1. John’s still ill so instead of a day of deep-cleaning at the old house (something we’ve been putting off for a while), we spend the day in front of the stove, watching cartoons with the cats draped around us. With the curtains closed, it feels like nothing outside of the room exists – just us five here, in the sleepy warmth.

2. John requests chicken soup for lunch. All the soups we eat on a regular basis are meat-free — I learned to love soup and how to make it well when I was vegetarian, so I’m less than comfortable making meaty ones — but the creamy chicken is a welcome novelty, pure comfort food.

3. We leave some nuts out on the kitchen window sill and one of the squirrels who lives in the nearby elderberry tree pops by for a snack. We watch in silent awe as it pulls away the papery skin from the peanut and nibbles. Just inches away through the glass, we examine its solid black eyes, its fluffy white belly and the dexterity of its claws.