Rituals and such.

Obviously we’ve been unable to observe some of our rituals and practices. Graduations and proms and end of the year concerts and the like have been conspicuously absent over this past pandemic year. These events help us mark time and bring a sense of order and accomplishment. Alas…

A singular custom that we will get back to perhaps this Friday is Friday night football. That’s right. February. But it’s those first few drum beats, you know? Ok, maybe you don’t. My high school’s fight song is the Horse (Cliff Nobles). When the football team first tears through the banner to run out onto the field on a fall Friday the band strikes up the song led by those first few drum beats. Bum, bum, buh buh buh. 43 years old and it still hits me deep. So yeah, we’ll see what February football with 100 fans in the stands is like, but at least it will be an echo of that longed for ritual.

Personally, I have my own morning ritual that has developed over this pandemic. Much of it revolves around music–this is Music Monday after all. When I wake up, which is around 5:45am pretty much every morning these days, I check the amazon photos from on this day through the years. Then I get up and make my way to my special nook. It’s a place I created in our new second bathroom with a nice blue chair, grateful dead bear fuzzy blanket, ninja coffee maker, a set of books I read, pics of my peeps, incense, a super cool lamp (I am modern chic no doubt), posters framed of bands I love, and my JBL speaker near by.

To start my morning, I dial up some Lang Lang playing Bach, or maybe some selections by Chopin, Beethoven, or Mozart using Apple Music. I’ll tap on the Daily Readings from the Revised Common Lectionary and read and ponder those while Lang Lang makes his magic. This is while I’m having my coffee that my Ninja makes for me on the timer. It’s the little things that make me glad 🙂 After my coffee, and before the morning shower, I’ll flip over to the ReListen app.

I should’ve said that before I get out of bed, after I check out the Amazon photos, I’ll scan the ReListen App for shows from the current day. There’s a ton of music on that app, but I only look for three bands. I check to see what Widespread Panic shows were on this day (OTD), then Grateful Dead and Phish. If there’s a show that I went to (Panic or Phish) then those take priority, and there are certain years of shows that I prefer as well. But that app is so awesome!

I do have to admit that I’ve cheated a little bit the last few days, and gone to a show from 11/11/73 from San Fran. The Dark Star –> Eyes of the World –> China Doll is in the top tier of what I would classify as the best music of ever.

The newish ritual/practice is to drive over to watch my youngest boy practice tennis. During that I’m usually on the SiriusXM app listening to either Phish, Dead, or Dave Matthews. Or maybe some 80s on 8 if I’m feeling spunky.

As a family, and perhaps I should’ve led with this, we have a few rituals as well. We don’t do the traditional sitting around the table to eat dinner kind of thing. A few nights a week when we order take-out we will gather around the peninsula–we don’t have an island–and eat and carry on together. But our house layout doesn’t really consist of a dining room per se. Going out to eat is a ritual that we had established, but… well pandemic. (First jab on Saturday though!!!!)

So, I began to wonder about what our family rituals are. I’m still thinking, but a few that we have do revolve around TV. Judge me. We are watching iCarly all the way through–Spencer makes me laugh so much. We watch an episode of it together at 7:30 each night; sometimes two. Mondays we watch The Neighborhood with Cedric the Entertainer, and Fridays we watch Whose Line is it Anyway? We do all the laughing!

Sarah and Sydney, or Sam and Sydney, or me and Sydney go on drives most days. And pretty much any long drive we take we listen to Hamilton all the way through. Isaac as Lafayette is what you wanna hear!

We are always in the house. Always. It’s raining and cold so much lately. And we are pretty faithful to the establishment rules regarding the pandemic. So we all do spend a lot of time in our own rooms decompressing. But the times we are out watching and laughing are really grand. Time marches on and things change. But I am proud of my family for how we have adjusted to these disruptions of the flow we had gotten used to.

Let me recommend 2/22/73 Dead and 2/22/97 Phish for your Relisten enjoyment today.

Also, let me know what rituals you have developed over the Pandemic year or ones that have endured through the Pandemic.

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