News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Bring it on

Well, that was… interesting.

As I recall, most of us were thinking at this time last year that the weirdness that was 2020 would dissipate in 2021. Of course, calendars, like clocks, are just something we create in the feeble hope of imposing order on the course of events, which have a way of ignoring such contrivances and rolling along inexorably on their own chaotic path.

The Year 2021 started weird, right from January 6, and kept on rolling through 12 months of social and economic turmoil. COVID-19 refused to consign itself to history after a one-year run, and launched a summer tour riffing on the Delta blues. The bug is still with us as we roll into 2022, singing an even catchier tune, though perhaps with less bottom.

Can we catch a break here?

We might be forgiven for looking at 2022 with wary skepticism rather than eager anticipation. We know we’re not out of the woods on any of the ailments that afflict us. Yet it might be good to pause a moment and reflect on the light that has shined across a couple of pretty dark years.

The bizarre politicization of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has obscured the truly remarkable achievement that the COVID vaccines represent. In the spring of 2020, there was great skepticism that a vaccine for a coronavirus was a viable possibility. Yet, here we are. The vaxxes are not perfect, and we have not “crushed” COVID, but they provide a high degree of protection from serious illness and death. Monoclonal antibody treatment and other antiviral treatments are advancing rapidly — all of which holds out the promise that it won’t be too long before we can push COVID-19 into the background and simply live with it.

Here in Sisters Country, we did a pretty good job of rolling with the waves and making the best of things — despite COVID, despite staffing shortages and supply chain struggles, and despite the constant threat that our national divisions will infiltrate our local way of life.

Quilts blossomed again across downtown Sisters in the return of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, and music filled the air as the Sisters Folk Festival brought live music back through the summer and fall. We rang in the autumn with a bustling Harvest Faire as in days of old. The organizations that create these events worked tirelessly to stage them safely and responsibly. Hats off to ’em.

Hopefully, 2022 will see the Sisters Rodeo ride back into its rightful spot on the calendar, and the Sisters Rhythm and Brews Fest will serve up some real Delta Blues.

Kids are back in classrooms, the fellowship of churches is strong, neighborhoods are vibrant. New businesses are opening and new neighbors are fulfilling dreams of making Sisters their home.

Folksinger Slaid Cleaves, who has performed many times in Sisters, asked in song for one good year:

Just give me one good year

To get my feet back on the ground

I’ve been chasing grace

But grace ain’t so easily found

One bad hand can devil a man

A good one can turn him around

I gotta get out of here

Just give me one good year

Maybe 2022 will be that year, maybe it won’t. But Slaid’s got another song that we can all sing as we flip the calendar:

I don’t ask for mercy, it just don’t work that way

Today I’m down but hope will rise another day

Bring it on, bring it on

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author photo

Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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