This weekend, my family got in our car and, for the first time in months, left town. We drove three hours west and have spent the weekend in an airbnb. We brought all our own food and drink so basically we just moved our sheltering in place to a different place. And, it’s been glorious. We’ve sat around a fire pit trying to see who is best at throwing rocks into glasses, hiked down and back up a mountain trail where we saw no one, chopped wood with a stupendously heavy maul, roasted–OK, burned–marshmallows, and caught (and threw back) three fish.

Today, we’ll go home and, I have to say, I am kinda dreading it. Living with COVID seems like something we’ll all have to do for some time and, today, just thinking about the months ahead wears me out. Our state is slowly reopening and the future is so uncertain. It’s hard.

Last night, our family talked about the next few months, what choices we’ll make, and how to best handle the stress. We all agreed that the very best thing we could do is practice gratitude, to focus on what is going right and to remind ourselves of all that still brings us joy.

AAR brings me joy–I love waking up each morning and seeing what comments youall have made since I last signed in. I love reading the reviews our staff write and adding books I know will cheer me up to my TBR. I am grateful for it all… except the technical hassles but that’s a topic for another column.

So thank you. When I feel like life sucks, you guys remind me it’s only parts of life that suck right now. But enough about me, how about you? How is everyone doing? What’s keeping your spirits up?