Rock Girl Redux (And More Fun at Dangerfield)

By “Sun” Dee

Last Sunday I wrote about attending  a U2 concert dressed, something I thought I would never do. Recently I rocked out again, for a New Pornographers concert in Melbourne. A good concert, albeit a much smaller venue and about 15,000 fewer attendees.

I had two challenges. 

The first was relatively easy. I knew a half-dozen of the group’s songs, but I wanted to learn more of the likely concert songs. I did the modern thing: I Googled their recent concert set lists, downloaded the most frequent songs from Spotify to my phone, then binge listened to the songs for several days leading to the concert. 

The second challenge was a bit more daunting; how to go dressed without my wife knowing. Leave our apartment in boy mode, find somewhere to change and do makeup, attend the concert, then change back. As I was taking the train, changing in our car wasn’t an option.

A quick call to my favourite Dangerfield store and I had a place to change; SA Amelia, who I had met before, said sure. I eventually figured out a way to carry my girl stuff (clothes, makeup, shoes, purse, wig, etc) in a string backpack.

The concert was Thursday, but on Wednesday I realized my wife was doing something with a friend, so I could have two days out back to back. I packed my girl stuff, and headed on the train to Dangerfield. 

I walked in and saw Delyse, who had seen both the boy and girl me, and she was happy to see me. I went to the desk to say hi to Amelia, and she didn’t recognize the boy me. She apologized; I said, no that’s good, because we always worry that people will recognize us when we’re out dressed (FWIW, I’ve gotten the same reactions before from others).

I jumped into a change room, did my makeup, put on a Princess Highway dress (the llama dress) that Delyse had helped me buy last year, and pulled lots of things to try on. Try something on, emerge from the change room, gather opinions from Amelia or Delyse; lather, rinse, repeat.

As usual, I got the royal treatment, tried on lots of fun stuff, and bought a sweater. I also had a dress I really liked but I deferred making a decision until Thursday to let another SA, Lily, give her opinions. I changed back to my boy clothes and took the train home.

Thursday, concert day, arrives and my wife decides to go out of town to visit my niece and her family, so I could dress at home. I just needed to carry my boy clothes in the string backpack this time, to change back post concert.

Take the train dressed to Dangerfield (no issues). The only kicker is I need to wear my running shoes to and from the store, because it was too far to walk in heels (I carried the heels). Fortunately, I’ve seen lots of women wearing running shoes carrying bags with their formal shoes, so I just went with it. It is the first time I’ve worn running shoes with nylons (even though it’s technically summer here, it was in the 60’s, cool enough for hose).

More trying on. Lily, another favourite SA, is working. Get her opinions on what looks good. We (Delyse, Lily, Amelia, and I) all decide the blue dress is the one to get. I have two other summer dresses and a pantsuit that I really like, but I put the decision on these on the back burner. That gives me an excuse to visit again, which they encouraged me to do. I promised my angels a return visit before I jet back to the US. 

I changed into my green dress (running shoes instead of heels), ate dinner at a Chipotle style Mexican restaurant, and went to the concert. After the concert, I found a separate handicapped women’s restroom with a lock, and changed into boy mode. Arriving back at our apartment my wife was in bed (but not asleep), so I was able to get my backpack (and new purchases) in the apartment without raising suspicion. 

Two fun days, well worth the degree of difficulty to execute. 

November Supper Club, Sherry Style

On November 11th I met Kandi and Annie for the Supper Club. It was supposed to be five of us but two people couldn’t come. As I pulled into the restaurant parking lot I parked in a spot right in front of Crown Studio (in Fairlawn, OH). On the storefront it said that the studio specialized in movement, etiquette and image consulting among other things. As I was reading this I couldn’t believe it, this is exactly the kind of place I’ve been looking for! As you may remember, I’m a very detailed oriented person who wants to pass as much as possible and I couldn’t wait to call to book an appointment. I was so excited as I walked into the restaurant! Annie and I walked in at the same time and found Kandi waiting for us and talking to a wonderful bartender.

We made our way to the table and ordered a drink from our equally wonderful server. We had an amazing time eating, drinking, and having a great conversation talking about a number of topics. The three hours seemed like 30 minutes! Time flies when women start talking! I asked if anyone was available on the following Friday and luckily both ladies were. We agreed to meet at a favorite restaurant of Annie’s.

