May I?

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A favorite game often played during recess on campus of the old grammar school on Church Street was “May I?” The game started by a leader saying, “Let’s play May I. “You did not have to be “picked” because everyone was welcome.

Everyone knew the simple rules, and no instructions or equipment was needed.
The leader started by establishing a starting point for players to line up and stood a good distance away. The winner would be the player who reached leader first.

Why did this draw a group of children as much as “free ice cream for all?” The game progressed with the varied commands of the leader. “Take a giant step. Take three baby steps. Take five hops. Take two giant steps backwards.” However, before you could move you had to ask permission, “May I?” If in your eagerness to start, you forgot to say the magic word, the answer was “no,” you lost any gain you had made and had to return to the starting line. Usually, the bell to end recess also ended the game without a winner.
Since we are now in the merry month of September, I wanted to give you this uplifting image of children running out from the classroom on a pleasant autumn day, laughing and excited to just have fun. Classrooms aren’t full. Playgrounds aren't filled with carefree children holding hands to play Red Rover or London Bridge. Learning continues in their homes via television, computer, or patient parent. Teachers are struggling to find ways to make this time productive. I am on the sideline now and not impacted, but in all of my many years of schooling, the scheduled days were only shortly cancelled for weather.

I read and reread From the Editor written by Managing Editor Halei Lamb, and I take the liberty of borrowing some of her words. “The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on everything, churches, schools, movie theaters, birthday parties, funerals and even our beloved newspaper.” She asked that we send her potential news leads on anything you think might be newsworthy during these strange times. I look forward to some good reading submitted by The Blade followers.

The title, “Patience Please,” tells us that there will be an ending, and we can return not to the old normal—but to an even better normal. Thank you, Halei.

Stay safe, stay well, and love thy neighbor.


Write to Shirley at sptwissgmail.com.

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