Remember the surprise our family planned for when the youngest returned from Illinois?  We managed to pull it off completely!  She was blown away by how her room had changed!

Today, she and I shopped a bit more for the last finishing touches.  We discussed the virtues of a colorful, slightly colorful cow painting vs a calm blue Holstein.  We considered storage needs and options.  We tried out an ottoman. 

It was our first time back in a mall since… gee, I’m not sure… maybe Christmas?   Our voices were quite muffled when we were talking to each other, and we had to listen a bit more carefully.  We got a bit hotter than usual.  Masks will do that.

It took a bit longer than it might have, too; there are not as many workers in the stores.  But there are not as many customers, either.  Those who are there find new markings on the floors, different traffic patterns for walking around in a store, staggered check-out procedures, decreased menu options, fewer stores and restaurants open…

It was a joyful day for me personally.  I love the time with my sister, niece and daughter, picking out those final pieces to complete something that makes her so happy. 

But the silver lining was remembering just how many people are making so many adjustments.  Back in February, what we did today was just “normal”.  Today, it felt indulgent. I end the day very grateful.