Corned beef and cabbage

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and I am making corned beef and cabbage.

I have made it every year on this day since I first moved out on my own.

Outside there is uncertainty. There is a global pandemic. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have been canceled the world over.

But I am making my corned beef and cabbage.

Masses have ceased. Schools are closed. International travel has stopped. We are under an 8 p.m. curfew.

But I am making my corned beef and cabbage.

Some businesses have shuttered their doors, either voluntarily or by mandate, to help stem the tide of the virus. Gatherings of more than 50 people are banned. Some cities are on lockdown. We are in a state of emergency, both in New Jersey and nationally.

But I am making my corned beef and cabbage.

It is recommended that people stay indoors. Anyone exhibiting symptoms should self-quarantine for 14 days. We have food. We have supplies.

But I am still making my corned beef and cabbage.

Life is surreal. None of this is normal.

But my corned beef and cabbage is.

I cannot control the world around me. I cannot stop whatever may be coming. I cannot predict what tomorrow may bring.

But I can make my corned beef and cabbage.

That I can control. That is something normal onto which I can hold. Later, we will eat the corned beef and cabbage, and we will watch Darby O’Gill and the Little People, like we do every year.

Because we need a little normal, especially now.

Soon it will be ready, and we will continue to do whatever normal things we can do until this passes. Until worldwide normalcy returns.

Until then, I plan to hold on to as much normal as possible.

Like making corned beef and cabbage.

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