I moved to Rice Lake last summer. It was a very different town. Mid-pandemic and people unsure of what would happen next. Many jobs were in limbo and travel was limited. Most establishments enforced a mask policy as the state had required and most did their best to be careful of others space. We were a different group a year ago.

The biggest change that I have noticed since that time was this week. I was eating at Maxines, as I do every Thursday morning, and I noticed something different. Something that I was not used to. Something that I had missed.

It was seeing faces. This may sound silly, but I had realized I had never seen my usual waitress, Bianca’s, whole face. I had been coming consistently on Thursdays for almost a year, and this had been the first time I saw her face.

With the recent CDC guidelines and state regulations changing as more and more get vaccinated, we have seen a shift back to normal. Except, it became abnormal.

This is in no way a bash of public health officials or those who chose to be more precautious than others. But I am glad that I can now see faces again. I’ve missed it, and I hope you have too.

Aaron Brown is the pastor of children’s ministry at Maranatha Evangelical Free Church in Rice Lake and is a regular at Maxine’s Restaurant on Thursday mornings.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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