Sunday Night Check-In: Red Gravy, Drag Queens and An Adventure Cat

It has been so long since I wrote a Sunday Night Check-In. If you are new to my blog, I used to “check-in” every Sunday night (or most of them) with a report of my adventurous weekend, silly little thoughts and anything else I found interesting on my time off. For the last year or three, I’ve had a heavy heart or just needed a break from anything more intimate than a review of a coffee shop. I don’t trust like I did years ago, and dang it, I just don’t like a lot of people in the world anymore. Being light-hearted and open has just been a struggle for a long time.

Right now we are in the midst of a reckoning, and I believe good will come out of this. I don’t know what that will look like, but when my world has fallen apart, it’s always ended up being a good thing. Even if it’s a childish notion, I’m going to hang onto that. If there’s anything I’ve learned through the challenges in my life, it’s that I will survive and often thrive. I hope that applies collectively as well.

I started this weekend like I like to start all weekends. I hid out Friday night. I watched TV, walked my dog and basically holed up in my house doing whatever I damn well pleased. I think I binge-watched Season 5 of Schitt’s Creek for the third time. I also watched a silly little drag queen movie called “To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything”. It put me in a light-hearted mood knowing that we all have our gifts and drag queens are just so damn fashionable and funny. Saturday I met a friend for breakfast at Caffe Tosi’s and then walked around the Farmer’s Market. It was light on vendors, but I did manage to snag some fresh asparagus and strawberries.

I came home and met my friend Michael over video chat. We both chose a recipe for Focaccia, and had a virtual bake-off. Over the course of the morning, he texted me that he was also making Red Gravy, and, of course I had to have some. I ran out and got the ingredients and started mine, too. I’d never made Red Gravy before, and it was super easy. While it bubbled away making its magic, Michael and I revved up our blenders, compared notes on our Focaccia recipes and chatted about current events. By the time we laid our rising dough to rest, his husband had planned a dinner party and I decided to bake a Grape-Nuts pudding for dessert. We hung up and texted our next steps as we baked and stirred and kneaded our way through the afternoon. At some point we both were dipping Focaccia in the most delectable red gravy I’ve ever tasted. I didn’t even need pasta.

With all of my cooking done for a few days, I used my time this morning to take Ashok for a walk to the beach. Silver Beach is beat up pretty bad after the high water and winter storms. They’ve dredged sand from the river, but it’s not very clean. I noticed a lot of trash down by the beach and wondered if the city was short-staffed or struggling to keep things up this year. I made a note to bring a garbage bag the next time and do my part to help keep our little town clean. We walked and sat for about 2 hours. It was a lovely morning, and the rain that was forecast never came.

I spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with friends from Memphis, Boston and Nashville on the phone. I felt very connected and loved after catching up with them and understanding that we are all on the struggle bus right now. While a lot of people don’t like to talk about their burdens, I find that sharing our burdens makes them lighter. I felt so good I loaded up my new kitten Luna and Ashok and we went down to the bluff to lay out in the shade and people-watch. I chose a spot with a view of the river and the lighthouse, and I watched my kitten play and the boats go by. Time stood still for a bit, and I even closed my eyes for a daydream.

I cooked an amazing smoked pork chop and some collard greens for dinner. When I took Ashok out for a final spin around the block, an odd desire bubbled up. I wanted to write about my weekend. I remembered how fun it used to be to tie my weekend in a pretty bow with a blog. Writing it down always made me feel grateful for the meandering weekend and the simple life I’ve chosen. I actually couldn’t wait to get home to start writing. It’s been a long time since I felt this way. I’m grateful for whatever set of circumstances led me to this place.

Have a great week, y’all. Now that sounds weird given the times we are in. Have the week you need to have, y’all! That feels more congruent with the sentiment I need to express. And know that if I can support you in any way, I’m right here. Share your fears and your burdens with somebody. I promise you’ll both be the better for it. If nothing else, light a candle for our world. We can all use some light.

The Weirdest Good-Bye

Since we have all been working at home since March 9, we have to go clean out our desks before we retire June 30. The campus is closed except for a few essential workers, so HR scheduled 2-hour shifts to clean out our desks and say good-bye. My day was Thursday.

