Yesterday was Memorial Day, a day when we honor those who gave all in service to our country.

We flew the flag at Casa Colando. We also crossed our hearts to sing an anthem to the home of the free and the brave when we watched the televised Indy 500 Race on Sunday. We revisited family and friends with whom we were prevented interface. A solemn, yet festive day of tradition.

In my heart I honored the 595,000 men, women, and children who died from COVID-19 and then blasphemed a pox on the anti-vaxx movement in this country. More lives could have been saved by vaccination and the truth.

I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit like a prairie dog – or Pawksatawnee Phil who emerged from his hibernation hole and then skittered back for six more weeks. I keep metaphorically poking my face out from behind my mask to ask, “Is it safe to come out (from behind the mask) or should I shelter in place another six weeks?”

All of us (50% of Americans!) who are lucky enough to have been double-vaxxed were able to celebrate Memorial Day weekend to the max. There were many dead – yet many alive – to honor and celebrate. May their deaths not have been in vain.

In two weeks, government entities have decreed that we are over and out. Masks can be dumped in the trash. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it. We’ve holed up so long… we can trash our collection of masks and accoutrements of covid-gear. We can burn the sweatpants, if we wish (I’m keeping the hat as a keepsake).

But I have to tell you, I am not quite sure I am exactly ready for prime time yet. I had a doctor’s appointment last week, so I actually put on a dress, a snazzy little scarf, and full make up. I headed out into the real world beyond the safety of my street, masked and fully vaccinated, and feeling very hopeful.

In two weeks – on June 15 – our nation will truly be the home of the free and the brave, the thrivers beyond COVID-19.