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Are We There Yet?  vol. 209 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 209

If you’re reading this on Friday afternoon, think back four years, and you can probably remember what you were doing. I was in my office meeting with colleagues, trying to remain calm, and planning for the COVID shutdown. We didn’t know what that really meant, or how long it would last, or how it would impact us, but we knew we were in uncharted waters.

Over the following months and years, we all found a way to carry on. Some who had a severe illness or a death of a loved one were much more profoundly impacted by COVID, but everyone had to adjust. All of us experienced a huge shift in how we led our lives. For example, I don’t think I had ever participated in a video call prior to COVID, and now, the majority of my meetings are by video.

As I was sitting in traffic on Route 66 the other day, I thought about all of the changes that occurred, but I also wondered about what was learned and then forgotten. Personally, I can remember all of the Zoom connections with friends with whom I had lost touch and setting aside more time for important things in my life. Now, it seems that many of those changes that were good for me personally have drifted away, replaced by the busyness of a pre-covid lifestyle.

It's easy to backslide when changing from a long-held set of activities, and I need to work harder to maintain the good changes forced upon me by COVID while remaining grateful that we are beyond the fear and uncertainty that surrounded us four years ago.

Take care and stay safe.


The Women by Kristin Hannah

When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these words, it is a revelation. Raised in the sun-drenched, idyllic world of Southern California and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing. But in 1965, the world is changing, and she suddenly dares to imagine a different future for herself. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.

As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is over-whelmed by the chaos and destruction of war. Each day is a gamble of life and death, hope and betrayal; friendships run deep and can be shattered in an instant. In war, she meets―and becomes one of―the lucky, the brave, the broken, and the lost.

But war is just the beginning for Frankie and her veteran friends. The real battle lies in coming home to a changed and divided America, to angry protesters, and to a country that wants to forget Vietnam.

The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on all women who put themselves in harm’s way and whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has too often been forgotten. A novel about deep friendships and bold patriotism, The Women is a richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose idealism and courage under fire will come to define an era.