The parking lot was weirdly empty. Three cars were scattered about when I arrived. I was met at the front door by our facilities person and “shot” with a temperature gun to make sure I didn’t have a fever. She asked me a series of screening questions about Covid-19, showed me the hand sanitizer and sanitation supplies and handed me a cardboard box for my belongings.

I walked down the hall to my desk and took some time to look around. While I’ve only been back up here four years this time, I had another stint at Whirlpool in this building, and it’s been “home” for quite a few years of my life. I remember the first time I walked through the doors of the contact center in June of 2000 hoping for an interesting career at our corporate headquarters. The first time I left under my own steam and for my own reasons. This time I’ll leave because I was asked – very nicely.

The building was dark. I couldn’t find the light switch so I unpacked my desk in the light of the window. A masked coworker came by to say hi and to agree that it felt really weird in that building right now. I felt so disconnected from my belongings. I had literally moved on and didn’t even remember having half that stuff. I salvaged tea, a few books and a few decorative quotes that made me chuckle when I was having a hard day. It was only a year ago that I moved to that desk in a reorganization. I had so much hope that I’d spend my last five or six working years right there in the light of that window with my team.

It’s all unraveled so fast. One day we literally shut the world down. I walked by the training room and saw a sign that my team had taped up over a year ago. The trainer who made them is now gone from the company, the training room is silent (I hope there was no food in those refrigerators… ewww), and those heroes are all working from home. The building was a time capsule from a world where people crazily hugged in the hallway, sat side-by-side in cubicles and passed around germs like it was nothing. How naive we were to think that was normal.

We were told at noon on March 6 that we would not return to the office for three weeks. We packed up the essentials and left. Now we know that employees may not return to the office until the fall if at all this year. Work life as we know it has completely changed. Now coworkers are in a frame on a screen with bad audio and without pants. Most of us are fatter. I know their kids, spouses and pets. I’ve seen their bedrooms, basements, kitchens and offices. We are more intimate than ever even though we are farther apart.

I waved good-bye to the Maytag repairmen who must have been really lonely the last few months. But this time I know my departure is for good. There will be no “next” career at Whirlpool. With the status of “retired” that door will close forever. With me, the last of my long-time Whirlpool friends will be retiring. And the places where all of those memories were made are boarded up and hidden in the dark. One day they may re-emerge with dividers between people and “lanes” to walk in to social distance, but they will never be the same. The carefree way we chatted and walked was from a past life, a life when we were innocent and free.

I would have liked my last days to be different. For one, I wish they were five years from now. I would have liked to have walked over to the Global Headquarters and said good-bye to the few friends I had over there and spent my last day walking around hugging folks that I truly will miss. There would be cake and stories and laughter and maybe even a parting gift. On my drive home I’d “take a picture” in my head to remember what it was like to drive home from my last day of work.

I was overcome with emotion as I walked down the hallway to exit on Thursday. My friend and co-worker walked me out to my car with my half-filled box, and we said our good-byes. She mentioned that she was saying good-bye to people with whom she had worked with over 30 years in the parking lot. “Poof. They’re all gone,” she said, trailing off. I promised to send her my phone number and not disappear. I shut my car door, started my car, dried my tears and drove away.

A Perfect Day

Today was a perfect day.

I slept with the windows open last night. The temps are in the 50s at night and in the 60s – low 70s during the day. It is freaking awesome. It’s great running weather, perfect hiking weather and the kind of weather that makes me smile all day long. It’s really hard to be anything but happy with a Michigan summer day like today. And yesterday was just like it.

At my friend Claudia’s recommendation, Ashok and I visited Boot Lake Nature Preserve near Elkhart IN. It was a sweet little hike through prairies bursting with wildflowers. We took a few little jaunts into the woods. From there you could catch a glimpse of the lily-flecked lake. The sun was nice, and I took off my jacket about half-way around the loop. I imagine I got a little pink on my shoulders. I’m still pretty translucent after the long winter. I can use a kiss of sunshine for many reasons.

Yesterday’s perfect day

(although I’m not sure this southern girl will ever be on the beach in 60-degree weather)…

On the way home, we stopped at a little farm store I’d been wanting to check out. Wild Coyote Farm is an organic farm, and this year they set up a little store on their property. Their Facebook page said they had much more than just produce so I was eager to check it out.

