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Lockdown Lemonade #52 by Karen Sullivan

The Same Thing, Only Different

I’m a new board member of FAR-West. I was asked to contribute to Lockdown Lemonade, and it seemed like every time I got ready to write about my lemonade, I got hit with more lemons.

In March of 2020 I heard about Zoom (what?) for another board I am on and was asked to learn it, manage and run it for that board. Anxiety and angst prevailed while I figured it out. Lo and behold, I love Zoom and have been able to use it to host parties and gatherings to keep in touch with friends. It has been so great to meet people whom I would never have met! I don’t think Zoom/Live streaming is going away any time soon, which is definitely lemonade.

My husband and I are both huge introverts, and so the initial message of “you need to stay home” was kind of cool! This has been much easier for me than for many of my friends who thrive in the presence of others. During lockdown, however, I sometimes had too much isolation, leading to depression, and I have come to realize that I need to maintain contact, even if is still sometimes a struggle.

When I was finally finding the balance I needed, a dear friend passed away unexpectedly in May of this year. She was one of those people who lived “all the way up.” Every day was an adventure for her, she embraced the people and things she loved with joy and enthusiasm and was never afraid to jump into something new with her whole heart, qualities I yearned for and aspire to in my own cautious life. Though I know I will continue to grieve her loss for a long time, I am learning to carry her spirit with me, and I call on her often to help me take that next step when I’m afraid or uncertain.

So, lemons and lemonade keep happening, over and over. Maybe not so different than life before lockdown. Maybe lockdown was a needed reminder to remember that lemonade usually follows lemons.

~ Karen Sullivan

Karen Sullivan recently joined the FAR-West board.  A lifelong lover of folk music, and all music, she sings in a community chorus, in the shower, and everywhere else. She plays a little guitar, and aspires to learn the mandolin.  She has been helping out with hosting the FAR-West virtual Campfires, and has been working on the Outreach committee.   A veteran of other boards, she is glad to be serving on this one.


Lockdown Lemonade is FAR-West’s response to the dramatic and drastic shifts of 2020’s global health and economic crises. For many, this cultural reckoning and political upheaval spurred a period of personal reflection and the discovery of coping mechanisms some of us didn’t even know we had. Lockdown Lemonade is a look at the bright side. With this collection of flash creative nonfiction, brief personal essays, recollections, and musings from members of our community, we hope to shine a light on the best things that can and have come out of the most challenging of times. This column will continue on a weekly basis and postings will be released at 10 AM Pacific every Monday, so watch for them! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at julieZ@far-west.org or Marlynn Block at marlynn@far-west.org Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.

1 thought on “Lockdown Lemonade #52 by Karen Sullivan

  1. Reply
    Jean Mann - October 18, 2021

    Karen,

    Eloquently, tenderly spoken. Love to you in the loss of your friend.

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