Averil Gleason

It’s common knowledge that the pandemic has utterly and completely changed the world.

For the worse.

So when you find pockets of peace, clusters of contentment, you hold onto them for dear life.

Which is something I’ve found myself doing the better part of 2020. And in the few days that have been 2021.

The year started, surprisingly, well.

On the second day of the new year, my dad took the family to a drive-in movie.

I hadn’t seen a movie with the whole family since I was still in high school and Andrew Garfield was Spider-Man.

Even though I live with my parents, and my sister just moved back home, we get so wrapped up in our own lives, in our daily routines, that it can be hard to make time for each other. Even in a pandemic.

But when my mom and I were driving through Sugar Land a few Saturdays ago, and saw those gigantic tell-tale blow-up screens, we knew what we had to do.

I immediately Googled Sugar Land drive-in movies, and found that every Saturday through Jan. 2, old films would play on the big screen.

It was something good that came from the pandemic.

A socially distant way to stay together.

The final movie that played Saturday was “Karate Kid.”

My parents saw the movie years and years ago, a classic.

But my sister and I never had.

That Saturday, we bundled up in our warmest clothes, popped all the popcorn in our house, and grabbed every blanket and pillow we could get our hands on before packing them into my dad’s cherry red 1967 Plymouth Satellite.

Once we parked in the Smart Financial Center parking lot, my parents retreated to the backseat, allowing my sister and I front-row access to the movie.

We laughed. I’m almost certain my mom cried. We had the best night of my life. Or at least, the best night of the year thus far.

This pandemic has taken a lot out of everybody.

My dad was furloughed for a portion of 2020. My mom’s hours were cut at work. My sister had a hard time balancing college in an online forum. And I got COVID-19, for goodness sake.

But we made due with what we had.

We found those pockets of peace and clusters of contentment and ran with them for as long as our legs and our lungs would allow.

I can’t wait for the vaccine to be readily available to all Americans. I can’t wait for things to go back to normal and for everyone to walk outside without worrying if they have a mask handy.

But times like Saturday night made me appreciate that through the hardships, we’ve found comfort in a perilous place.

Contact Averil Gleason at agleason@fbherald.com.

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