Food, running toilets, deer in our backyard, birds’ nests outside our windows, bananas hanging from our fruit bowl and oranges underneath, fresh milk, eggs, bread, baby carrots in the fridge. A bed, blankets, pillows (feather pillow for my headache-proned skull), dining chairs with cushions, a microwave for quick lunches. Clean air, clean water, clean clothes, clean dishes, clean floors and carpet. Just clean. A phone that can call, search the internet, link to Facebook and Instagram, write a quick text, post an image of a smiley face, a sad face, a laughing face, a turkey, a heart. A camera on the phone to document Evelyn, her school projects, the forts built in the living room, her reading nook under blankets on chairs lined up in a circle. Coffee. Tea. Wine. Margaritas. Sweet breads and naan. Curry and pizza. Two working cars (both paid off for years now). Neighbors that stop and chat. Neighbors that watch our every move, keep our neighborhood safe. Neighbors that will cut others’ grass, move trash cans, wave from car windows. Mugs. Dishes. Silverware. Napkins and paper towels and toilet paper. Definitely toilet paper. Restaurants that will prepare our Thanksgiving dinner. An oven that will heat it up. Hungry tummies and pumpkin pie. New recipes, and the ability to buy ingredients. Grass. Flowers. Flowers on the dining room table (to brighten the mood). New wooly sweatshirts and outdoor shoes to keep my toes dry when I walk Rocky through the dewy, rain-soaked, soggy autumn grass. Finding the first holiday card of the season in our mailbox. Farmer’s markets, outdoor dining, to-go drinks. Dark chocolate and caramels. The taste of salt and sweet mixing my tongue. A pile of books with more time to read them. Crossword puzzles (especially the easier Monday-Wednesday ones). Finding the *best* smooth-writing gel pen. Buying ten more of them-black, blue, green, purple pink.

Family. Friends. Zoom parties. Laughter. Health. Life. A vaccine. A new administration. Fresh starts. New ways of living. Hope.


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