So… the next day I made an appointment with the studio for the Friday before meeting for dinner. The owner Heather and I exchanged multiple texts and she asked me probing questions about what I want to accomplish, I sent her a few pictures and she said I was gorgeous with nice hair and beautiful coloring! I sent her my blog post titled The (Wo)Man in the Glass [which we will be rerunning soon, which Sherry doesn’t know until right now!]. I asked if she knew I was male before reading that and she said she didn’t! I also made a manicure appointment at a close by beauty school.

Friday came quickly and I arrived for my nail appointment at 11am and was taken right away. I could tell that my nail tech Michelle was nervous as she started trimming my cuticles, I told her to relax and it would be just fine! I mentioned my favorite poem to her and told her to be confident and she thanked me for that and said she would look up the poem. We talked about our Thanksgiving plans and I told her my son, his wife, and my parents were coming over. We talked about that she used to be a bartender but needed a change so that’s why she’s in beauty school. We talked about relationships and that she has an 11 year old daughter. She mentioned a friend that is rather promiscuous and isn’t a good role model for their daughter and I agreed. She said, “you’re a mom, you know how it is!” when being a good role model for your child.

She also mentioned that I have beautiful hands and I should have been on a Dawn dish soap commercial [I was thinking Palmolive, but I am aged]! I must say that I’ve had better manicures but the conversation was the most real one I’ve had. It was definitely two women talking about issues that are important to women. I can say with 100% certainty that she thought I was a cisgendered female! I left the salon about noon feeling amazing and SO looking forward to my appointment with Heather. I went to a nearby mall and did some window shopping until my appointment with Heather.

Now comes the disappointment… Heather texts me about two hours before we’re supposed to meet. The text starts out “So…I have a change of plans…” Noooo…turns out her dad just tested positive for COVID and she was around him so she needs to quarantine and get tested. Talk about disappointment! Obviously I texted back understanding and wishing everyone well. She said she was equally disappointed and that we would definitely reschedule. I did more shopping and went to a couple thrift stores until I met Kandi and Annie. In the one store I commented to a woman that I liked her boots and she replied “Thanks, I actually bought them here”. I spent $3 on a cream colored shawl to throw over my shoulders when chilled!

I walked in the restaurant to find my two BFF’s sitting at the bar waiting for their drink [Yeah, that Kandi is a lush!]. All of the workers knew Annie and our bartender, Kat, was a doll! She took great care of us and another worker was wonderful and took our food orders. At no time the entire day was my attire an issue.

The three of us sat there for 2 ½ hours talking and having a great time until Kandi had to leave. After [we got rid of Kandi] Annie and I continued talking for almost two more hours! It really felt natural and I really enjoyed my entire night. Annie asked me questions about my dressing and I was really honest with her. I have (Kandi has also) developed a great relationship with Annie and feel like I am a girlfriend to her! We left just before 10pm because that’s when our governor who issued a curfew says we lose our glass slipper and turn into a pumpkin. I look forward to the next time out and definitely look forward to meeting Heather. Hope everyone is well and Happy Thanksgiving [a few days ago, but the Thanksgiving week posts were already written]!

Stay beautiful-Sherry

[Editorial comments by yours truly….]

Pat

There have been a handful of people that have helped me deal with all of this and made me feel normal. My dear friend Cassidy is and remains one of those people. Pat Scales, a serial commenter on many blogs and particularly here, is another. I have met neither in the real world, but both and a few other kind souls, mean the world to me.

Our dear friend, Pat, is not doing well. For all I know, she has left this world by now. She shared with me some health problems she is experiencing and I have been privileged to receive health updates as she battled cancer over the last few months. We generally communicated daily for the past few years.

Pat, if you are reading this, you are missed and loved. If you cannot read this, of course the same goes, you are missed and loved. If you are looking down on us, I could use a good word with the Big Guy, if you don’t mind.

I wish we knew each other in the real world, but I am glad we knew each other in this virtual world many of us live in. The place is not the same without you and your frequent contributions through guest posts and daily comments.

God bless you my friend! I miss you. The best I can do is a virtual hug.

This was written on November 6, when I received her last health update and I have heard nothing since. Without the internet, we would not have “met”. But without that human connection, I wish I could have said my proper farewells.

The circle of life, we all end up dirt eventually. Make the best of it while you can.

Friendship. A gift. The next three days our friends Sherry, Dee and Tina will spin some tales for your reading enjoyment while I enjoy my leftovers from our socially-distant Thanksgiving. I am also thrilled to announce a new contributor, Julie Slowinski! She is beautiful and tells a great story too. Check out her bio on the “Contributor’s Page” and look forward to her going out posts.

