Mother and daughter cheek-to-cheek, in The Before

The last person I hugged, was a stranger. He was a 20-something, 30 years my junior (about the same age as my daughter), just out of college and volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign. He stayed with me for a few days in the run-up to Super Tuesday. …

My people have farmed in the rich, silt-laden, flatlands of the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts since the 1920s. In the 1950s, my grandparents built a modest summer cottage on a nearby lake.

Throughout my entire life, I’ve gathered with family in those beautiful places. And now, as an…

“Sunny day
Sweeping the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street

Come and play everything’s a-okay
Friendly neighbors yes that’s where we meet
Can you tell me how to get how to get to Sesame…

A bright yellow boat paddle leaning against a red wall
Paddling through the COVID-19 crisis

I feel like I’ve been on an island as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded. It’s an island I’ve lived on for a long time, in a home that’s acted as a bunker. The bunker isn’t fancy, but it’s adequate.

I’ve been part of making a lot of wonderful things happen…

Amber Black

Valley girl from the wilds of western MA. Music lover, art appreciator, connoisseur of irony, hilarity, spunk. Paddler. passthesongpassthehat@gmail

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