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  • Writer's pictureLeanne W. Smith

Shock, awe & the reset button

Blogging about unexpected roads traveled.

Seeking to keep my chin up, and to help lift yours.


After ending my travel quarantine I was excited to go to the grocery and pick out my own produce again. I didn't quite believe reports that shelves were empty, but they were. It felt like I was caught in a Walking Dead episode where the need to swing wide of everyone I met going down the aisle could mean the difference in my survival. I walked up to the check-out and began to unload my cart when the clerk yelled, arm extended, "Stay behind the blue line!" I ran back, meek, to my 6-foot marker, resisting the urge to explain that this was my first time to venture out in a post-pandemic-declaration world, and I was still learning the rules. To borrow from David after his visit to the dentist, I kept wondering, "Is this real life?"

Produce at Mercato Centrale in Florence.


In addition to bewilderment, I'm feeling a lot of awe--awe at the dedication of front-line workers, not only medical staff, but that grocery clerk still clocking in so I can pick out my own produce (making sure I follow the new rules). I'm in awe of the resourcefulness that produces uplifting content like this (It is Well with My Soul), and the wonders of tools like Zoom that allow me to teach from my living room and still have lunch with the girls.

Reset Buttons

In the midst of inconvenience, fear, loss and frustration, I am grateful for friends, strangers, and influencers (like Brene Brown) filling my screens with positive messages of hope, resilience and how-to's for re-centering, re-thinking and re-focusing. At first I was reluctant to continue to share any of the photos taken on a trip gone bust, but in the curation of them I was reminded of some special moments lovely. My goal was to capture beautiful things--things that made my own heart glad--and share them with you so your heart could be lifted, too. So here you go: my personal joy offering for today. Honored to share the ups and downs of 2020 with you. Leanne

Cold day in Florence with Stan... ...and warm day in Vienna with Shelby.

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