The coronavirus has given us far more time at home than some know how to handle. If you are a homebody, you have been one happy camper lately...but you’ve camped at home. If you are a social butterfly, you have been forced to land. You may have even felt like you had crawled back into your cocoon. You are delighted that restrictions have eased and you are ready to fly.

I have never been much of a homebody and have never idled easily. When I was growing up, Mama used to tell me my middle name was “Go.” She often accused me of wearing out the roads.

One of the first of many cars I burned up the roads in was an old beat up, worn out, 1968 Fiat 850 with fried piston rings. I love fried onion rings, but not fried piston rings! That was one ugly mode of transportation. There were several things I didn’t like about that old Fiat. It only had two gears... slow and slower! Sometimes it didn’t get me home on time, especially if getting home involved driving up Sand Mountain. Sometimes climbing the mountain took prayer and a good friend with a long log chain and a strong bumper. My Fiat purred like a kitten... a sick kitten, that is. It did not idle well, but then neither do I. During these stay days, we may have all learned to idle a little better.

While that “lovely” little Italian made import didn’t get me there as fast as I wished, it beat walking or peddling a bicycle. I parked in spaces those driving Lincolns and Cadillacs didn’t even attempt. Since gasoline was under forty-cents per gallon, I could fill up on four dollars.

The engine was a small three-cylinder, so I could drive to London for $25.00. Okay, I got a little carried away there. It was actually a four-cylinder, but one only fired occasionally.

Oh, you thought I meant England? No, silly, London, Kentucky. They hadn’t finished the bridge to England back then.

This forced isolation has taken many out of our normal routine. I haven’t been in the office much, haven’t had meetings except virtual ones, and all of my speaking, singing, and Billy Bob events have been canceled or postponed until 2525 (remember that song?). In spite of all this, I have seen a rainbow shining through the rain.

There are things I have certainly enjoyed about being home. First of all, none of my family has come down with the virus. I have missed seeing my daughter and her family as much, but I’ve had tons of time with my wonderful wife of 45 years, not to mention two four-legged rotten rascals. I’ve “gone to church” via Facebook and Youtube. I have been able to catch up on some needed yard work. I’ve communicated with 43,298 people by phone, email, Facebook, and shouting at some from six-feet away. I’ve spent much time on my back porch playing my instruments and singing...my poor neighbors... bless their hearts. I’ve played and sung to some of you through Facebook... bless your hearts. I’ve read some and written much. I began writing a new book. I’ve taken Jean to the movies several times... in our family room. I’ve watched 4,398 reruns of Gunsmoke and Andy Griffith. I actually saw an episode of Gunsmoke I had not seen... I think. Most importantly, I’ve prayed for the sick, the bereaved, the unemployed, our leaders, medical workers, a cure, churches, pastors, businesses, the economy, for the well to stay well and that we can all make the best of tough situation.

As we begin to ease out of our hibernation, please be smart and safe. There is a killer virus still on the loose.

— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal Thursdays edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.

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