A year of resting and rusting is coming to an end.
Apologies to those who read this site faithfully over twelve years we've been publishing only to wonder if we had located to another planet when year 13 rolled around. The past several years have gotten progressively more disheartening for a Kentuckian who loves this often infuriating state. I spent a lot of time watching and wondering whether we are going forward, backward or sitting still.
The Year of the Plague made things even worse. It wasn't isolation but the freedom from distraction that undid my best intentions to write SOMETHING every day. I would make the vow on Sunday and look up and Friday had rolled around. Nobody writes on the weekend if they can avoid a deadline, said the soothing of my guilty conscience.
I knew then my heart wasn't in writing. What used to keep me in the office until the light faded outside and Ivan was calling to see if I had been mugged dissipated like a Kentucky April snowfall. There were few news reports I felt like adding one more word to write about.
I closed my law office to the public in August when I turned seventy. Yes. Seventy. I blink saying that. I figured it was time to get out of the way of younger lawyers with more stamina and better reflexes. Truth to be told I was tired of the pain and sadness in my chosen legal niche. Concentrating in family law for over thirty years would make one think I'd heard, seen it all and become immune to the heartache. Trust me. The sadness never gets old. Not by a long shot.
Most folks around here do not understand why I would even contemplate shelving my shingle. After all, in one of the demographically oldest counties in the state, I'm in the prime of life. To an extent they are right. Age is not what it used to be. I remember too many people who were old at fifty-five and sixty. Sixty five was the outside work edge. I watched family members take to their recliner, hit the remote, tilt back and stop moving.
With better health care (and yes the day we got Medicare was a day of rejoicing) more of us were living longer more alert lives. In the first years of retirement, one can do all the stuff that had to wait until the weekend and do it during the week. Shopping at Kroger on a Tuesday morning was a heady experience.
This week, I ran into a client who told me that I was foolish to quit so young -easy for him to say in his youthful 50s. And there's still work to be done. A local prosecutor reminded me that we had lost five attorneys in our area to retirement, job changes and death and only gained one - his son. Few attorneys want to relocate to the River Counties. Staying in an area of higher population with more for them to do at work and after makes a great deal of sense. The economic fact of practicing in a rural area is that there's work but not enough at home. It's hit the road and follow the circuit to make a living.
That was until Covid-19 made us seniors realize there are worse things than resting and rusting. Friends in nursing homes and assisted living facilities were most at risk. We texted and messaged back and forth with news of those we could not visit. The risk of spreading the plague was too much.
For a year we sat in front of screens watching the numbers of cases and deaths rise. Watching Governor Andy exhort us and cheer us on with his daily updates got us through. Most of us lost someone we knew. If we didn't lose them to death, we lost contact with them.
When we did go out, we went masked and fearful. Scrubbing our hands with sanitizer and avoiding human touch. (Photo credit to Leslie McColgin)
Why in the hell would I want to write about that?
It is a new year and a new day. Vaccinated, vindicated and invigorated, I'm brushing off my mental rust spots, dusting off my laptop and taking to the keyboard, working to get back to doing whatever I was doing before the plague hit.
There's stuff going on around us that you need to hear about - and Fox and Friends and MSNBC aren't the ones you'll hear it from. It's past time that I get out of my recliner, turn off the TV and get back to it.