By Abe Villarreal

Every day, during my fifty-minute drive to work and my fifty-minute drive back home, I see the movement, the rumblings of what looks like a society stretching its arms and wanting to get back up again.

People are walking dogs. The same lady in the reflective yellow vest is running around the same corner each day. As the sun rises so does steam off the rooftops of small businesses who are warming up neighborhoods with their baked goods and coffee.

School parking lots look a little fuller. Lanyards with name tags bumping up and down on chests are seen as administrators and counselors file their way onto campuses to do their work no matter where students are learning.

On early evenings, kids can be seen running barefoot at city parks. Teens walking in groups, mostly looking down on their phones, but still walking, outside, together.

The morning street sweepers are slowly and noisily doing their cleaning of streets that are starting to get dirty again. Restaurants are looking for workers. The city visitor center has a We're Open sign even if it's just for a few hours a day, and a few days a week.

Bulletin boards are getting filled up with flyers announcing events and happenings. Authors are signing books at small coffee shops. Only a few can come in at a time, but they can come in. Mainstreet movie theaters are not just selling popcorn to passersby, some of them are showing movies. They might be older movies and the seating is spaced out, but going to the movies is a thing again.

When I go grocery shopping, people can be seen talking to each other a little longer, and a little closer. Some fist bumps are turning into handshakes. Some handshakes into hugs.

People of all ages are dusting themselves off, shaking the blues away. Still, with a lot of eagerness by many to move forward, we have one foot outside and one foot inside. Precaution, even now, seems necessary.

We react differently to adversity. Whether it be a pandemic or an uncomfortable phone call. It's O.K. that some will want to stay inside a little longer while others welcome the distractions of life. Personally, I enjoy the sunshine and the smiling faces I see around me. They make me feel better.

One thing we didn't lose as a society is our compassion and love for one another. We continued to demonstrate it in different ways, even if we had to learn new ways to do it. Now, that life seems to be giving us permission to be our old, familiar selves, we want to do old, familiar things.

Those are the kinds of things I like to do because I know what works for me and what doesn't. I like to shake people's hands when I first meet them and give them a hug once I know them. I like to go to a park and see people lying out on the grass with their dogs, feet in the air, and face to the heavens.

I like to go to the movies, not just to watch the latest motion picture, but also to hear everyone else in the room laughing or screaming in fright.

I like to go to restaurants where I have to wait a little while to be given a seat. I know other people like that, too.

It's O.K. that some of us are taking it slow and others of us are ready to move on. Part of what makes us appreciate each other is how we take on life challenges, good ones and hard ones. It might take us a little longer than we wanted, but the important thing is that we are moving forward.

Abe Villarreal writes about the traditions, people, and culture of America. He can be reached at

Click to search the Beat Click to search the Beat

Get Updates Three Times a Week

Welcome to the Update! You will receive emails 3 times a week with links to recently posted articles.


You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

  • The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option at the top of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Go to Top