But, one of my favorite Jump Arounds to date happened Saturday afternoon on Pondview Court in Appleton. Led by my mother, we joined her neighborhood in a celebration of all that is great and virus-proof in Wisconsin.
Laughter, for example, transcends illness, and we had that in abundance.
“I’m here but I’m not going to jump,” one wise gentleman called out. “There’s no one to help you if you fall down.”
“My son says I can’t jump,” my mother’s neighbor Phyllis told me with a wink. “But, look at that. I had to be at least an inch off the ground.”
Friendliness also trumps disease.
“Is this the Jump Around?” asked a couple walking by. “We didn’t realize it was every week.”
Then they jumped on in.
All up and down the street people took a break from their isolation and coronavirus concerns, and joined in the Wisconsin Jump Around, a University of Wisconsin tradition begun at a football game 21 years ago.
The idea for the COVID-19 quarantine Jump Around started with a couple of guys in Sun Prairie, who pulled out their boom boxes and encouraged their neighbors to take a Saturday afternoon break from the pandemic. Soon, radio stations picked up the idea and now every Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m., radio stations around the state fire up the House of Pain song and follow it with a couple of other fan favorites.
Last week, my neighbor Tami gamely joined me out in the driveway (a safe distance away from each other) and we enjoyed a somewhat lonely Jump Around (heckled by a few of my family members and encouraged by some others.) Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted another neighbor Diane jumping in her driveway.
This week, Molly and I headed over to my mom’s, unaware that she had invited her whole street to join in. It was so heartening to see them all come out of the houses, stay a respectable distance away, and enjoy the fun.
We’re looking forward to next Saturday’s Jump Around.
We have a rough road ahead of us in this COVID-19 battle, but we can still find moments of joy.
So, if you need a little pick-me-up, check out my 81-year old mother dancing in her driveway to Tequila.