More than a year of masks, social distancing, and refraining from friendly hugs and handshakes has left me hungry for face-to-face camaraderie with family and friends. Now that I’m vaccinated, I’m slowly re-entering the world at large: eating at outdoor restaurants, resuming my tai chi classes, and planning a fall trip with girlfriends.
Not everything fell by the wayside during our COVID hibernation. My husband Jim I took weekly bike rides, followed by picnics; we played bocce and shuffleboard at our local park; we spent most evenings playing one of seventeen card games we know; and we learned to Zoom with family and friends.
The extra gift of time also helped me complete my book manuscript Shifting Shorelines before my deadline—which made my editor Hannah Bennett at Viva Editions very happy. As a result, the publication date was moved up to October 12, 2021.
The manuscript is the culmination of forty years and counting on this particular Florida barrier island. I trust my sister Nancy, to whom the book is dedicated, would be supportive of this ode to nature, the passage of time, and the ripening of wisdom. I hope my reflections and observations worthy of her caring and passionate heart. Pancreatic cancer took her seven years ago. Before she died, I whispered that I would be dedicating my next book to her. She brought her forehead against mine, squeezed my arm, and whispered: I had a feeling you might do something like this.
So here’s to you, Nancy. You who longed for more tenderness and kindness in the world, you who wanted to right so many wrongs, you who made me feel wiser, taller, and happier whenever we shared the same space—which was not nearly long enough.