it’s a hot August ninety degree day-trip-to-the-lake in covid masking style

when we drive through a full parking lot, except, oh wait a minute, an available handicapped spot is empty and must be meant for us

only hungry to dig into those BLT’s and drink a tall iced green tea take-out from Alicia’s Sugar Shack, a favorite eatery we love to stop at along the way

to destination lakeside, only to blend in among campers and day visitors who found their perfect spots on the sand near the cool and breezy waters surrounded by tall pines before us

finish the last of our late lunch while being entertained by passing strangers in different styles and colors of masks

observing people from a distance in every direction and as they pass each other

hear voices all around us in an exchange of words understood only between themselves when able to see the expression behind them

the sailboats glide through the waters trying to keep their distance from several anxious paddleboarders and kayakers in their path

big and little kids walk away from the snack bar with dripping super tall vanilla or chocolate ice cream cones,

melting into their hanging masks that dangle loosely on one ear

on daddy’s and mommy’s day off, with crying baby to carry and hungry kids following close behind to stand in line for hot dogs

a small group of body pumped college guys carry colorful paddle boards with paddles, while eyeing the girls

a group of starry-eyed teenage girls carry colorful paddle boards with paddles, eyeing the guys eyeing them and giggle as they pass by . . .

several elderly men walk their dogs, some dogs walk their owners in the midst of all the interesting distractions

an elderly couple sit in old lawn chairs, look directly in each others faces to understand what is being said in the muffled sound of their hearing aids

a father and son, both carry fishing poles and tackle boxes with a look of eagerness in their walk to catch their dinner to cook by campfire

a young dad pulls a wagon on the long winding sidewalk filled with sand toys with all the other necessities needed for the day with mommy and toddler following close behind trying to keep up as they search in different directions for a spot somewhat close to the bathrooms

campgrounds across the street from the lake are filled to capacity for the day- can’t they read the sign?

when cars drive around and around on the narrow road looking for the next available parking space

while numerous campers and day visitors walk by and catch a gaze in our direction without saying a word

haven’t they seen a mask before, hey, look around you . . . (thinking to myself)

only to focus and finish a story for tomorrow’s blogpost as my husband tries to read his book

aware of people passing by who look our way and try not to stare

a day trip in nature, joy enough, to scatter about or exchange words and hidden smiles between one another with contagious giggles

joy enough to experience being outside if only for a short while among a crowd

in the fresh open forest of trees, the calm peaceful setting and backdrop of the cool lake

all ages found content sharing the surroundings when all had the same idea

reason enough to rid ourselves of the restrictiveness of staying in

try to stay just awhile longer before walking back to the car to head home

a car passes us on the scenic road back to where they came from, their faces uncovered, smiling and laughing back at us forgetting I still had my mask on

we pull into the driveway of our home ready for a short nap, salivating over the thought of our first taste of a barbecued salmon dinner

a delicious meal of barbecued salmon filets with a capered lemon sauce poured over melting buttered noodles

didn’t even go fishing or need to wear a mask hanging on one ear

I just kept smiling

You could see it in my eyes

/lr

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