The plan was to write this month’s letter with my undying gratitude that we were, that life was, back to normal. That was the plan, but although we’ve made some progress in terms of reopening, we are far from being back to life as we knew it in November and December last year.
Like for many of you, these last four months have been the longest decade of my life. It must be time for me to reset my expectations and focus on the positives: I’ve personally not known anyone who has been inflicted by COVID-19; it’s been a great opportunity to adapt our business model and, while saving money on personal services, I have gotten comfortably used to wearing jeans and sneakers to the office.
Looking for the positive, one of the things that we’re most proud of around here is our loyal reader base. Some have told us that they have saved every issue since the first one in October 2003. A devoted readership might be heartwarming to us, but it is critical to our advertisers. For the last 16-plus years, we have fought to remain a free publication — free to you — fully supported by advertising. Thanks to the pandemic, times are pretty tough for many of our local businesses, and we have been humbled when they tell us that they want to keep their place in Lifestyle … and that’s in large part due to you and your loyal support of their businesses. We thank you for that. Just recently, the chamber released a new campaign, #LoyalToLocal, and we could not agree with that statement more. Even if you are not ready to be in crowded spaces, most of our local businesses offer curbside pickup, so please support them as much as possible.
Lifestyle Magazine’s culinary contributors have always been top-notch. This month is no exception, and the guest chef just happens to be a staffer, and my daughter, Taylor Johnson. Tasked with procuring the Epicure feature for July, she took that responsibility to heart and decided that she would just “do it herself.” It did bring back delightful memories of when, as a toddler, she would proclaim to me, “Let Taylor do it!” As any momma would be, I am proud of just about everything she does, and now she has managed to add to that list. The recipes and photos, equally delicious as beautiful, can be found on page 18 inside.
So as the month of July arrives, we are thankful for a lot of things … another issue behind us and hundreds more ahead. But, most of all, we are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy by living in the “imperfect” USA: The freedom to publish our thoughts, the freedom to read what we choose, the freedom to shop local, the freedom to support our law enforcement, and for always being reminded that there has never been a minute of my life when I wished I lived somewhere else, no matter what is going on around us.