The Ruttle Report - Summer 2020, we hardly knew ye

I’m typing this on Sunday afternoon during the Labor Day long weekend and things are pretty low-key.  There were supposed to be fireworks in Outlook last night, but they were called off a couple of hours before blast-off because of incoming wind conditions.

Disappointing, but what are you gonna do?

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The first days of school are this week and it’s a new month that ends in “ber”.  All of this means one thing – summer is officially over.

It’s like we hardly had a chance to get to know each other.

I think it’s easy to say that the summer of 2020 was a span of a few months that ended up being something of a wash for a lot of people.  After all, we’re living in a pandemic where restrictions are all over the place, making it something of an interesting task to try and plan any sort of substantial trip, adventure or journey.

When this year started just over eight months ago, I had different plans for the summertime than how they actually unfolded.

I had planned to spend a few days up at a cabin in the North.

I had planned to spend a few days out in Calgary seeing some sights.

I had planned to see some extended family.

I had planned to watch my oldest niece get married with a lot of that extended family.

I had planned to help host a family reunion that was already shaping up to be a lot of fun.

I had planned to enjoy a few months of a typical prairie summer with no restrictions and no damn virus.

Alas, none of that was in the cards for this year.  My story certainly isn’t unique; I’m sure there are countless others who had big plans for these warm summer months that had to be shelved due to the pandemic.  In that regard, we’ve all been very much in this together.  My botched plans become your botched plans, and I’m sure we’re all just thinking about hitting the reset button for next year.

Next year…what a thought, huh?  To think that so many of us watched the clock approach midnight on December 31, 2019 and had so much on our minds about what the new decade was going to bring.

What it brought was epic fires to Australia, a viral pandemic, and an election season coming from all sides (municipal, provincial, and American) that is shaping up to be the typical circus that they always seem to be.

But next year, man.  Next year will be different…right?

I certainly hope so.

As we look ahead to a near future with more optimism, I can’t help but look back at the last few months.  True, it was different from what I had originally planned my summer to be, but it wasn’t without its share of enjoyment.

I’m not even talking about from my own personal perspective.  Think about where we were in late February or early March, right before all of this pandemic drama unfolded.  School was in session, extra curricular sports were still a thing, we could easily go out to eat or go to the movies without batting an eye.

But when the pandemic hit, was it truly doom and gloom?  I really can’t say it was.  In fact, I think a lot of us reacted to it by bringing out the best in ourselves and our communities.

Mother’s Day doesn’t hold any special space in my heart because, well, obviously I’m not a mother.  But the 2020 edition of the day is one I’ll remember forever because on that day, the community of Outlook pulled together to do something unheard of at the time – they put on a parade.  And that one only seemed to get the ball rolling, because I found myself shooting video and snapping photos of more parades; Kenaston School had one, so did Dinsmore Composite School for their grads, and then so did Outlook High School.

The pandemic put a roadblock in front of our “usual” plans, but the truth is it forced us to get creative and do something that was perhaps much more memorable than what has typically been done in the past.

If this is how we react in the midst of a pandemic, then I can only imagine where we may be headed in the coming months when we’ve hopefully reached a point where we can leave it behind us.

Yes, I’m looking forward to next summer when I can do the things I didn’t get to this year, but it’s so much more than that.  I’m looking forward to seeing our communities thrive once again and for life to achieve the closest thing back to ‘normal’ again.

We’re more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.

For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.

© The Outlook

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