I saw a survey asking people if they thought this was the worst summer ever. What I wasn't expecting was the answer I saw.

The answer was no. What? I didn't think there were this many optimists around here, especially this year. Of the fifteen hundred people asked, 2% said it was the best. 16% said it was the worst, 30% said it was bad. But the majority (52%) said it was either good or average. (Of course, among adults who needed a vacation like nobody's business - those who hadn't had a vacation in over a year - almost two thirds said it was bad or worst.)

I can see people saying it was average, but still, if you asked me, I might not answer worst, but it certainly was worse than average.

Yes, there seems to be generally less to do than ever - even without a pandemic, but we still had to cancel the annual DooDah Parade, and Ribfest. Missing DooDah was more sentimental because I've been a part of over thirty in a row, but Ribfest represented more. I miss seeing live music. I miss running into so many old friends and acquaintances that I only see once a year, there at Arcadia Creek Festival Site. And yes, there's a couple ribbers who are world class.

We made do, did workarounds on some summertime staples. We sat outside a lot this summer, and that was good; being able to frequent some of our favorite places while sipping Kalamazoo's favorite beverages. But still, so many things we took for granted just weren't possible. A simple shopping trip; a lot stores either were closed or had limited access and /or hours. And I know I've become paranoid this year, but being around strangers, especially those who chose not the wear masks, just made me less wanting to be around anyone but people I knew were healthy and being careful, too. (And there's no guarantee there, either.)

Normally, I fly down to see family in Tampa, but there's another example of my paranoia rearing it's ugly head. I have daily emails offering me flights for $25, but the idea of being on an enclosed eco-system, like an airplane, just scares me.

It sounds like we're moving closer towards a vaccine. Can't wait. I guess that's what I really miss: doing everyday things without having to think about ramifications.

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