Happy Thanksgiving, Socially Distanced, Masked……

Happy Thanksgiving all!

I am fairly certain every single human being walking the planet would say that 2020 blows! And that whole “we’re all in this together” thing isn’t exactly true. But here in Kandi’s Land we truly are all in this together.

So this Thanksgiving we are going minimalist. My sisters and their families, Zooming. Our youngest, staying in Chicago. So my wife and I, our oldest and my parents will celebrate a scaled down Thanksgiving.

Well, that was the original plan. Then the COVID spiked, spooked my folks (which I understand), so I will be doing my version of Door Dash, delivering Thanksgiving dinner to my folks while we remain at home. The gloom of our world today will undoubtedly have me drinking a few too many…. What bothers me is if this isn’t Dad’s last Thanksgiving, it’s in the final two. And he was looking forward to it. I’ll bite my tongue here.

Well, at least my friend and I will be running our own version of a Turkey Trot in the morning, doing a two person half marathon. After which I will be limping like a an old person, oh wait, I am an old person!

The meal plan will consist of my tremendous Mac and Cheese (multiple cheeses make a difference), a small turkey tenderloin (a honey Dijon marinade, bacon wrapped, seared then baked), a garlic green bean and mushroom stir fry, a to-die-for cornbread, coffee and pie (Dad’s appetite is nonexistent, so I want to keep it simple). You know what, it is what it is, life throws fastballs at our heads every once in a while and we just need to duck and live to see another day.

So exactly what am I thankful for?

  • The Angel Known as My Wife
  • Our children
  • My parents
  • My friends
  • Kandi’s friends
  • That Kandi even exists
  • Dee, Steph, Sherry and Tina giving me a break every now and then
  • You, my readers
  • My wardrobe
  • Annie, Carrie and all the Supper Clubbers!
  • The fact that we have not missed a paycheck during the pandemic
  • We’re healthy despite one of us getting the plague
  • Betty and Daphne
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (despite the fact the bent to the recent pressure and closed, again!)
  • Churches that are open
  • Anywhere that is open
  • Love, treasure it when you get it and then pass it on
  • All the charities that would have me in the real world days (also please see below)
  • Caution, we can all exercise it and still keep some semblance of a life
  • Civility, real in the actual world, extinct in the media and social media society
  • Two good Achilles (I hope that happens sometime soon)
  • Overall good health (maybe this should be no. 1 because without it, nothing else matters)
  • Kandi’s consciences, Cass, Pat and my unidentified friends who shall remain nameless
  • My frequent commenters, specifically Rach, Marie and Tina
  • My Big Sister, Nora, with whom I shared numerous wonderful conversations
  • Anyone who has been kind enough to comment here or on my Flickr page, smile at me, call me “Ma’am” or my preferred “miss” (makes me feel younger) and anyone whom my aged memory didn’t allow me to properly acknowledge here
  • My Mac and Cheese, oh, I’d better get back to that!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe | Alton Brown | Food Network

A special shout out to my dear friend Alisha. This was how I started my day yesterday:

https://www.mytownneo.com/story/news/2020/11/25/foundation-started-twinsburg-family-brings-joy-cancer-patients/6316496002/

So when I feel like the world is dealing me a bad hand, when I feel like nothing can go right, when I am just cranky, I remember what Alisha has gone through and I stop feel sorry for myself.

God bless you all!!

You Know When It’s Just Right?

This was one of those days. You’ve already heard the story of this day, now here is my pre-Supper Club photo shoot.

A little play by play on the outfit. I adore shirt dresses. I adore polka dots. I really like wearing black. I miss and love NY&Co dresses. So here we have a recent store liquidation bargain. Let’s go with red heels for some color pop! Dark hose due to cool temperatures. A Chanel bag. Multiple layered necklaces were the right touch given the neckline. Ruby earrings. Red lipstick. Not bad too an old broad!

You may notice, I am deliriously happy!

There is no high like the high of looking like this! The high of interacting with people and being treated like gold. The high of being loved and being with people I love. The high of being female. The high of calamari, lobster pasta and chocolate “love” cake (and a few glasses of wine). The high of agreeing to do it again in a week!!

A dear friend told me this after having read my recent “Taking Things For Granted” post: “Remember yesterday, dream about tomorrow, but live for today (emphasis on live)! Life is not a dress rehearsal. Amen” Thank you Priscilla!!

