Although Rod Serling and the ever smoldering cigarette held between his fingers is long gone, his legacy lives on in the show he created, The Twilight Zone.

Before I cut the cord to cable television, twice each year, on New Year's Eve and on the Fourth of July, our family would tune into Syfy to watch one episode after another.

The last time I checked, the series was still on Netflix, which I have, and sometimes I will watch an episode or two

The episodes, not all written by Serling, range from strange to frightening. Some offer a moral lesson along with the entertainment. And, although I've long enjoyed the show, I never expected to find myself dwelling in the Twilight Zone.

We're more than midway through a year that has been like no other I have ever known. Life as we know it has been turned inside out, topsy-turvy. I've been working from home since March 12 and so far, there's no certain date when that might end. The last time I sat in a pew at church was on Sunday, March 15. I watch the service live each week without fail but it's not the same. For a short time, St. Canera had church but we're back to the live service. One thing I've learned though, is that church is not the building - it's we who believe.

Normally I enjoy dining out. As a family, we went out to eat for my twin daughters' 24th birthday at the end of February. One of my daughters and I had a meal one Sunday at Oriental House. By the time Patrick's birthday rolled around, most restaurants were closed. Picking up carry-out from favorite restaurants or a drive-through is not quite the same experience.

I haven't been to the library although it has reopened once again this week. Most of my shopping is done through home delivery or pickup. My pastimes are reading, writing, and working.

COVID-19 has changed our nation. It is still changing.

We all want normal back but what was normal? When someday this virus is checked from spreading and from causing deaths, what will our lives look like?

At this point it's hard to tell.

I end this week with words from Rod Serling himself, in one of the opening monologues to the show:

"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call "The Twilight Zone"."

And it seems we are there.

-Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is the community editor of The Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser.