Dear Winn – 14 March 2020

Dear Winn,

Well, they closed Disneyland. Freakin’ Disneyland. Impossible to bibbidi-bobbidi-boo this one, huh? I saw your announcement on social media that your church will cancel all gatherings for the next three weeks. Doing your part to flatten the curve. I like that, and wholeheartedly agree. It feels a sober response, and sobriety seems the order of these days. Drunk on fear or drunk on denial is still drunk. I heard some ballsy boy on the radio say something to the effect of, “I ain’t scared, I grew up drinkin’ from a water hose, blah, blah, blah.” I thought, “Brotein, I grew up the same way, still sip from a hose on occasion, country boy can survive and all that. But they closed Disneyland. Freakin’ Disneyland.”

Speaking of social media, I, like you, have been off for a few weeks. Contrary to what the cool kids usually do, I didn’t announce it, just backed away. I found it at first a little unsettling, but I acclimated quickly to the quiet, or the quieter. I liked it, Winn. But my wife told me yesterday this might not be the wisest time not only as a human but also as a writer to be precious about fasting from social media. She’s right, as usual. She said that as I left the house in search of toilet paper for we’d heard there’d been a run on the stuff. So, I cued up some Bellamy Brothers and merged onto the highway out into the danger zone, with peripheral thoughts of what easing back into social media might look like. Dude, I went to six, count ‘em six stores ranging from big Costco to little Walgreens and nary a roll to be found. I finally stumbled upon some at our local Natural Grocers—I came home with bamboo toilet paper. I guess there’s a first time for everything. My brother told me he’d heard bamboo’s a game changer though, so, well, I guess we’ll see.

I did glance at Twitter yesterday evening. Jarring, man. Jarring.

Like so many college students, Sarah is coming home this weekend as Pepperdine is clearing its campus. But unlike some of them, she’s a senior—this is her final semester, her last hurrah, and it has to be wrapped up, boxed up, swept up and emptied out by Sunday. She’s heartbroken, scrambling to say goodbyes. And we have no idea what this means for graduation. Plus, Abbey now has an extra week added to her high school Spring Break, there are murmurings about online classes, and we have no idea what this means for her graduation either. Will had planned to be home next week, simply a springtime visit, so oddly enough the Blase5 will all be together next weekend for Abbey’s birthday (mine too). I love that, but my deeper wish is that their lives would all be as if this wasn’t happening, back to normal, at least the normal of a few weeks ago. Like it was before.

But I can’t bibbidi-bobbidi-boo the past back. Gotta keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time, onward Christian soldiers. Maybe just onward Christians. Actually, maybe onward humans. Stay human in all this, keep to the code: Love God. Which means love others. Which includes your own self. Look for the beautiful, ‘cause its there. Might have to squint.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or off social media—ha!), we all know what to do beyond that. Wash your hands for as long as a song, like “Let Your Love Flow” by the Bellamy Brothers. Check on the old ones—family, neighbors, friends. Avoid the crowds so we can maybe mitigate this thing. And let the sadness seep deep into your bones, the sadness in this global Lent of giving up control, if we ever had it in the first place.

You know I’m not a fan of Lent, so light a candle for me, my good friend. I’ll keep one lit for you. (sigh) Freakin’ Disneyland.












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  1. Marilyn Yocum on March 14, 2020 at 7:39 am

    “this global Lent”……perfect, John.

  2. Irv on March 14, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Beautiful… and I laughed out loud about the bamboo TP! Thank you… we all needed that!

  3. John Homan on March 14, 2020 at 9:08 am

    I love all of this.

  4. Sherrey Meyer on March 14, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Love this from the first bibbidi-bobbidi-boo to the end.

  5. Jacky on March 14, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Ahhh, John . Keep writing and publishing please, will you? You have lightened my heart and sparked a few laughs. Your gift is better an antidote than tp stock up.

  6. Anne Bethea on March 14, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Love it.

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