This morning, my routine was delayed a bit:  a bear had taken all the recycling and strewn it everywhere at the bottom of our driveway.

While I was picking it up, a neighbor came by.  I have not visited with her since sugaring season, really since before our whole lockdown/quarantine/stay-home-stay-safe situation started.

We walked together for a while, she finishing her route and I just on the first leg.  And yes, we were sure to maintain some distance.  It’s just natural now:  you don’t stand (or sit) too closely to anyone but your own family members. 

She told me about her granddaughter’s changed wedding plans and the cancellation of her planned trip this fall.  I told her about our recent close-to-home travels—and the “big decision” we’d made to venture as far as Illinois and back. 

We both expressed amazement that we were in July.  Time passed so slowly in March and April, perhaps somewhat normally in May.  We are not sure where June and now half of July have gone.  “It’s like we are in some sort of time bubble,” we laughed.

I have two silver linings today, I think. The first is that my schedule currently allows for a bit more flexibility, and my pace is slower than I’ve been living (for years).  The second is that I now see chance encounters as so much more valuable.  We have great neighbors, and I don’t want to take them for granted—pandemic or not!