It seems this year we are stuck in the in between, the transition time. As I look out my office window today, it certainly appears to be autumn, but as I walk down the lane towards the lower end of campus, I am reminded that summer’s hot and sweaty hands haven’t completely relinquished their grip. As the leaves slowly float to the ground through the muggy air, I can’t help but see the same relation to the world we live in. Stuck in the in between, between the world we remember and the current affairs of life in the pandemic.

The day to day struggle of balancing safety and serving people is exhausting, and quiet frankly, I am tired of talking about the terrible C word. Much like this year’s seasonal transition, we got a taste of normalcy this summer, just as we were spoiled with cooler weather at the beginning of September, but then the best laid plans were stopped dead in their tracks, as the summer swelter lingered on into the fall.

I feel like our Grow Appalachia program is stuck in the weird transitional stage as well. We are still helping families produce and preserve, fill their freezers and tables, but we have lost that community that is ever so important. It has been quiet sometime since we have gathered in large groups, shared a hand shake or a hug,  swapped stories, and made friends – the true community development designed in this program, but one day the transition will happen, summer will give way to fall, the pandemic will subside and once again we will rejoice in our wonderful community.