I continue to marvel at my good fortune and the wonders of my new life — not just a house to cherish, but friends to bring me joy. And to do things with. Last year, a bunch of us got together to make wreaths. A month ago, we got together to make cards.
And today a friend made me Thai curry for lunch, and then afterward, we made cookies. She’d never made cookies before, and this year wanted to make cookies for Santa, and my help was enlisted. It was a fun project, and what it lacked in professionalism made up for in color and enthusiasm. I’ve never been able to use those ready-made icing packages for decorating cookies — the bags are unwieldy, the icing too runny — but we did what we could with items we had.
It seems odd that when I decided to move here, making friends never entered my mind. I just figured I’d settle into my hermitage and do what I’ve done all my life — read, walk, write, and other simple pleasures of a solitary life.
But here I am, settled in as if I’d always lived here. In fact, I’ve heard myself say such small-town utterances as, “He’s the husband of the sister of the ex-wife of the nephew of so-and-so.” Yep. Going native.
The most peculiar thing about living here is the postal service — whether coming here or leaving from here, packages seem to end up in a black hole in Denver. After more than a week in Denver, a package I mailed to Las Vegas ended up in the Tucson system, and there it’s lingered for another few days. It might get to Las Vegas in time for Christmas. It might not.
But other than the primitive mail system that cuts off an entire area of a state for days on end, this town has been good to me.
There’s always something to marvel at, to be grateful for, to enjoy.
I find that utterly amazing. And so very welcome.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator