People love lists, so I'm trying to piece together something, and I believe the theme is "Here's when the reality that we just might be coming out of this pandemic" hit me. Two relatively minor things, but given what we've experienced here in Kalamazoo and West Michigan, these were major strides forward.

1. Going to lunch yesterday

People go to lunch every day. Most people eat every day. Yes, to all that, but we've been back to work work (in the office) since June 1st. I haven't gone out to lunch since February or March of 2020. I didn't feel safe. In fact, I've only stopped once at a fast food place since March of last year. And that was at the end of a long day and I was really hungry. But do you see those two Coney dogs above. Yes, I was running around on assignment yesterday and passing through downtown Kalamazoo, and suddenly I heard a chorus of Angels emanating from Kalamazoo's oldest restaurant, Coney Island. I hadn't been there about a year and and too long. "A couple of coneys with everything." Was going to take it to go, but realized I was really hungry and would end up trying to eat it in the truck and would get it all over myself and the interior. So I sat down and had them there. When I left, the manager asked how everything was, and I said "Spiritual". He had a big grin on his face.

2. A staff meeting, live

As you know better than I do, Michigan sent most of us back to work two weeks ago, and it was a shock to the system. Like many, I got used to doing most of my work from home. But today we had a bog old staff meeting, and there was a familiar feel to it, like putting on a comfortable old shoe. People trying to top each with humor and all, but these two relative minor things make me realize we seem to be heading squarely back to normal.

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