The Summer of My Discontent

This was to be the summer I really worked on my tennis game, and planted my garden earlier, learned to play Mah Jongg, and caught up of all those unread New Yorkers.

And this was to be the summer I finally mastered the barbecue, and took out my old bike and checked the tires, and did some serious antiquing.

And the summer I ordered Tanglewood and summer stock tickets before the good seats were sold out, and swam laps instead of just chatting with friends at the pool.

This was to be the summer I reread the classics, and Danny and I took more hikes, and explored more of New England. And the summer we had more weekend guests and family filling the house.

This was not meant to be the summer of Covid. But tragically now it is, and I’m trying not to wallow in self pity and to remind myself that we’re all in this together.

The other day I saw a beautiful doe from my window, and I watched as she approached the house, coming much closer than deer usually do. And I had the feeling she was bringing me a message – that the present danger will pass and the world will still be out there waiting for us.

And so my friends, stay safe until then!

Dana Susan Lehrman


  • When Alan fills the bird feeders the deer stand about 6 feet away stamping their feet impatiently, waiting for their breakfast. I’m also frustrated but also feel very blessed. Are you in the Berkshires? One of my favorite places in the world.

    • Yes Denise, we’re in the Berkshire foothills in Torrington, CT thru the summer, I love being here, but miss the Big Apple, may we have a safe return, and until we meet again, please stay well!

  • Some of the activities you listed are perfect for this period of time and are being enjoyed by many. Don’t abandon all of your dreams.

  • Not the summer we were hoping for!
    Now, it’s the summer for walking, nature, reading, zooming, & finding what makes you happy.
    I enjoy your blogs!

  • This was the summer I was going to see all the plays I missed. Instead I find myself sitting at home looking into the windows of the apartment next door where there is a new baby.
    I mentally note the progress of my new little neighbor and today I jumped for joy when he took a first tentative step!
    I wanted to send his parents a bottle of champagne – but we never met and no way I could explain that gift!!

    • Wonderful urban story Angela!
      May we all be out again in the not-too-distant future and you’ll meet your new neighbors and their little one!

  • Your beautiful story is a metaphor of the “gift” of this time: More chance to stare at and appreciate all things near and dear/deer? that we don’t linger upon nearly enough.

  • I loved the irony of “this was the summer. . . .” and yes, we are all in this strange misery together, just grateful for not getting sick but still losing a year of experiences.
    You said it perfectly, from your words to the doe’s ear. . . perhaps it really was a positive omen! Liked the poetic imagery too.

  • What a terrific list of aspirations. You do lack the social commitments which would enable you to put them off! So there is no way out. Bat that tennis ball against a wall, bike all over those lovely hills in CT, plant a late garden, barbecue, grill and eat on the deck. Maybe forget MahJong. Just keep writing. You will have time to get to know the deer. And write about it!

  • Lucky for you to be in the Berkshires surrounded by nature’s beauty and quiet. Next summer for all those delicious things you want to do! In the meantime, stay present and grateful! I need to work on that too. Much love dear Dana

  • Beautiful story. Christian and I both enjoyed it. You write so eloquently. Please stay safe and well both of you!

  • Thanx Caroline, we’re so glad you both came to stay with us in February before the lockdown and what a whirlwind time we had!
    Your and yours please stay safe too until we can meet again and send fondest love to all our English family!

  • Thanx Dana. Here’s to another whirlwind time soon! Until then, much love from all of us to our American family!

  • Maybe I’m a slacker or too prone to regrets, but I can’t help but think you now have a legit excuse for not achieving that overly ambitious list in mere months; ) Then again, I like how you think!

    • Thanx Doreen, I guess the trick is to slack and but not regret!
      And at this strange moment in time I guess we all have reasons to feel the inertia!

  • Was wonderful to catch up yesterday, in a way we would never have done before Covid! The long leisurely conversation and meal together with “old” and dear friends will be cherished and remembered.
    Thanks for bringing me back to your brilliant blog. Happy to hear you have now made a delicious BBQ turkey

  • Thanx Shel, sorry for very late reply!
    So glad we had that wonderful day, here’s to more times together on and off the tennis court!
    Stay well until then.

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