As you can imagine, it felt like a reunion and homecoming. The greeting line Herb and I form as the men enter the chapel was particularly joyous and enthusiastic. Our singing was happy and loud.
I asked about the lockdown, how the men fared, how I'd been worried about them as the weeks passed. All in all, they reported, it was a good lockdown, as lockdowns go.
First, it was cool and rained twice. Cool temperatures make being locked in your cell more bearable.
Second, the men were allowed to go to the showers more regularly compared to past lockdowns. That also makes life in close quarters with a cellmate more tolerable.
And lastly, cheese. On lockdowns the men are fed in their cells with brown bag lunches, mostly consisting of sandwiches.
"This year," John told me, "they put cheese on our baloney and salami sandwiches."
Cheese does make everything better.