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Each Monday, Tommy Tomlinson delivers thoughtful commentary on an important topic in the news. Through these perspectives, he seeks to find common ground that leads to deeper understanding of complex issues and that helps people relate to what others are feeling, even if they don’t agree.

On My Mind: A List Of What We Miss

Tommy Tomlinson

What do you miss?

Here’s what I miss:

A minor league baseball game, seats down the first-base line, my wife by my side and a cold beer in my hand.

That moment when the lights go down just before the concert starts.

The sound of the ocean through an open window.

Movie popcorn.

Going out to dinner with friends and talking so long that you look up and notice you’re the last ones there.

That weird feeling of waking up in a hotel room and not being quite sure where you are.

The local touchstones: browsing the shelves at Park Road Books, thumbing through the vinyl at Lunchbox Records, late-night breakfast at the Landmark, working on the Next Big Project over coffee at Rhino Market.

Poker nights.

The spectacular people-watching from any gate at the airport.

Staring at a piece of art at a museum until it gives up its mysteries.

Pulling over on a road trip to stretch your muscles and suck in some fresh air.

Not leaving the gym until you make that last three-pointer.

The way that, no matter how big the party, everybody winds up in the kitchen.

Patting your shirt pocket before you leave the house to make sure you have the tickets for the big event.


Festivals with art for sale and laughing kids and cover bands and funnel cakes.

The elaborate high-fives you created with your buddies in high school.

A full congregation singing hymns together, a new impromptu choir every Sunday.

Bourbon at midnight with friends who appreciate bourbon and midnight.

Opening the curtains in the morning to a new city, maybe even a new country, somewhere you’ve never been before but always wanted to go.

Stopping in to see somebody who really needed to see you.

Not having to stop halfway up the walk, or six feet away on the street, but going right up to somebody you care about, shaking hands, tousling hair, embracing, skin on skin, human to human, and saying: I missed you.

Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column normally runs every Monday on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not the opinion of WFAE. You can respond to this column in the comments section below. You can also email Tommy at ttomlinson@wfae.org.

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