Normally, at this time of the year, I would be heading to Mayberry to spend Stampede with Mom. Right now, I would be packing my best jeans and a pair of cowboy boots into my suitcase, next to a good book and a bottle or two of good wine. In the morning, that suitcase would be stowed in the back of the Tahoe, along with a cooler full of local sweet corn, ready to feed a crowd. One, if not both, of my offspring would be along for another epic road trip, complete with country music on the radio, car snacks, and a requisite pitstop at the sunflower field for an Instagram-worthy selfie. When we arrived at Mom's, we would be greeted by an ever-changing, yet ever-present group of friends and family, gathered together for a fun-filled weekend of parades, rodeos, dances, midnight breakfasts, and laughter, So. Much. Laughter.
This year, there will be no epic road trip. No parades. No dances. No gathering of friends and family. No normal.
And, that sucks.
But, Covid has stolen a lot more from a lot of people, and, if "normal" is the only thing it takes from me, I'll consider myself blessed.
Besides, there are some things that Covid hasn't affected, including the annual migration of some of my favorite winged creatures...
...they are a tiny reminder that life goes on, no matter the storm that rages around us. A tiny but beautiful reminder. And I'll take it.