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With Thanks

Since Mondays are dedicated to Memes, I'm a day late on a Memorial Day post. It seems like a particularly poignant holiday this year to reflect on those who served and died for our country as we are now constantly surrounded by talk of death and sacrifice. It has been said that comparing the sacrifices we are making to those made by those who served is disparaging. How can we compare sitting home watching Netflix to those who left home and family to fight for our country? Fair enough point. But there are far-reaching repercussions of our current circumstances that are considerably more grim than we may have imagined when this all started. I have faith that we will see the other side of the rainbow, but some may be left in a decidedly less fortunate position than anticipated just a year ago.

Aren't I the uplifting voice today? My point is, as we recognize Memorial Day and those the day represents, perhaps we can take solace in the historic cycle of life that inevitably presents both difficult tribulations and wonderful blessings. But even in the thick of one of those tribulations, there are silver linings.

Memorial Day also serves as a calendar marker denoting the unofficial kick-off to summer. Here on Cape Cod, summer is a ten week holiday in its own right. The island's population skyrockets and we welcome tourists from all over the world to share our special little slice of paradise. This summer will look dramatically different, of course, but even though all major events and traditions have been cancelled, there is still a lot I'm looking forward to.

For starters, many of our local businesses have risen to the occasion and created a new business model overnight. While I understand that these models are not sustainable in the long run, having a puzzle hand delivered by Murphy's General Store within a couple hours of ordering is pretty cool. Beats the heck out of Amazon these days! So is pulling my car up to local restaurants, like Bluefins, for example, and having someone bring my food right to my car. I could get used to that. Local fishermen no longer have as much demand from their wholesale accounts which bodes well for locals. We've picked up fresh bay scallops and squid right off the dock!

And how about businesses we once had to drive a couple hours to patronize, now making the trip over the bridge to bring products right to our door? I'm talking about you, Trillium Brewery. Another Brooklyn Based brewery, the Other Half, was also inspired by the need to adjust business practices. They developed and shared a recipe called All Together which over 500 other breweries have brewed. Proceeds go to those who work in the hospitality field and are out of work.

Finally, it wouldn't be summer without ice cream and this year is no exception. We kicked off the long weekend with a family outing to Chatham Penny Candy for our first ice cream of the season. Sure, we had to wear masks which posed an eating issue, but we found a spot to de-mask and found ourselves feeling a much needed sense of normalcy.

Businesses aren't the only ones who have gotten creative. Countless individuals have stepped up to support their communities and some of those efforts have come in the form of providing fun diversions we otherwise would never have experienced. One of my friends invited me to such a group on Facebook - Wined During Quarantine, Cape Cod Edition. Essentially, you get assigned a recipient and put together a basket of goodies tailored to their preferences and sneakily drop it on their doorstep. It's a two way street, so at any time, you might get "wined" yourself. I have now been a winee and winer and it was a thrill to participate in both capacities.

Indeed, this will be a summer unlike any other. July 4th won't be the same without the parade or fireworks. Friday night band concerts and Cape Baseball games will be missed. We won't have our annual picture of Paige holding a baby chick at the Barnstable County Fair.

The family reunion that was planned with my siblings, some of whom live halfway across the world and I haven't seen since 2017, will have to wait another year. But, summer is still upon us and there is a lot to be thankful for. Plus, as we all know, time flies and there's always next year. And what a year that will be.

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