Will it Go Round in Circles

The title of this column comes from a 1973 song by the late great Billy Preston. If you are unfamiliar with the song, I highly recommend you give it a listen. I was going to say purchase the CD, and then I remembered that we’re in 2020 and you can literally say, “Alexa/Siri/Google, play ‘Will it Go Round in Circles’ by Billy Preston,” and magically the song will start playing. What a time to be alive my friends!

Speaking of things that go, “round in circles,” I want to give a shoutout to my friend Tom McCleary and his team with Star Collectibles, a fun business located here in Muscatine. They’re hosting an open house coming up this Saturday and Sunday, and if you have kids like I do and struggle with finding things to do to keep them entertained, you must stop down there! My boys were totally enamored with the indoor race tracks at Star Collectibles. I totally foresee purchasing two RC (remote controlled cars) in my future. Or, maybe I can leave that up to Santa–that seems like a better idea!

I have been thinking a lot about my friends that own small businesses that have done everything in their power to remain open during the pandemic. Some have literally had to, “go round in circles,” as new regulations get handed down from the CDC or at the state level. I think we all want to ensure our local businesses make it through these tough times.

We must also continue being safe and smart. That means that the holidays may look differently this year. At my house, we’re making the decision to have a low key Thanksgiving and leaving the cooking up to either Chef Tess at The Merrill, John Morford at A Guy & A Grill, and of course the Hy-Vee bakery can handle all the desserts that I can pass off as “homemade.”

The same can be said for Christmas. Before the pandemic, we had talked about trying to travel to the Chicago area to see some of my family. With rising COVID cases in both Iowa and Illinois, I’m not sure that will happen. I’m kind of okay with not traveling around the holidays because I tend to get road rage as we get on the highways in Chicago. Am I the only one that happens to? Perhaps you get a little bit of rage when someone doesn’t properly yield at one of our roundabouts here in Muscatine. Growing up with divorced parents, travel was part of seemingly every holiday. My brother and I would wake up at our mom’s house in Oak Park, go to church, open presents, and then be on the road to either her family’s events or my dad’s side. That’s trying for a kid to be in the car that much on a holiday.

Certainly, I am pro spending time with family and I hope you’re not thinking that I am some sort of Grinch. I’m just also okay with taking it easy this Thanksgiving and Christmas and being with immediate family in a safe way. I don’t claim to have all the answers. I just want us to be able to get back to “normal” sooner rather than later. Take care of yourselves, and continue to be safe.