My Daily Walk: Signs of Appreciation

Appreciating others during quaratine lockdown
One thing I’ve noticed on my daily walk are the yard signs. They started before the Quarantine because our school district likes to recognize students who achieve a 4 or 5 on their Advanced Placement tests. Then came the Seniors 2020 signs, sold every year as a fundraiser for a school organization. These joined other fundraiser signs for different high school activities: dance team, band and guard, softball (we have one of these), etc. 
Since Quarantine we experienced a flurry of yard signs across the neighborhood. Professional photographers printed Senior signs for the students they photographed. Private schools did one for every senior by name. Next came signs for 5th graders and 8th graders, also with names. Anyone who missed their final year at school, there’s a sign. Last came the teacher/staff appreciation signs – “An Awesome Teacher Lives Here!”
Leading up to Mother’s Day weekend, yet another sign popped up across our neighborhood – a round sign saying, “This Mom is the BOMB!” It started from a local #Strong community organization that provides volunteer service for all in times of need. The donated signs were distributed for free…with the added bonus that when you pick up the sign from the local coffee shop, you could also purchase a small package from another local small business to leave as a gift. Then you place the sign in the yard of someone you think is doing an awesome job as a mom. 
I’ve even seen a few yard signs for those working in the medical profession. By the grace of God, I do not know anyone personally who has this virus. But while I don’t see it first-hand, I know my neighbors in the medical profession ARE seeing it and working hard to treat people and save lives. 
Yesterday, our seniors drove by the high school to drop off textbooks and pick up their cap and gown orders. They were also given a yard sign, bringing the current number of signs in my yard up to four. 
Personally, I love the signs popping up in the yards over the past 8-10 weeks. It’s a little reminder that someone out there deserves recognition and appreciation, whether it’s working hard to earn a high score on an AP test, or missing your senior year of a UIL sport/activity, or that a student just ended what was supposed to be a special year of school (elementary, middle, or high school) in an unforeseen and socially isolated manner fraught with disappointment and frustration. Every teacher had to adapt to online teaching out of their comfort zone. Every Mom right now is “the BOMB” and deserves a sign – and hopefully the Dad signs start for Father’s Day in June.
Honestly, everyone deserves a sign of recognition and appreciation for the job they’re doing. Whether they’ve been working out of the house in an essential business – supply chain, grocery, utilities, healthcare – or keeping it together doing online work from home. Even those furloughed waiting to be recalled need to be reminded that they are special and not forgotten. We are living in unprecedented times and as the country reopens (thank God!) we may face continued uncertainty in finding our way. 
So today, take a moment to send someone you know a sign – physical or virtual – that they are important, recognized and appreciated.  


Shelly Henley Kelly