COPING WITH COVID-19…..A TOUCH OF NOSTALGIA AMONG THE PANDEMIC

Sunday afternoon in April at our local shopping area in Florida during the pandemic

During this time of self-isolation and stay-at-home orders, I try to look for something that makes me smile. During a drive in our town the other evening after dinner, I couldn’t help but notice that the stores that are normally open until nine o’clock or ten o’clock at night, including the grocery stores, were closed right before or right after dusk. I am reminded of growing up in New England when the “Blue Laws” were in effect in a big way and most stores, with the exception of the malls prior to the advent of the big box stores, were closed after dinner to give the shop keepers time to be home with their families. On Sundays, stores were either closed or had very reduced hours because of the “blue laws”, which were designed to restrict or ban some or all Sunday activities for religious or secular reasons, particularly to promote the observance of a day of worship or rest. In fact, until recently in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the “blue laws” prohibited stores from being open on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Technically, the state of Rhode Island can still fine a company for making certain employees work on Sunday. Luckily it’s only a maximum fine of ten dollars.

Professional sports, with the exception of hockey and ice polo, need a special license to play on Sundays.

Furthermore, it’s illegal in Providence for a store to sell a toothbrush and toothpaste to the same customer on a Sunday. I’m not sure how or if THAT law is enforced at this time though. I can’t even imagine the logistics of that one.

Speaking of petty archaic Rhode Island laws, evidently exercising any labor, business, or work, or using any game, sport, play, or recreation, or causing any of the above to be done to
or by your children, servants, or apprentices on the first day of the week (Sunday) results in a penalty of five dollars for the first offense and ten dollars for the second.

Finally, for those of you in the home audience who lose sleep wondering, yes, it is still unlawful in Rhode Island to throw pickle juice on a trolley as well. I’m not even sure the last time Rhode Island had a working trolley.

Thinking of these crazy archaic laws in Rhode Island brings a smile to my face today and reminds me we have come so far in recent years. We have come so far, but I miss the times when the focus of our community was on the family. Admittedly, the nostalgia I feel about the closing of many stores for the time being reminds me of a kinder, gentler time not too long ago.

Life is good. Find something to make you smile today. Remember good times of the past, and look forward to good times in the future. Maybe the best times of our lives are still ahead of us on the horizon. Certainly, better days are ahead but enjoy today while it lasts. THESE might just be the “good old days” for one reason or another….

“I wish somebody would have told me babe
Some day, these will be the good old days
All the love you won’t forget
And all these reckless nights you won’t regret
Someday soon, your whole life’s gonna change
You’ll miss the magic of these good old days…”

-“Good Old Days” by Macklemore

“…Cause I might be crazy…

I think it’s high time
We break out the good wine
Raise a glass and say
These still are the good old days…”

-“Still the Good Old Days” by James Taylor

“And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways
So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now
And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days

And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days…
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)….”

-“Anticipation” by Carly Simon

Enjoy today; THESE are the good old days. Carpe diem, friends…………..

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