They had lots of yummy things to choose from, although the empty bins full of water told me I got there a little late for the best variety of produce. I still snagged some beautiful cucumbers, fresh kale and collard greens, freshly-milled artisan bread flour, just-picked strawberries and a gallon of farm-fresh milk. I’ve been making my own soy milk and tofu, so I passed over their selection, but that would definitely be worth trying.

I came home and made a beautiful kale salad with lemon-tahini dressing, my favorite cucumber salad, baked fish and boiled eggs. I am prepped for healthy eating this week. No excuses. I decided to make some sourdough focaccia with the starter I fed this morning. It won’t be ready until tomorrow morning, but man does it look delicious. I have been loving my sourdough starter this year. I grew it during quarantine, and I have been using it every week for crumpets, muffins or a variety of different breads. I even made waffles one morning!

There’s something about being food-prepped for the week with healthy just-picked produce. It’s so colorful, and when I’m ready for a meal it’s nice to have that beautiful food ready-to-eat within a few minutes. It almost makes me feel like somebody else prepared it for me.

So, tomorrow will mark two weeks from my retirement date. I’ve begun to wrap my head around it, but it’s really going to feel weird when I get up on July 1 with no agenda for the foreseeable future. I’m noodling ideas for a little vacation since I haven’t been able to take one this year. But if the days keep coming like the one today, I’m not sure why I’d go anywhere. The beach is near, the breeze is cool, and the food is fabulous. What else would I need?

Leaving My Comfort Zone

One of my girlfriends is learning to teach virtually. She has taught face-to-face classes for her entire career, so this is no small task. The technology is daunting and feels really clunky. “I keep messing up,” she said with frustration. The content and activities have to be reworked to be delivered onscreen. And she has to teach the participants a new way of learning as well. She is way out of her comfort zone.

My team is completely virtual now. We’ve been a virtual team forever, but we are now virtual at a whole new level. I’m sitting on a cushion on my dining room chair trying to figure out how to keep my back from hurting. Several of my team members have little kids at home, and they are learning to juggle childcare duties with the needs of their work-at-home spouse on top of the work they need to do for their job. We are learning how to work together with no home base and with dozens of daily distractions. Some days we laugh through it. Other days people are oddly silent. There are times I need to ping someone to make sure they are okay. But we are making it work – clunky as it is.

On top of this is a world careening out of control. It’s hard to watch and it’s hard to take my eyes off it. Literally everybody on this planet is outside their comfort zone in at least one area of their lives. And this pandemic has been a wildly different experience for different groups of people. You have one experience if you are a suddenly remote worker holed up in your house and yet another experience if you are essential and need to get out. Families who get sick with Covid-19 have an even more harrowing experience. It’s hard to know what to think about this time, and yet it has provided a great deal of time for reflection.

We learn when we move beyond our comfort zone. There is nothing to learn within the confines of safety and what we know. It’s that leap of faith that takes us over the safety rails and into the unknown that is the catalyst for learning. Our first tendency might be to jump back in our comfort zones, but right now we don’t have that choice. We have to learn a new way, and we have to get comfortable enough with that new way of being to make a life of it for at least the short-term.

I’m hopeful that we all learn so much individually from being outside our comfort zones that it literally leapfrogs our collective consciousness lightyears ahead. We need that forward movement. The best times for my own personal growth have been at those times when my world was completely in ruins at my feet. There’s something about total destruction that frees us up to think differently. Change that is just a reaction to something else is not true change. We need something more than opposition. We need complete and radical change.

Today my Michigan team and I met up for ice cream. It was the first time that we had seen each other in person since February. So much has changed since then. Our company won’t be going back onsite for months if all goes according to plan. I have an end date for my employment that is quickly approaching, so my team will move on without me. They will have a new boss and a new structure. They will lose a number of colleagues and will have to figure it out without them. I will have a new life, and I know nothing of what that will look like.

As I walked away from our gathering, my parting gift in hand, I remembered the day I was given that team. I was afraid then. Could I do what I wanted to do? Would we like each other? Would we create great things or spin our wheels? We all walked boldly into the unknown then, and we’ll do it now. That team and our mission has become my comfort zone over the past year or two. And I’m taking leave of my comfort zone again. In a year, what is unknown today will be my comfort zone. I suspect I will learn a lot, cry a bit, laugh until tears stream down my face and meet a number of new people. With any luck, I will look back on this time with fondness. This is the doorway to my next adventure.


