This last weekend my husband and I had our first "official" post-quarantine date night.

I had mentioned to my sister that I was looking for some more flowers for my back porch and she told me they had a bunch of inexpensive hanging baskets at Menard's.

Now before anyone gets all uppity telling me I should shop local, I had already checked with my friends at Grassroots for a particular basket and they were sold out. Plus, we bought quite a bit there during the pandemic when we decided to build and landscape our koi pond.

Anyway, we took a lap around the store before heading out to the flowers to see if there was anything we could live without, and believe it or not we found just that!

I have a small, slightly obsessive love of birds, particularly the Oriole that shows up here in early spring. These birds are gorgeous. Bright orange and black, they are easy to spot and fun to watch. For Mother’s Day, my middle son chose to buy me a new oriole feeder, whether this is because he is the most observant to what I like or because he shot my old one with his BB gun, I may never know.

Either way, I had been wanting to get another feeder because those birds don’t like to share and they eat a lot. As luck would have it, I found two more small feeders, some refills for my suet feeders and a new multi-seed feeder. See how geeky I can be when talking about my secret obsessions?

After picking out too much bird stuff, we headed outside and picked out way too many hanging baskets, flowers to plant and some more herbs for our herb garden. Have I mentioned that my husband is an amazing cook? The herb garden is possibly his prized “possession,” and he takes his cooking with fresh herbs very seriously.

We left Menard's and had a very interesting dinner at Pappo's. With social distancing still required in most places, we were lucky to get a table. It looked like they’d removed three-quarters of their seating. It was surreal for it to be so empty and quiet, as that place is always poppin'. Of course, you can’t eat at Pappo's without also stopping in Cold Stone before heading home.

All in all, our first post-quarantine date was uneventful. It was a weird feeling to be going out to places, and it still felt a little nerve racking for some reason, even though the restrictions have been slowly lifting the last few weeks. It’s a weird thing to be coming out of this virus — to be trying to go back to normal life while everyone is still wearing masks and in some places gloves.

If you're heading out this weekend for Memorial Day, good luck! If you have anxiety about it, it's OK to stay home! If you’re trying to go back to normal, keep your head up and just remember — wash your hands!

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