I’m not sure how we got here. As I write this, it’s June 30. The first half of the year is complete. I swear it was just winter. I barely had time to put away the summer clothes for winter until it was time to make the switch to shorts and sandals again.

I’m thrilled that we’ve left the cold behind for a while. I prefer to have the windows open, sit on the back deck in the mornings and evenings. I love my cowboy boots, but am more than willing to trade them in for sandals, except when I’m riding of course. Summer clothes are so much easier in general.

And summer food — yum. I could eat watermelon, corn on the cob and fresh peaches every day. They are my three favorite summertime foods. I know we can use the grill, or in the Bowers’ household the Traeger, year-round, but anything on the grill made between May and the end of September is more mouth-watering in my opinion. Eating on the patio also makes any meal taste better.

Since the stay-at-home order began, I, like everyone else, have had to change my routines. Before COVID-19, my husband and I both worked long hours. Cooking dinner at home was usually once or twice per week or on the weekends. We ate out regularly, ordered out for take home or had dinner with friends. It’s not that I didn’t like to cook, it was more a matter of time. Getting home at 7 p.m. tired wasn’t the time to start cooking a full meal.

These days since I am working at home my commute is short (down the stairs). And even if I have a longer day than usual, I can start dinner and still keep working. We have home-cooked meals at least five or six times per week. We gather with our family cohort once or twice a week, sometimes spontaneously. That wasn’t possible in our pre-COVID-19 lifestyle. We still order out occasionally but haven’t eaten in a restaurant yet.

I actually enjoy cooking and finding new recipes to try. I tend to modify the recipes slightly to accommodate likes and dislikes in my family. Most have turned out OK, but there have been some bombs. It’s been requested I lose those recipes.

What I really love to do is bake, which may not be great for the diet, but I just love baking. Summer cobblers, banana pudding, banana cake, cheesecake, cookies … the list is endless. I’m going to try gingerbread with warm lemon sauce, a berry lasagna, and just for kicks, I’m going to make Gran’s chocolate pie. Since I can no longer share my concoctions with co-workers, my family members are the mostly willing recipients of whatever I whip up.

My husband is more picky than my grandson who lives with us. There are only three things he doesn’t like that I’ve found, and 21-year-olds do like to eat.

I like this new life.

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