Sunday I ventured into the world to get some sunshine and blue skies on a beautiful 70-degree day. One of my favorite little beach towns is Ottawa Beach, home of Holland State Park and the Big Red Lighthouse. A boardwalk meanders beside Lake Macatawa and follows it’s outlet into Lake Michigan. I like to sit and watch the boat parade that forms in the narrow inlet. Ashok loves the attention of the beachgoers and taking a short dip on a little beach. But Sunday I wanted to take a longer walk. It was so nice out, and after the lockdown and the winter I really needed some sunshine. There is a cutoff bike trail close to the park that leads to the Ottawa Beach Historic District.

I’ve lived here four years this summer. This time four years ago I was treading water after my organization’s budget was cut, and I lost my job. Thankfully it ended with my finding a better role within the larger organization, but at this time that year I did not know how it would end. While my manager searched frantically for a budget line to fund my position, I was looking for jobs and spending a little time off visiting friends and hanging in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. My manager called while I was shopping in downtown Bay St. Louis to inform me that I had a soft spot to land. Later that day I was asked to send my resume to Whirlpool. A new path opened for me, and I took it.

We never know what paths lie before us. Will they be lovely? Or will they be difficult? We only know there are options. We have decisions to make with little information on what might happen in the future. I made a decision last week to take a retirement package from Whirlpool. I am lucky to have been offered it. It will provide a soft spot to land while I explore paths to the future. This in-between place is always difficult AND exciting. I can choose a similar path which ensures more of the same, or I can choose a path yet unexplored that might provide something different. Neither is right or wrong. They are just different choices.

I took the path near the Ottawa Beach Historic District sign. My next choice was to take the shadier upper boardwalk instead of the sunnier beach route. There is no car access, so the boardwalk is the main thruway through quaint beach homes decorated with colorful yard decorations and flowering gardens. It was shady, peaceful and pleasant. Ashok and I walked the entire circle and ended up by the beach, choosing the beach walk on the way back. It was sunny, bright and active with beachgoers. Both were interesting, but I found the upper boardwalk was exactly what I needed.

It’s interesting to sit here with my choices. It’s, of course, much more interesting since I don’t have to race out and find another job. I am grateful to be in this space. I want to take the time to evaluate the choices before me. Do I want more of the same? Do I want a different path? There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I don’t have an answer now, and I’m not going to make a quick decision. I want to percolate a bit.

The Lessons of Quarantine

I had a long talk with an old friend of mine this morning. I needed some advice, and I needed perspective. I have reconnected with a lot of friends during the quarantine that are not in my usual sphere of influence. We have long been friends, but once the world shut down, we had more time to chat and make time for each other. In fact I think I’ve spent more time talking to friends who have long ago disappeared from my daily life than the ones who are currently in it. It’s a pleasant change.

It’s not the only change in my life. In fact, my life is almost unrecognizable from the one I lived in March. I have a television. I communicate more through video chat than I do text. I go to the grocery more than I go anywhere else. My kitchen is often scented with fresh-baked bread and pastries which have long been off the menu. My checking account has a balance at the end of the month. And I learned to cut and color my own hair.

My company asked us to take unpaid furloughs in April and May, and I opted to take my two weeks together. We couldn’t do any work or talk about work with anyone. The first week I sort of numbed out with TV and baking. I took some online baking classes and birthed a sourdough starter. I started running again and worked out with Jessica in Tulsa via Facebook Live. By the second week, I had really started to relax. I noted how different I felt when the stress of work evaporated. “I could get used to this,” I told myself and then quickly said “I don’t mean it” just in case the Universe was listening. But I liked this slower pace of life. I realized how much money I spend on things that I truly don’t need. I fell in love with my home.

Almost everyone I know whispers secretly, “I’ve actually liked my time in quarantine.” There is a lot of pain and hardship going on around us that we must honor. It’s a bit insensitive to say we’ve enjoyed it. But many of us have. It has forced us to slow down and evaluate what is important. I don’t know if I want my life to go back the way it was before quarantine. I’d like to keep the bread-baking ritual, the extra money at the end of the month and my expanded schedule. The perspective that the downtime brought me is definitely worth keeping. And maybe pants really aren’t necessary for happiness. I’m going to have to buy new ones anyway.

What did you learn in quarantine? Is there anything you’d like to keep?

