A night to remember.

This is a night I want to remember.

It started like this: It was light and warm, the sun still out. We were all out walking our dogs, all the neighbors, and walking our legs, and getting some fresh air, tired of being inside, weighted down.

Then walking led to sitting on a porch, just a few of us, spread out six feet apart from one another, a safe distance but close enough, sitting in the cool breeze, drinking cocktails and talking about the world and our kids, and then the world. Also, books.

My husband wandered down to check on us, but really to check on me, and to pinch me because I wasn’t wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, even though my people are Irish, but from a long time ago.

It was chilly, because the sun was going down, so he took off his dusty Wizards sweatshirt and gave it to me because I was cold, and because the sweatshirt had green on it, and it was St. Patrick’s Day, and, anyway, he was wearing another green t-shirt, underneath, even though he’s Dutch and not Irish at all.

I came home, tipsy from the cocktail, stood in the kitchen with my children and my husband talking about the world and school and movies while my son ate an omelet with spinach and bacon and my daughter ate chicken nuggets, because for first time ever I forgot to buy corned beef or to do anything to celebrate.

When everyone had finished eating whatever they were going to eat, standing at the counter, gathered around like it was a party, there was a moment’s pause when there should have been movement, but no one wanted to leave. “Have you seen (name a movie, or a video, or a meme),” that’s how it started. “Oh, yeah, and have you also seen…” that’s how it kept going.

Pete Davidson and Adam Sandler and Westworld.

And did you know graduation might be canceled, and all the girls cried today when they had to clean out their lockers.

How there are people my son might not see again in real life, ever.

How David Nihill is funny, both on TicToc and on YouTube, which is where old people, like mothers, can watch him.

And cars, and jelly beans, and chicken nuggets (a second round). And Brother Joel, who already knows who’ll be late to the first-ever online ethics class, tomorrow at 9:30 when school starts back, but in an unusual way.

No, no one wanted to leave the kitchen, even though they would have said otherwise.

Because this is what we wanted: just to keep going.


  1. Great story Jen . I think we all want to get back to “normal”…whatever that is. I am off work for at least 2 weeks, Andy classes will all be online for the rest of his senior year, and graduation ceremonies have been postponed. I think my cats are happy though that I am home!

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  2. I was telling mom the thing I missed mist today, such a beautiful warm day, was cocktails on the porch with neighbors. You nailed it and I am so glad you were able to enjoy our neighborhood tradition. Loved the Brother Joel reference- such a shame his teaching is ending on tv😪

    Sent from my iPhone


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  3. I couldn’t go to bed. And I thought, if I can just find one beautiful thing to fill me, I’ll finally go to bed because then I won’t be filled with bad thoughts. And then I found this. And now I’m going to bed.
    Thank you.

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  4. I read you this morning as your post came up before I got to the news. I am going to stop here, at least for a while, and hold on to these sweet feelings. Thanks Jennifer.

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  5. Strange times gave you a sweet story for us.. so glad I saw you at church Sunday since it was our last one for who knows how long.
    I am perfecting the fine art of piddling instead of doing anything useful. Been to liquor store and library for limit of 25 books, so we have essentials for lock down.
    Will send cards to shut ins I can’t visit.

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  6. Every morning the birds are celebrating the arrival of spring with a symphony of joyous, beautiful song. I make sure to listen every day and be glad I’m still here to hear it.

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