too much anymore. We record them so we can zip through the commercials. I usually record Sunday’s five-hour final round of the PGA to watch later.

Well, the exception of that routine was watching Yellowstone “live” last Sunday.

When the kids were little, the routine was me playing Wednesday Night Scramble at the Country Club then meeting the rest of the family at the pool for swimming and dinner poolside.

Friday night dinner out had been a routine for years, which started after the kids were out of high school.

There was a time we didn’t even look at the menu as we pretty much knew what we wanted to order before we even sat down.

Oh, we’d think about it, sometimes even look at a menu. But we mostly ordered the same entrée every time at our favorite restaurant.

When it comes to soda, I’m a Diet Coke kind of guy while my wife Kathy creates her own drink mixing lemons, cucumbers and rosemary in filtered water.

As we head into the middle of summer, our routines have been crushed. There was a time recently when Abilene was even out of Diet Coke and I had to adjust.

Folks in Abilene are getting back to some routines as the baseball and softball teams are back on the diamonds. 

At least in Abilene and Solomon, the swimming pools are open.

But with two more cases of COVID-19 in Dickinson County, 22 new cases in neighboring Saline County on Tuesday and Wednesday and the virus spreading in other states and on college campuses, what the future holds is still a question mark.

I have been broken out of my “rut.” My  new routine might include putting on a mask before I head into the office each morning.

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

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