The Practices of Healing

I feel like writing but I don’t really know what to write about. Maybe if I just start, I’ll finish. It is the practice, after all, that makes for a habit. It’s not the skill. A guy I talked to the other day kept saying he was anxious to “get better” at meditation. There is no “getting better” at meditation. Yes, the mind eventually will begin to heal and settle with hours of continuous practice. But the mind is born to wander. It thinks. That’s literally it’s main deal. It can’t “get better” because it’s already good at what it does. It’s just a bit wild. So we practice to mold that mess into a strength.

Yoga is the same way. I remember early on in my 20-year yoga practice apologizing to a teacher about my lack of practice. “I know I need to do better,” I said. “I feel like a failure at yoga.” She replied, “That’s why they call it a practice. There is no perfect way to do it. Just start again.” I have many times used that as a touchstone as my practice time ebbs and flows with my desire, energy and available time. It’s not about hitting goals or getting the pose right. It’s about stepping into the practice to learn whatever I learn.

All of these practices – writing, meditation, yoga – are healing for me. They alleviate stress and nurture me when I feel I have nothing else to give. I avoid numbing out because of my propensity for addiction, so I lean in. I explore what is going on inside me by staring at my feet in Uttanasana or following my breath in meditation. I take the remnants of my worries, hopes and dreams and mold them into a digestible story with my writing. These practices help me to identify the root of my demons and sit with my beautiful mess with compassion and love. The practice is transformative. By accepting whatever I’m bringing to my practice, I find peace. Anxiety dissipates or diminishes. Obstacles melt. I can rise to meet the day.

I don’t remember why I was drawn to yoga and can’t explain how writing became a salve for me, but I know that when I need something or I feel out of sorts, these practices are the path. I step on my mat and settle into child’s pose. I close my eyes to observe my breath. Or, like today, I just start writing and all of the troubles of the world fade into the background. The peace may not last for long, but it lasts for a moment. And being kind to myself in that moment is the practice that changes my world one breath, one foot placement or one word at a time.

This Beautiful Lake

I can be standing on the sand at the edge of Lake Michigan in less than a mile from my house. The distance has gotten a tad shorter due to the winter storms, high water level and lack of ice build-up this year. The water has chomped at the sand all winter long, biting off huge chunks of beach, taking it back into its stormy sea. The lake giveth and the lake taketh away.

In Southwest Michigan we live and breathe the seasons. We have four seasons, and each has a distinct character. Summer features calm waters, cool breezes and temperate sunny days. We have the occasional storms but mostly the lake is a gentle giant in the summer. It is the season that Michiganders hunger for during the long winter and the fickle and stubborn spring. Fall brings lovely crisp temps but raging storms that whip around my house with hurricane-force. Sometimes I wonder if my house will hold. Being almost a hundred years old, I suppose she’s seen more than her fair share of Lake Michigan winds.

Winter, of course, is most of the time raw. The winter before last was so cold that it killed fruit trees across the region. This winter I never shoveled snow at all. The lake never froze over. It was a winter that lay sleepily at our feet. But the winds of fall only escalate into the ferocious winds of winter. It is wild watching the snow blow and the waves crash into the ice banks that typically line the shore of Lake Michigan for as far as you can see. While it’s dangerous for people to walk on those banks, people still do it anyway. They seem so small amid the frozen hills and valleys that inevitably form as waves crash and freeze. Thousands of ships have gone down in Lake Michigan in the winter. She shakes her fist at us.

Spring can be long and sleepy. Winter reluctantly sleeps but keeps waking up to show she’s still alive. I was wearing a parka to walk my dog less than a week ago, and yesterday I could have worn shorts. Winter and Summer spar during spring. Stubbornly, flowers make their way past the fighting. Foliage bursts into view. Yesterday was the first day I noticed the forest here full of green. She had a slow, long start this year, but she is here – just in time for the first day of summer.

One day Lake Michigan is beautiful in her anger, and the next day she rests like a sleeping baby. I can hear the waves a mile away when a storm is brewing. I was running the other day, and the surface of the lake was smooth as glass. She is so easy to love when she is quiet and still. But isn’t she much more interesting when she is taking charge and pushing her boundaries? I love an angry sea. My heart beats faster when the wind is whipping my hair and the cold bites into my skin. I scream in awe at the majesty of her wrath.

