The ‘gratitude’ category


July 2nd, 2021

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I ducked out for lunch at one of the few places in downtown Brattleboro where you can actually get good food on a weekday, Yalla. Because of this status, there is always a huge line. 

It is pouring today, and huddled together in the crowded little space, we polite and practical Vermonters eyeballed each other in this delicate “post-COVID” stage. Assumedly, we are all vaxxed. It still feels weird and vaguely risque to be maskless in a crowded, humid place. I find myself inching sideways almost unconsciously to put as much space between myself and the nearest humans. Our collective breath is shallow.

A song comes on overhead: It’s the Old Crow Medicine Show’s iconic version of Wagon Wheel. Find one person who doesn’t start tapping their feet when that song comes on. The woman in front of me does. Someone near me is almost imperceptibly humming along. The mood shifts.

We’re here, we’re alive. We’re getting takeout on a Friday in the rain. Old Crow Medicine Show is playing. Breathing — maskless — into the everyday of every day. Just being… regular.

Speaking of the regular everyday mundane beauty of life, mostly all of the interesting things that have happened to me this week actually happened to other people. My cousin, back from Chicago for the weekend, saw brilliant poet and novelist Ocean Vuong at the ice cream stand. My uncle successfully put in an offer on a beautiful house in Western Mass in this insane real estate market. My co-worker accidentally sat in for an interview to be a crime reporter when the managing editor from the newspaper next door mistook her for a candidate he was waiting for. I laughed about this one for two days.

The only thing that’s happened to me this week is bugs.

When you move into a house built in 1790, they warn you that it won’t be “energy efficient.” What they don’t spell out is how the old windows let in bugs. When I say bugs, I mean that the gap between the screens in my bedroom is the bug version of the Suez Canal. It’s been really hot and humid, and as Jon says…










The bugs are hatching in droves right now.

I know.

Earlier this week we finally could not take it anymore and went full metal jacket murder spree on the bugs in our room with the vacuum cleaner, a half a bottle of Yaya organic bug spray, and an outdoor citronella candle with a moth ominously entombed in the wax. Jon tried to leave the spiders alive so they will finish the work we’ve started with the bugs. And you guys, I was okay with this. Because if I have to choose between spiders in my bedroom and cicadas, well.

Karma got me good, though, when I spent a half hour preparing broccoli for dinner before Jon came home and pointed out that there were worms on it. We had frozen peas for dinner.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

What I’m reading:

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

A wise and wonderful piece by friend, the writer Rebecca Pacheco: 

What It Feels Like to Smash Your Bathroom Scale

What I’m listening to:

The soundtrack of Nomadland

New favorite old Avett Brothers song: Morning Song

What I’m watching:

Speaking of big gross bugs, Kubo and the Two Strings is one of my favorite animations so far.

What I’m eating:

Here’s a delicious and easy weeknight dinner recipe I just tried from Smitten Kitchen:

Zucchini butter spaghetti

What I’m working on:

For the startup Poised: Poised for Confident Communication

For Strivr: How Walmart infuses kindness into de-escalation training

For Box: MassMutual: The 4 pillars of secure content for heavily regulated companies

For Confluent: Set Your Data in Motion with Confluent and Apache Kafka®

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