By Jim Magdefrau

It was late March that the column returned. We were just starting to get isolated.

How was the year? Looking back. I was shopping for root beer in a grocery store, and two older ladies asked me where the tonic water was, me being a man. For me, that’s a compliment.

Isolation also made me give up line dancing, then I remembered. I never did line dancing.

We remembered Iowa super journalist Dean Borg. I remembered the first time I heard John Prine. Each concert was like a visit with a friend, and each new album was like a letter. Everything fit like an old pair of sneakers. Anywhere there’s a campfire, a guitar and friends, someone is going to ask, “Do you know any Prine?” That’s where John lives on.

A theme was coping with isolation. My main form of exercise has been raising and lowering the foot rest on the recliner.

I listened to a radio piece about our current condition causing vivid anxiety dreams. I’m going them one further with vivid anxiety dreams about having vivid anxiety dreams.

Nephew Wes related he set his Saturday afternoon work music to the Beach Boys. The Pandora station played a few classics and then a few commercials. The first was for medical marijuana. The second was for nursing home attorneys.

Sitting for my great niece and great nephew was a lot of fun. A Stir Crazy popcorn popper can keep them entertained. For a while. Then it’s time to have a war with the leaf blower.

In August, it hit the fan. The lights went out and everything outside went sideways. The Derecho. For months afterwards, you got used to the beeping sound of utility workers and constant buzz of chain saws, and the yelling that comes from cold showers.

We went back to school in the fall, with masks. I worked the election. There were no protestors waiting for me when I arrived home. We thanked Miss K. November came and went and we stayed isolated. And now. It’s winter. That’s the year.

After all of this, I’m looking forward to January. Does that sound right? Let’s hope for changes. Let’s watch some football. Let’s have a good year.

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