The weather has turned warm suddenly—exceptionally so for southern Vermont in early November.  After last weekend’s snow, we are all rejoicing in the near summer-like warmth. 

As a matter of fact, that was the main point of the invitation for tonight’s gathering.  “Hey guys,” the text read, “it’s actually warmer this weekend than most of our time camping this summer!  How about we order some pizzas and gather around the campfire?”

Tonight, it’s a small group of us, all related by blood or marriage.   Except for three of us, we all live within walking distance of each other, too. 

But here we are, sitting outside.  In our own little individual family groups.  All of us respecting the social distancing rules—except for the four dogs, who are having the time of their lives running circles around their people. 

Forget the phrase “COVID fatigue.”  Everyone is well beyond that by now. 

However, there is a good thing going on here, too:  we’re seeing each other much more often this year.  In a “normal year”, we don’t see this group of friends/relatives/neighbors as often. Things like travel, sporting events and perhaps just the business of regular life have stopped us. This year, though, we’re here… and once again, that proverbial “silver lining” shows up.  It’s a great night to sit around a fire for a couple of hours together!