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4-27. Tuesday afternoon Morgan loaded up the double kayak and Mom, Madison, Morgan, and I went to Levi’s and picked him up. We drove up to Shasta Dam and the guys spent awhile deciding where the best spot was to start their kayaking trip of the Sacramento River. Lots of roads were closed down so we finally found a boat ramp close to the dam where we unpacked their gear. It was so beautiful when we dropped them off. The night was completely still and the lake was reflecting the pines. All you could hear were the frogs and crickets. They are going to be gone until Sunday, but due to a twisted ankle of Levi, Madison and I went to the middle of nowhere and picked them up Friday night instead. Oh Friday. That day almost toasted me. I’ve frequented Target a time or two but hadn’t been to Walmart in probably two months. At Target, you go in and get stuff and leave. At Walmart however, such is not the case. You must stand in a line outside, six feet apart, in the ole California sun, until enough people have come out of the store for the next person to go in. Once you’re inside, their are arrows to try to stop you from doing the wrong thing. Then you stand again, 6 feet apart, in an even longer checkout line. Everyone wears masks and scurries away from you and is actually sort of rude because of fear or impatience? I’m not sure which. Anyways, this all just bummed me out that quick running in to the store is no longer a thing. You need to plan on a long trip. You need to wear a mask. You need to be prepared to spend lots of time. Anyways, I was telling Morgan about the whole process and how I’d lost faith in humanity and we were on our way out of the middle of nowhere with the kayak heading for the interstate when we came towards an intersection full of dust and a few vehicles with flashers on. Of course, I immediately thought it was an accident. As we got closer, we saw more and more vehicles in the ditches with lights off, and people wandering around. By the time we pulled up close to the intersection, we were in the middle of a crowd of 175 kids, with probably close to 140 vehicles sitting all over the place. The road was completely taken over by cars and people, but they waved us through with a flashlight and the crowd parted around us while we drove. Someone yelled, “Don’t call the cops!” and with that we became part of this crazy thing called “A California Street Race in the Middle of Nowhere Even Though There’s a Statewide Quarantine”. We pulled off to “check the straps” and watched souped up cars and pickups race through the still California night, and my faith in humanity and America was restored. There was no social distancing, no masks, and just a bunch of good country people having a good time. It was honestly the coolest thing.

Anyways, since Morgan was going to be away for a few days, Mom, Madison, and I spent night in Redding. Last time I had spent night in Redding had been during one of the fires up north there so it was nice to see the town in daylight, sunshine, and not covered in ash. Wednesday morning we drove out to the coast. Had we known how that road was, we may have changed our minds. It was the curviest, switch-backest, hairpin-est road I’ve ever traveled but when we could see the waves crashing and hear the seagulls talking and feel the happiness course through us, it was worth it. When they said Curve, 10 mph., they meant it. Then we drove through the Avenue of the Giants where some of the tallest trees in the world graced our views. We walked barefoot among them and felt them whispering to the earth, and heard their sighs as we sat on their age-old roots. The sea of clover covering the earth made the whole world into a green paradise and we worshiped God quietly through our praise. It was such an awesome thing.

This week has been busy with tutoring, printing more “Voices of the Quarantine” books, and sitting in the sun. The other night under the flower moon of May, Morgan took Mom, Madison, and I on a picnic. We sat in the warm evening around a fire and drank iced tea and watched the moon and ate fried chicken and potato salad. Yesterday Morgan, Madison, and I went swimming for a couple hours. Morgan worked on the bus early in the morning since it’s getting so hot here in the afternoons. Once we get insulation done and the A/C in, it will be easier to work in the bus more. It’s basically 10* hotter inside it than outside and it’s just a smoking tin can. We have the A/C on the way, and are going to order a couple more things this week! I’m so ready to live in it! Mom and Madison are flying home to Michigan soon to pack up and move their things here, where Mom will teach Grades 3 and 4 and live in a cute house close to me and school. Madison is sort of thinking of a teaching job again next year, so if your school needs one awesome teacher, text me for her number!

Today is Mother’s Day and wow. I have one awesome Mom. She’s honest, enthused, always up for something fun, creative, hilarious, and legitly the strongest person I know. I was reminiscing to Mom a couple days ago about my terrible teens and how thankful I am that her and Dad didn’t give up on me. She is my best friend. It’s an understatement to say I’m excited that she’s moving down the road from me this year. On the other side of it, I feel deeply for my friends who have an empty spot where their Mom should be with them too. I feel deeply for my friends who haven’t been able to have children and become a Mom. I feel deeply for those who have a Mom but who don’t have a good relationship with her. I am just so thankful for my Mom today. Have a Happy Mother’s Day. Wishing each of you lots of courage. xo chey

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