Readers, please do me one favor. We all have better things to do than read my blathering, but please make an effort to read my next two posts. One is, of course, one of thankfulness. The other on Friday, sadly, as my version of a eulogy.

My New Normal

So my new normal week (to get dressed) is a grocery shopping day (with a stop added here or there), some type of event (like Supper Club or a Mercury production) or at least a day antiquing and Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning Mass and brunch. I feel like I am boring my readers as comments have been few, but we are doing the best we can….

November 8, 2020 – This week I was blessed to get out four times after five times last week. I’m a glutton for punishment 😊…

The Angel Known as My Wife had to work late, which meant she didn’t need the bathroom to get ready until later in the morning, so I started my day early. I was dressed and ready to head out the door by 8:00. My plan was to attend 9:00 Mass at a church in Cleveland Heights. I am going to different churches every time out. My church is still live stream only so this gives me the opportunity to be seen in various congregations and experience different churches. The particular church I attended this day was very beautiful. I had driven past it on my way to the art museum at least a hundred times, so it was good to get to see the inside. But as always, before I took off, the phone did it’s duty!

We were in the middle of a spectacular weather run, 70 degree temps for five November days. This day was forecast to hit 70, but started a bit brisk. I went with this lovely pink and black dress (you saw it a few months back during a COVID photo shoot as I played with a great deal of my closet), the MK black purse, black pumps and hose to fight off a bit of the cool early morning. A real treat was my conversation before heading out the door with my wife, during which she told me I look very nice! Yeah, I like that.

So with a sunny morning and about 20 minutes to kill, I did a little photoshoot in front of Saks. Here is a small sample.

I then (only east side Cleveland people will get this) struggled with red light after red light on Cedar Road and got to the church as I wanted, just before Mass started. I do believe, in these days of masks, that I do actually pass or at least draw zero attention as to “what” I am. I comfortably settled into my socially distanced pew and just relaxed. The legs crossed, simply being. An hour well spent.

Time to eat! I stopped at First Watch, a great chain of diners that serves “healthy” foods. I had been there only once and about three weeks prior. In I walk and the host smiles (through his mask) and welcomes me back and says I can sit at the same table I did last time. I guess I am memorable!

I ordered my food, really connected with my waitress and loved when the woman who brought me my food called me “Babe”. Again, I notice the little things. I was back home by 11:30 to torture myself with my first real run since my most recent injury. Five miles and my ankle is on ice while I write this. Getting old sucks!

I wish I could afford to shop here, but then again, it wasn’t open.

This past Sunday I was thrilled to find out I was accepted as the 702nd member of The Vanity Club! The best part was that my other new sister is my friend, Heidi Stevens. The cherry on top for me. I am very pleased and honored to have been asked to join.

Tina Gets Out! Part One

By Tina Davis

September 25, 2020 – I finally had a weekend where I was volunteering at an event and would be staying in a local hotel several towns to my south in Massachusetts. I hadn’t been out dressed since November 2019 for many reasons, including the current pandemic. I wanted to get together with my friend Samm, as well as shop at Ulta for some new makeup items. I had a slight delay in getting ready, as after I had showered and shaved, the event needed me to come back for 30 minutes to deal with a couple of questions. I put my male shirt and pants back on over my female unmentionables and drove back to the facility.

Once that was settled, I went back to the hotel and put on a light blue cold shoulder top and a denim skirt with black heeled booties (and no hose as it was warm) to remain casual. I used my new eyeshadow palette to try and highlight my eyes, as I wasn’t going to put false eyelashes on.

I shopped at Ulta, asked for assistance from an SA, and came out with a new lipstick, primer, and brow pencil. I met Samm along the plaza with a quick hug (we both were masked) and we chatted for several minutes before deciding on where we would go for dinner. We did have to wait for about 15 minutes outside the local restaurant we chose before our table was ready. Wearing masks makes a big difference in how we were perceived! We had a lovely dinner of salads (watching our girlish figures!) and I treated her for holding a package for me since February. She took a picture of me and emailed it to me.

We went to her vehicle and retrieved my package, talking some more before saying goodbye with another hug. I promised to send her pictures of the new items, plus ones of the additional outfits I had brought with me. I drove back to the hotel, walking through the lobby to the elevator and greeting the desk attendant as I went by. After I got up to my room, I opened the box and spread out the purchases. They all looked great and I couldn’t wait to try them on.

