Audio Chapter 28—Jessica: More than a loaf of sourdough

I pulled him close, took off his mask—brazen woman that I am. And kissed him.
And I’ll do it again. I’m sure of it. I sit beside him as his gaze takes me in inch by inch. He’s studied my hair, badly in need of a cut, and he’s gone over every inch of my face and my body. On a normal day, I’d feel self-conscious. But today, it’s wonderful to be the center of attention.

Audio Chapter 27—Dan: Flowers, candy and apologies

“C’mon, Rex.” Like I have to prod him to hurry after Monster.
We race around the corner where a woman wearing an Old Bay mask is picking up the little creature.
It’s Jessica. My heart gets a workout like nothing it’s experienced before. It pounds out a tune before rising with joy when she looks up at me and smiles.
“Look what I found. This little kitten ran right into my arms.”
Smart cat. Exactly what I wish I could do. I stop about ten feet away. I don’t know if I should get any closer to the woman who isn’t speaking to me.

Oakland, Md. Small town, big heart, plenty of history

The capital of Garrett County, Maryland’s farthest-western county, Oakland, is a charming little town with a gorgeous Queen Anne-style railroad station that once welcomed captains of industry and presidents of the United States. The Episcopal church in town, St. Matthew’s was know as the Church of the Presidents for the four leaders who prayed in…