It was the morning of November 7, 11am or so, when the banging on pots and pans began. Those of us who were outdoors looked around to see where it was coming from. Was it a demonstration? A march? But no — no one was in the street, not yet. The sound was coming from all around. From overhead. From open windows. From doorways. And then we realized: the election had finally been called. Biden had won. Trump was out.

We got on our phones to confirm it, to text everyone we knew.

It was a real “Ding dong, the witch is dead” moment. The outpouring of emotion was astonishing — thousands of people flooded the streets of New York, making noise, pumping their fists in the air, weeping tears of joy, tears of relief. Cheering. Laughing.

By chance, by purest coincidence, we’d planned a rooftop gathering for that day, and we had champagne on hand to make mimosas. But the orange juice mostly got overlooked. It was a moment of sweet celebration, of popping corks and toasting each other–

–and maybe getting toasted in other ways as well.

Mother Nature cooperated, giving us a November day like none of us could remember, warm and bright and serene.

It was the perfect temperature, the perfect weather, the perfect moment for getting naked with friends.

It’s a terrible thing to spend four years under a government you not only distrust but trust to do the worst possible thing in every situation. A government run by a malignant, incompetent, brutish, evil man and a coterie of cronies trying to outdo each other in slavish toadying and greedy, self-serving exploitation of their power. It takes a terrible psychic toll, an emotional toll. And knowing that would finally end…it felt like a stone being rolled from our chests. Like we could breathe again.

Will things be perfect now? Of course not. Far from it. It will take years to recover from the damage Trump did. And we’re not out of the woods yet in terms of the pandemic, or the damage it has done — that it’s still doing. And no one’s pretending Biden’s Mr. Perfect himself.

But he’s not Trump.

And for that alone we were so, so, so thankful. And we remain so as Thanksgiving is about to dawn, 2+ weeks later.

The impossibly warm days of November 2020 have now passed and we’re headed into what looks to be a conventionally cold December. But we remember what it was like on that beautiful day. What it felt like, sharing that moment with friends. We’ll probably remember it for the rest of our lives.

And if December is conventional, so what? Maybe the next four years will be conventional too. There are worse things. We are unconventional people in some ways, but sometimes? A little peace and quiet and time to recover is exactly what you need.