The solstice arrived this week. Summer, officially. Thank goodness for Google because had it not been for the reminder, I would have missed it entirely. My days, weeks, months — seasons — have melded together in one big work-from-home blur, made even fuzzier by my location, Florida, where ever-present heat and sunshine warp time.

Once, summer was a holiday that started at the final school bell and lasted ’til Labor Day. Windows opened, moods lifted, clocks slowed. I was a kid, then, on Cape Cod, a place that is the essence of summer.

I find myself daydreaming this week of…

My state, Florida, is reopening. We — my family of four — have been home for eight weeks. We’ll tiptoe back into real life, wary of the virus and politicians’ unfounded assurances.

We know life won’t be like this forever.

But what if it were? What if the stores never reopened, the theaters stayed dark, the kitchens remained closed? What if we were permanently barred from social gatherings and suspended from travel?

What has been an eight-week inconvenience for us and people like us (I’m talking about the still-employed, well-fed, Internet-enabled portion of the population) is an every-day reality for…

For the last 16 years or so, since my oldest was a toddler, Easter Sunday has unfolded like a favorite childhood story, read so often it seeps into the heart.

The tale begins the night before in the kitchen, where I prepare a quadruple batch of orzo salad. Baskets are laid out. Outfits chosen. We don’t practice a formal religion, so our morning is reserved for private reflection, visiting with neighbors and readying ourselves for Easter’s defining event: The Picnic in the Garden.

Everyone who has ever gone to the potluck, hosted by one of Fort Myers’ oldest families, knows…

Reed Jenniferk

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