“Dude, is that you in there?”
Panda’s voice, slightly alarmed, woke me up from a comfortable nap. “What?” I replied. “How did you find me in here anyway?”
“Well,” Panda responded. “It’s only obvious. Come out of there. I have a great idea for the blog!” I snuggled back under the chair cover. “We can work on the blog later,” I said. “I’m sleepy.”
“Cats are always sleepy,” Panda remarked. “But when you hear my idea you’ll wake up. I think we should do a post called The Year in Review.”
“Okay, tell me your idea,” I said after Panda had all but dragged me into the front room. “I’m listening.”
“Well,” Panda continued. “You know how at New Year’s people always look back at the previous year and reflect? I think we should do a reflective blog post about our year of Social Distancing.”
I had to admit it was a good idea. “Yeah, let’s do it!” I agreed. “Where do you think we should start?”
“I think we should start when we first realized something strange was going on.” Panda replied. “Remember when Mom started staying home all the time and listening to church online instead of going in person?”
“Oh yeah!” I said, starting to get excited about our post. “And remember when you went to Fig Garden that time and everything was closed?“
“And what about the next time you went?” I asked. “Was that the time you took a selfie with those two nice ladies?” Panda nodded. “Yes, and they also invited me to have ice cream with them. But there could only be four people in the store at a time and you couldn’t sit inside and eat.”
“So the next time you went, hadn’t they started putting some of the outside chairs back?” I asked thoughtfully. “Yep,” Panda replied. “That’s right. But there weren’t very many chairs. Plus there was that weird sign about dogs having to be 21 years old to go in. I’m not sure what that had to do with Social Distancing, but anyway.”
“Oh my word!” I exclaimed. “What about the time you went with Mom to the DMV?” Panda shuddered. “Don’t even remind me, Bro,” he said. “That was not a fun trip!”
After he recovered from the memory of his trip to the DMV, Panda reminded me that he had reported good news from Fig Garden in September, and that Mom and Aunt Gail’s favorite stores were now open. “Oh yeah,” I said, recalling how on that trip Panda had even tried on clothes at Eddie Bauer. “I’m just glad you didn’t buy anything without asking Mom’s permission.” Panda looked puzzled. “You know Mom wasn’t there, so how could I ask her? The only people I talked to were those two nice ladies who let me take a selfie with them.”
I decided to silently count to ten before replying.
“So,” Panda remarked before I had a chance to say anything. “That was fun. What should we do now?”
“I guess we could read through Mom’s “Letters to Emil,” I suggested, jumping up on her desk.
“I know where the old family photos are,” I added, when my first suggestion met with a less than enthusiastic response. “Wanna look at them?”
“I know!” Panda exclaimed, still not acknowledging me. The next thing I knew he was up on the bed surrounded by socks! “Mom was putting her socks away the other day and she said I could pick some out for a new outfit!”
I decided to silently count to ten and take a nap before replying.