I’m not even a water person. I’m more of a land-loving mountain goat. But this lake sits here in such close proximity, and she’s just so damn interesting. I wonder what she thinks of us humans who dare to think we can tame her or keep her in her place. She must be inspired by our love and angered by our disrespect. Or maybe she doesn’t care at all. After all, she was here long before we got here and will be here long after we are gone. We are but a speck in the sands of time.

Pay Attention

A creative writing professor told her students to pay attention to what is happening in our world today. This will be the defining event of our lives. No one alive has ever seen anything like this, and writers will write about it. Scripts for films and documentaries will detail how this unfolded. Music will be composed and sung. Art will show death and life and chaos to those who bore witness and for those who will only imagine it. It is important that we take this in. We must pay attention. We must bear witness.

I spent some time this week perusing the New York Times obituary section. Artists, film-makers, scientists, heads of state and musicians are being wiped out in these moments. Many are old. They have seen much in their lives, and they made history or recorded it for us. They paid attention. Their art and craft helped us make sense of the world around us, feel our feelings and pay attention to our own mundane but exceptional lives. They are the storytellers, the poets and the prophets. They wove the tapestry of our lives.

The legends I knew growing up are leaving this earth one by one. It seems like every day we lose some beautiful, talented soul who marked my life. And, now with this virus, we are fast-forwarding through the list. One day they were young and vibrant, living hard and fast. The next thing I know they are old and frail, some living their best lives and others are a shadow of their former selves. The speed at which we live and die is breathtaking.

I watch Goldie Hawn cook bone broth on Instagram. She dances and giggles just like the young and ditzy star she always was. I ran across a YouTube interview of her with Johnny Carson early in her career, and I was stunned to see a woman who acted very much like a little girl beholden to the male power player on the show. I was shocked by how much women have grown into their own and how much women like Goldie have seen in their lifetimes. What does she think when she looks back at the self that felt like she had to apologize for being independent? Or does she even remember? Was she paying attention as her experience was changing?

Our world is changing right now. I flew to Orlando right after 9/11. I was one of three people on a 747. Just a few weeks earlier, airports were packed with families seeing loved ones off. It’s hard to believe we could all walk through security to say good-bye or meet somebody arriving at the gate. Security was a cursory check with no need for elaborate screening. Airport shopping malls were packed, and corridors resembled busy streets. That first trip into that empty airport felt really strange. The world I had known had ended, and we Americans had lost our innocence. We gave up freedoms to be safe, and we adapted because we lived the consequences. I remember paying attention that day in the airport. The loss and fear are forever etched on my soul.

The world that we knew before March 2020 is gone. Some things will come back, but much will never be the same.We have lost even more of our innocence. I wish I had paid attention more during the first of the year or over the holidays. Had I known that grocery shopping would require masks, my coworkers would literally disappear from my day-to-day experience, and all of my favorite haunts would close, I would have hugged people a little longer or enjoyed a more leisurely lunch at my favorite cafe. We don’t know what tomorrow holds.

How long til we gather like this again?

My blogs on my daily adventures in coffee shops and restaurants remind me of the past. We have the music and art and science that the victims of this virus have left in its wake. We will pay attention and document this pandemic and its aftermath for future generations because it’s what we do. Sharing our art is not a task that we take on. It’s the life that we live. It’s who we are. Our documentation and our lives detail what is lost and what is gained when the world turns upside down. Pay attention.

What are you paying attention to at this time?


Today I am at a three. It’s not good, but it could be worse. I’m just going to ride it out and hope for an upward climb tomorrow.

I walked a bit today but probably not enough. It is what it is. I watched a really cool movie called One Day, video-conferenced with two of my gal pals and ate some ice cream at my favorite summer ice cream shop. I know better than to eat the ice cream. I know it, but I ate it anyway. When I’m a three my defenses are not very good. So there you have it. I’m not sorry.

Bella is not hissing as much at the kitten. Ashok doesn’t seem to mind having him around at all. There is progress there. My floor needs to be swept, and I need to cook the fish in my refrigerator. It will all have to wait until tomorrow along with the laundry and the other undone things.

Today Lake Michigan was a lovely Emerald Green, shining in the sun. The lake doesn’t know there is a global pandemic. The sun shines like it’s a normal day. Wild orchids bloom. The grass grows. The virus stalks us. The sun sets. Tonight we sleep. Tomorrow, we repeat.

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