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May 30, 2020

On our way home from picking up thin New York-style pizza for dinner the other night, Louie and I encountered a parade of sorts as we entered our town: The main boulevard had been blocked off for a short period while a line of cars slowly drove by, filled with 2020 graduates of neighboring high schools and the local middle school who, along with graduates around the country, could not enjoy traditional graduation ceremonies. We saw cars from Pasadena HS, La Salle HS, Monrovia HS, and Sierra Madre Middle School decked out with colorful balloons and placards -- and students standing through SUV sunroofs and sitting like Rose Parade princesses in convertibles. I couldn’t resist jumping out of our car to snap some photos.

And as summer peeks around the corner with the world hard-hit by the pandemic, it felt strange to learn that glacier skiing in the Alps (Austria, Switzerland, Norway and France) and ski areas in the U.S. (Oregon, Colorado, Wyoming and Washington state) – will open in June. For a few seconds as I face my computer screen, my mind drifts back to many family ski holidays and winter story assignments. The excitement of surveying a ski run from the top of the trail, making sure my ski pole straps are in place, and exhaling before taking that first downhill turn is pure exhilaration.

But that experience will be different now as pandemic safety standards are put in place such as purchasing lift tickets online, limiting the number of people on the slopes and on chair lifts, staggering arrival times, the availability of hand washing stations, limiting the number of people in lift lines, and the requirement of face masks and gloves.

It’s a new world now.

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