In this strange year, my sense of time passing, like so many other things has been skewed. As we near the six month mark of living under the shadow of coronavirus, most of us are at the point where we have realized that life continues. That doesn't mean that the virus isn't real or serious. It doesn't mean that I will cease wearing a mask or using precautions. What it does mean, however, is that we can't put life on hold indefinitely. As we can read in Ecclesiastes, there is a season for everything.

In 2020, it almost seems as if we skipped over several holidays and celebrations. When I began working from home - by corporate direction - on March 12, it wasn't yet spring. And perhaps I was naive because at that point I didn't think six months later that I would be still working from home, settled into a new routine, with no end date in sight.

Spring arrived but while the flowers bloomed, many of the events and activities usual to the season were absent. I celebrated Easter but not in church and so it was a different celebration.

The usual rites of spring - the last day of school, graduations, and proms were absent.

Summer arrived but somehow it didn't seem like summer, not in the same way.

Now we are almost at Labor Day and although autumn doesn't officially begin this year until September 22, the approaching weekend is usually considered the end of the summer season.

In my earliest school days, it meant a return to school.

Right now, somehow, even the seasons seems out of kilter. There were hot summer days but there were also some cooler ones, welcome but out of the usual expectation.

On Saturday, after the morning rains and wind had subsided, I was on my way to pick up groceries when I saw a goose in a field near the Middle School. I pointed it out to my daughter and then I realized the field was filled with geese. In the fall, that's a common sight at that spot but it seems early for geese to gather for their annual southward journey.

The next day, during a trip to a different retail store, I saw Christmas items vying for shelf space with fall merchandise and Halloween candy.

On social media, I've seen many longing for Christmas, even some suggestions to put up decorations early in an effort to find a little Christmas joy. While I understand the sentiment, I won't be putting up a tree or hanging a wreath on the door until December.

I am well aware that I tend to be old-fashioned in my holiday observances but to me, the Christmas season begins with Advent.

To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.

So I will enjoy these last days of summer. I anticipate the autumn colors, the cooler days, making chili and baking apple pies. I will look ahead to Thanksgiving and then to Christmas, savoring each season in its' time.

-Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is the editor for The Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser. She is also the reporter and photographer. In addition, she is an author and freelance writer. She writes a weekly column, A Writers's View.