I first figured out how to set up my phone to take better pictures with the lighting in the room. I took some more photos in my casual outfit before changing into the red dress and new snake print heels. The heels were quite stiff and tight, and the 4.5″ stiletto squished my toes painfully forward. I could barely walk, and standing was a challenge as well, even after putting on hose to help my feet fit. So I switched to my standard black 4″ heels for the rest of the night’s pictures.

I realized afterwards that the red dress’ sweetheart neckline needs some more defined cleavage. I’ve been looking at possible ways to do that using the little movable flesh I have on my chest. Experimenting with that will have to wait for another day.

I had one more night where I could get dressed, but I decided to stay in the room as I was working the night shift at the event and didn’t get back to the hotel until after 9:00. More about that night and plenty of pictures in my next post!

Hugs, Tina

Rock Girl

By Dee

In May 2018 U2 was playing the St. Louis Enterprise Center. A couple of days before I decided to go in “Dee” mode, so I could be a “rock girl” for a night.

After consulting with a couple of my GG friends via text (who were encouraging to the idea; one texted “OMG” when I suggested it), I settled on an outfit; a top I found at a thrift store down under, my fake leather skirt, and my favorite heels.

The same night the Cards were playing the Cubs a few blocks away, and I didn’t want to walk too far in those heels (or in any heels). Instead of driving and having to park, I decided to take the Metrolink (light rail system). 

Besides walking a distance in heels, another factor in choosing the train was I didn’t want to be a single woman walking alone downtown at night. I do it all of the time as a guy (baseball and hockey games), but it didn’t seem sensible dressed as a girl. One irony is that I used to be afraid to appear in crowds dressed (so I never ventured out), and now I wanted people to be around (safety in numbers). Yes, a bigger risk of being identified as trans, but better for my personal well-being.

As the baseball game started at 7:15 and the concert at 8:00, I was able to avoid the peak baseball crowd on the ride to the concert. I was late, but the concert didn’t start until about 8:35, so I was actually just in time.

Walking the short distance from the train to the arena, I heard a younger woman with a man make a comment that she should have worn heels like the lady in front of them (the lady being me). I’m not sure whether she was being sarcastic or not (but I don’t think she was). After she walked by, I noticed she was wearing wedges.

Although I generally wear heels when out, I had never worn them to a 20,000 seat arena, with escalators, concrete floors, and steps. So I tread carefully and made it to my seat in row GG without an issue. When I was buying my seat online, I had the choice of a couple rows, but for obvious reasons I decided to choose GG. [Nice!]

I had the aisle seat. The guy next to me, who enjoyed his beer, wanted to make conversation. As my voice doesn’t match my look, I was reluctant to chit-chat much. He also thought I was in the wrong seat, but actually his girl friend was in the wrong seat (I had seat 1 on the aisle, she had seat 3, but he thought she had seat 1). He also needed to make a few stops to add and delete beer, so I had a couple of times of standing and moving into the aisle to let him go in and out, trying to negotiate the steps gracefully in my heels (fortunately, did not embarrass myself).

The concert was good, with the standard U2 whistles and bells (the Irish lads like their electronic toys) and the music was a mix of their standards and newer songs.

At the end of the concert, I removed my flats from my purse and replaced my heels, to lessen the degree of difficulty for my walk back to the train, especially down the steps. That turned out to be a good plan.

No dirty looks, no problems, either on the train or at the concert (fortunately, did not have to use the loo, so I did not face that issue). Another milestone for me.

Editorial Comment: I freakin’ love U2!

Pizza Delivery

November 7, 2020 – Okay, there is no question I am getting desperate for outing opportunities. The day before this, I went grocery shopping. On this day, my outing was to pick up a pizza. My wife worked late, so I thought I would treat her to her favorite pizza.

Now in my defense, we have a favorite pizza, a Detroit pan pizza. The chain that has the best has a handful of locations around town, none closer than a 30 minute drive for me. So I did have to go out.

I had a busy day, working out, playing pickleball, taking Dad to dialysis, cutting the grass, getting ready to go out (sans makeup, of course) and then picking Dad up. I got back home, did my makeup and got ready and out the door pretty quickly.

I had only one other stop in mind, a clothing store much like a Plato’s Closet. I had a few things to sell to see how they work and if I could use them to sell clothing in the future. I get there and find out they only buy so many clothes each day and I was too late. However, it was also dollar day there. Literally almost the entire store was for sale for a buck!

So about 45 minutes later, for just under $11, I walked out with three jackets/coats, two sweaters, a hat, a t-shirt and three dresses. Ten items of disposable clothing, all of which I loved! I then placed the pizza order and headed out the door.

