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It was another glorious summer day with clear blue skies and the occasional gentle breeze, but my neighbor Clarisse’s expression was rather cloudy.

“It’s like speed dating. You meet each other over Zoom and go through a checklist. I hate it. I’m never going to find the right people.” And Clarisse was not talking about romantic relationships. She and I were trading observations on the latest craze of formation of these homeschool pods. And I could sympathize with her sentiment.

In my last post I had made it sound like Peanut just popped right into our lives at the most…

“…O…R? V?” The blank look in Jujube’s eyes was alarming. It had only been a month since our preschool closed, and our five year old has already forgotten what letter came after M.

It’s OK, I told myself, all kids will eventually (re)learn their alphabet.

And for the next two months, while the older siblings made extra appendages of their computers and phones, Jujube spent his days smushing ants and pushing rollie pollies in the backyard. Eventually after we finished with our refi of the house (along with the rest of the country) I picked up basic books on phonics…

“Lipid! Go claim your Wahwah plant!” Lifting the bottom of my monk robe, I climb the ancient stone steps to find Brother Lipid napping again in the pagoda under an umbrella of gently swaying wisteria blossoms.

“Brother Protein, please allow me a moment to gather all my study material.” Lipid rubs his eyes and picks up rolls of scripture, unopened.

We arrive just in time to get the last two bulbs of the Wahwah plant. They look exactly like onion bulbs, but I could feel it pulsate gently when I held one in my hands. …

I have sat empty for two years now. I was never owner-occupied; my last and only tenant was a pleasant fellow whom I imagine would have described me as “cozy, comfortable and welcoming”. Some would have found me a little dark, damp and cramped, but he didn’t seem to mind, although to be entirely honest, he was a bit much for me in the end so I was glad when we bid each other farewell.

During the first year after the tenant left, some major repair work had to be done. The door had been damaged, and the walls needed…

Light wind flicked through the cherry tree branches like fingers plucking the strings on a harp, and the soft small petals of the cherry blossoms fell in a shower of light pink confetti. The leaves on the large oak tree in the town square shredded the rays of sunshine and scattered their shadows all over the ground. There were a few townspeople standing aloofly from each other, some standing in front of a large TV screen in a shop window.

Politicians tore into each other on the screen.

“This gross disregard for human lives will live in infamy and the…

Ivy W

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