Tuesday, November 10, 2020


It started out simply enough last spring. We were leaving Palm Springs because it had all but completely shut down due to the virus. Now we were heading home for much of the same thing back in Minnesota. (Featured in my blog The Great Escape)

The year was turning out to be different than any other we had experienced before. The summer would be unlike any other. (Detailed in my blog 'In the Year of the Pandemic')

It would include new routines like discovering the peace and serenity of a woodland waltz. The flowers were just beginning to bud and the air was warming up. It was a glorious time to be walking in the woods. (I wrote about it in my blog 'A Walk in the Woods')

Unlike Sharon who was quite comfortable being sequestered in our house this summer because of COVID-19, I was chomping at the bit to ‘get out of Dodge.’ LA Fitness was off limits as were restaurants, the library, and other past social gathering spots. Most of all, I missed my cerebral salons with chosen friends.

As it turned out the best part of that adjusted summer was reacquainting myself with old friends and solidifying friendships with new ones. I called them my ‘coffee and chat’ sessions. Sharon had another name for them: ‘Playdates.’

On my first unofficial C & C, one of my friends and I discovered the solitude of a lakeside pavilion looking over still waters in the crisp early morning air. It was the perfect peaceful setting for great coffee, a tasty snack, and thoughtful, insightful, challenging conversations. The surroundings were spectacular too.

For my other friends, the outdoor settings varied from parks, patios, porches, shelters and other drafty spots with plenty of air circulation and room for our camp chairs spread apart. It worked like a charm so much so that most of us agreed it was a pleasant alternative to the traditional nosey, crowded coffee shops of the past.

Sharon whimsically called them my playdates. I preferred to call them as cerebral salons, catch-up sessions, strengthening the bonds of friendship, or just plain playing it safe in the era of Covid-19. It was enjoying several hours of easy discussion, settling world events, contemplation, soul-sharing thoughts, and sharing the warmth of true friendship. Well-earned reminiscing challenged entrenched thinking, clarifying the past, filling in the memory gap.

My playdates:


My porch


Jenson Lake Shelter


My patio


Dunn Brothers patio


The Monument



Schultz Lake

Sadly, the playdates ended with the arrival of fall and my exit for the West Coast. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same setup in Palm Springs as I do in Minnesota. The friends are fewer there and the settings not as diverse.

Nevertheless, I’m trying to replicate some of what I captured last summer when the early morning sun warmed our camping spots and added to the serenity of our friendship. I can’t wait to get back to that warmth of true friendship once again.

True wealth comes in good health and friendships. I am a very wealthy person.

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