What a difference three weeks make.

At the end of October, we went online and used our platforms, such as they are, to urge everyone we know to vote — and to vote for Joe and Kamala, because god knows the monstrosity in the White House had to go.

We didn’t know if it was a hopeless shout into the void or one that had a chance in hell of success, but we put out the call, and then we got together in our rooftop sanctuary for some sweet oblivion: a chance to get naked with friends on an unseasonably warm afternoon a week before Halloween and ten days before the election. We brought donuts, and we brought a “Box O’ Joe” or two — it seemed appropriate.

(The boxes contained hot chocolate, not coffee. When we go for comfort, it’s classic childhood comfort we go for. But, under the circumstances, that “Joe” on the side of them was a little comfort too.)

Did it work? Did it ever. We not only got a warm day, for a brief time it was even a sunny warm day. Never have we needed the kiss of warm sun on our skin like we did that afternoon.

And the warmth of the sun was as nothing to the warmth of unconditional love and fellow-feeling from our fellow bookclub members, all banding together for solace and reassurance, commiseration and distraction.

We were outdoors, where Covid transmission isn’t quite as acute a risk, though realistically a bit more social distance or masking would’ve been wise. (Happily, in the three weeks since, no one got sick.) And because we were on a private rooftop, everyone was free to undress as much as she wished (or he, in the case of our few token boys).

Some reading happened, which is good — your book club license surely gets pulled if no one at an event cracks a book!

But more of the time was spent being kind to ourselves and to each other, whether that meant a bit of indulgence of one sort–

–or another.

There was fashion to be tried on–

–and to be taken off.

We had first-timers (we always do)–

–and recent first-timers–

–and long-timers.

And most of all we had a few hours of peace, desperately snatched from the tumult of pre-election 2020.

Now here we are, three weeks later, in post-election 2020, and what a difference. For all that the piece of shit behind the Resolute Desk may be refusing to admit he’s lost, the fact remains that he has, and we’re all breathing a little easier.

The day the race was called, we returned to the rooftop, only this time we didn’t bring a Box O’ Joe. We brought something more celebratory. Which, under the circumstances, seemed appropriate.

You’ll see more from that day’s celebrations soon. But for now we choose to remember with gratitude the brief shining moment of relief Mother Nature handed us when we needed it so badly.

And the people we shared it with. Even amid world-changing events — maybe especially among them — what matters most is finding that small group of people you really feel are family.

People who share your worries and your hopes, your woes and wishes — and with whom, when things are looking dark, you band together, cross your fingers, and buy a box o’ Joe.