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The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I have a perfect view of a beautiful day from my office window. It’s corny, but I have never appreciated it more. The start to 2023 was a buzzkill for me. After three years of dodging it, I caught Covid. It was not fun. Fortunately, I’m recovered and free from my quarantine. During those days of isolation, I craved my everyday routine and, above all, my circle of close friends and family members. I know I’m lucky to have this circle. Recently, I watched a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about happiness. The secret? Strong connections with family and friends. Making sure to have that person you could call at 3 a.m. if needed. In this issue, our features shine a light on close-knit connections. From longtime buddies who have reconnected in their 60s, to a love story about a couple and their baby returning home after living abroad, and my personal favorite – a sweet story of a family’s beloved chocolate cake. No need for me to make a 3 a.m. phone call: I just want a giant piece of that cake. [email protected]