Dear Reader, Let’s Have Coffee

comments 8
Mostly Musings

I’m so glad you could come over. It’s been way, way too long since we’ve spent time together. Look, I have us set up here on the patio, safely distanced, and ready to enjoy today’s cooler weather. Won’t you join me?


If we were having coffee… I would first of all ask you how you are. Because I really want to know. Because this question—which used to be a throw-away conversation starter— has a deeper meaning six months into these pandemic times. How is your physical health? Your emotional health? Have you suffered any painful losses? What still causes you to lose sleep at night?What coping strategies have you discovered? 

If we were having coffee… I would ask you if you find yourself losing focus for doing the things that you should be doing—things that you even want to do—and instead float through the days without accomplishing anything. Because I do, and it bothers me. I miss the feeling that comes from checking items off a to-do list. In particular, I think of this blog. I feel guilty when I check my stats and see that there are people who still visit it, even when there has been nothing new to read for a long time. I want to write more often; I miss it terribly. But I haven’t been able to gather my thoughts and concentrate long enough to get anywhere. If I could lower my expectations for myself, would I be more productive? Probably.

If we were having coffee… I would admit that I also feel guilty about how well I’m coping during the pandemic. Nothing truly bad has happened to me. I haven’t lost a loved one or had one hospitalized. I am not struggling to survive a longtime separation from an aging parent, from children or grandchildren. I’m an introvert by nature. I love staying home reading, watching movies, and hanging with my cats.

And speaking of Joy and Grace, look over your left shoulder at the window. We are not alone here.

If we were having coffee… I would probably bring up the topic of risk. I find myself weighing risk vs. reward more than ever before. Do you too? Do you ever lower your health precautions to enjoy some thing or person or experience that you want sooo badly? And how do you handle interactions with people you care about who do not follow the same precautions as you? I struggle with this one a lot.

If we were having coffee… I would think it’s time to lighten the mood about now. If you’re like me, you’ve seen too many tears the past few months. So I would share with you a moment when I saw a friend shed tears of pure joy. She was thanking me for my (small) part in helping her buy her new home when the tears welled up. She said something like this: You know how long I have wanted to live here, and how I was afraid it would never happen, but I kept praying that it would. And now we are here, and my dream has come true, and I am so happy. Dear reader, I hope you too have shared some happy tears during the pandemic times.

If we were having coffee… I would thank you for listening to my ramblings. And I wouldn’t say it out loud, but I would hope that one day you might invite me over for coffee on your patio or in your garage… where we will continue pondering the mysteries of life in 2020.


  1. judithkoellerrn says

    Oh, I’m so glad you’re back, Caryl! I truly missed your blog & this one was spot on! So cleverly done & I’ll bet everyone of your readers can relate. Job well done. I’d love to have a cup of coffee with you but a glass of wine works well too🍷


  2. marciakoshollek says

    It’s nice to hear that your writing muse has returned. I loved this column. We are doing our best to stay safe. Our saving grace is being able to play golf on our own golf cart, out in the fresh air and open spaces. If you go to my FB page, you will see a cool photo of a coyote and a roadrunner, just lounging about in the shade on our golf course. We also see javelina, deer, hawks, eagles, owls, bobcats, a huge variety of birds, and the occasional snake, of course. In 20 years here, we have had just three rattlesnakes removed from our yard by the fire department, so that’s not too bad. We figure they were in the desert first, so we respect them and vice versa. Stay safe!


  3. Sharon barger says

    Good morning! I am not a coffee drinker but still feel welcome on your patio. You put into words what many of us are feeling. Stay safe and healthy.


  4. I feel your pain, Caryl, and have felt it for a while. Wish Sylvia and I could visit again to chat… maybe over a glass of wine rather than a cup of coffee. So much of what we typically would do for fun in Asheville has come to a screeching halt. Seems our lives have been turned upside down. Thankfully, we have our health, the radio station, the library, take out food, and streaming music concerts and movies. Bandit is somewhat confused, and probably delighted, by our nearly constant presence. Occasionally, we’ve gotten out for a drive on the Parkway into the mountains, or visited Biltmore Estate to walk the grounds and share a picnic. Bandit accompanies us on those rare outings too. We’ll be heading to the Arboretum one of these evenings when it’s neither too hot nor raining. We had a bumper crop of peaches produced on all five of our trees this year. They were delicious! We gave away bags of them to neighbors, friends, and my radio colleagues. All at a respectable social distance and masked. We even kept a box supplied out near the sidewalk along with a cache of bags so passersby could take some. I probably could go on more, but I’ll stop because I need to take Bandit out for his afternoon relief while Sylvia picks up her latest book requests from the library. Oh… and we’ve been washing many more dishes! Take care and stay healthy until we can get together again for a cup of coffee… or a glass of wine. 🙂


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