If there is one thing Americans have proven during our COVID19 lockdown it is that lockdown is not our strong suit. Last week in this column, we commended Crossett for maintaining its characteristic courteous ways during these unprecedented,  for most of us, times. And we still do. Our social distancing, however, can use some work. 

Humans are designed for social interaction. And the ones lucky enough to end up in Crossett seem to get a triple dose in their design. A grocery run to CashSaver can turn into an hours-long deal when we run into a neighbor on the bread aisle. A quick trip to K&K Company for a new pair of summer wedges can easily become a sit-down conversation with the owner, Kristy. And going to the Crossett Public Library to return books might keep you from returning home for a while if you run into a former teacher or student. Even when we move through nonsocial activities, we are social, Crossett. 

It is why Parks and Recreation is moving from events that gather us up to isolated events that unite us through common goals. It has been challenging but not impossible.  So far we have started various beautification projects.  

We have amped up our efforts at landscaping Centennial Park — which has turned into more of a fire ant eradication project — tackled the strip of land between Gammel’s Furniture and Brookshire’s to rid it of litter and moved forward in our plans to plant a community garden at the Crossett Farmers Market. 

While we do our projects, I have noticed you, neighbors, delving into beautification efforts of your own, projects like powerwashing sidewalks, planting spring flowers, cleaning out closets and participating in our “Light Up Crossett With Hope” event.

It isn’t too late to join: dig out your Christmas lights and string them up, maybe add a banner with a positive message of hope or tie red bows around trees in your yard or porch poles to symbolize prayers for our town and our nation during these not so normal times. Some of you have started a bear hunt by placing a teddy bear somewhere on  your property for families to drive around and spot. We might not can gather, Crossett, but we can unite in a show of hope.

Once you get your lights, bows, banners or bears up, go for a drive to see others who have joined in. Feel not so alone when you drive up Maple and see John and Charlotte Hollimon’s red bows and razorback sign, the prayer bows hanging on the darkened doors of Shebrews and Studio 202, the lit up banner of hope for Arkansas on Greenbriar Circle, the lights at the Cook’s and the McLaren’s households on Cypress and Rosie Henry’s on Beech.  

And don’t miss the shout out to our heroes working the front lines at Ashley County Medical Center. A big thank you to John and Donna McLaren for motivating  this community toward these quarantine safe activities. 

Enjoy this uncertain time by clinging to the certainty that if we must do this we can at least do this together in the best little small town in America, Crossett. 

And one other note: limit your screen time. It has been proven time and again that staring at a TV or phone or some other screen of technology sends the brain into depression patterns. 

Drag out your card decks, board games, books, paints and brushes — all items available on the front steps of the First United Methodist Church of Crossett free for the community — gardening tools, or just brew up some sweet tea and drag up a chair  on your front porch then wave at every neighbor that passes by. Good things can come of this bad time.

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