A cute top, perfect complementing necklace and a comfortable khaki skirt made for a lovely evening.

I picked up the pizza, which took longer than they told me. So I stood there with many other people coming and going and no one paid me any attention. I then headed home, tried on a few things and my wife came home. Yes, the pizza (and I also had wings) was excellent! We watched the Buckeyes game and a bit of the Rock Hall Inductions and I called it a night. Got to get up early to go out again! What I won’t do to get out…

Taking Things For Granted

If we have learned one thing about the plague that has been cast upon us, it’s to never take anything for granted. As I rack my brain trying to come up with things to do, places to go, I realized that I took so much for granted. I may never take for granted being out in public with my face uncovered, if and when that actually happens.

Sunday services, I took for granted. Now I struggle to find places to worship. All of my favorite places are live streaming only. I, myself, am Catholic. Kandi, not so. But the Catholic church seems to be the only one open for business. And those services are not the same. But it’s all I got. I miss that sense of community.

Happy Hours, I took for granted. Many places are no longer offering Happy Hours. I understand that their revenues aren’t what they used to be, but for many, Happy Hour is the reason to go out and spend. But either way, sitting socially distanced with the plexiglass is sterile, isolating and not of any interest.

Charities, I took for granted. COVID has crushed charities. Major fundraisers cannot happen. Virtual whatever is not the same. I receive invitation after invitation to Zoom events. I simply delete them. No real human connections there. They have their place, but it’s just not the same. Also with the significant unemployment, the ability to be charitable has been diminished. Many charities will not survive. I understand the need to raise funds in any fashion possible, but I am not made of money. However, I have committed significant personal time and commitment to helping in any effort to raise funds. Sadly, that is not possible in the real world anymore.

Socialization, simple human interaction, I took for granted. I would give my left arm for a hug from someone other than family. Oh wait a minute, outside of the angel known as my wife, I cannot remember hugging anyone since February. Gathering in a group of more than two, what was that like? Sitting in a pew with a few hundred people around me, will that ever happen again?

I’ve seen a few folks in various online platforms all excited about a vaccine and that is certainly the long term solution. But do you know how long it will take to manufacture, transport (many of the vaccines require super cold transportation and storage capabilities), vaccinate the most important of us (police, fire, military, first responders and health care workers) and then the entirety of the general public? People see a solution and look past the sometime difficult logistics of getting to that solution. There is a light at the end of that tunnel, but I am afraid we haven’t entered the tunnel just yet.

Someday this will be over, but not any time soon. And the carnage will be like a tornado, ripping though our lives leaving loved ones gone, homes destroyed, memories wiped out and many economically crippled. I actually had someone try to tell me we’ve been through worse before. I am certain, in the history of humanity, there has been nothing that has effected 7.6 billion people at the same time, no world war, no economic depression, no previous pandemic. I hope you can see here every day that I am very much a silver lining person, I have crafted and recrafted a life for myself, but you cannot deny the black cloud by sticking your head in the sand. Acknowledge it and keep moving forward.

Friends, I took for granted. Sure, I still am in contact with friends, both mine and Kandi’s. But being geriatric myself, my friends are also of a certain age. Some are ultra-cautious about COVID. I certainly respect that. Many were friends that I saw (while dressed) at certain activities, all gone, many gone forever. You text, stay in touch, but over time, the intertwined fabric of these shared experiences fades and the friendships atrophy. A friendship is like a muscle, it needs to be used, worked so to speak, to remain strong.

Running, racing, a sense of community, I took for granted. I won’t bore you here, but last year I ran 25 races. This year, four. I busted my behind to train for a marathon in April, you know the story…… Did so again for a marathon in September, them my body let me down. Now I limp around like an 80 year old (but am getting closer to being in fighting shape).

Family, I took for granted. Thanksgiving will be significantly diminished. Christmas, that has little chance of happening as we would like. Have I hugged a daughter in a good 8 months? Nope. Have I seen my children as we normally would? Nope. I feel like I am sliding the weekly groceries under the cell door to my parents every Friday. Devout Catholics, struggling with health issues, they haven’t been in a church since March. If ever they would like to be in church as they near their end, it is now.

Civility, I took for granted. Do I even need to go into detail here? The political landscape (this was written before the election, but is no better now), social justice issues, right v. left, black v. the police, etc……..

What we thought was what life was, no more. Never take a single day for granted because (and I know it’s cliché), tomorrow is not promised. We’re all day to day.