We got back yesterday to our Washington home. As we settle into a house that looks very large compared to the 600 square feet where we spent our last four months, I've got many things to be grateful for:
1.Friends old and new in Washington: Vicky (saw her at church this morning and we'll be having lunch in the next week), Carol (having lunch tomorrow), Vicki (will have coffee as soon as she's back from Mexico), my writing friends, my sister Alyx, my niece Colleen, my neighbor Jennie, the Vashonistas (five of my blogging friends). And all the women I know from meetings we attend together. These women can listen and reflect and care. They are the sisters of my heart.
2. Friends in Arizona: Hanna and Peter (fixed my flat bicycle tire and took us to the airport yesterday), Bob and Sue (taking care of our place this summer, gave us screws to put up our blinds, dropped in with their smiles from time to time), Mer and PJ (lent us their pickleball paddles and were always available for a chat), Eve (helped me through a tough time), Carol, JoAnne (facilitated a group for me when I had to pick up my sister at the airport), Rae (we went to breakfast one morning when the heater was broken in the pool where we did water aerobics), Florence (an older woman of great wisdom), Casey (a Canadian and a liberal like me in our current events group), Chuck and Jane (our former landlords and now our friends), Pothen (an optimistic man full of curiosity), Tammy (painted our place and reminded me to laugh), and Joan (met her just last week but feel like I've known her forever). And others. Where we live in the winter, it is easy to make friends and be part of the community.
3. A faith community. I was near tears and at peace this morning as I listened to words and music and saw familiar faces after a winter away. I touched the face of a very special woman who lost her husband recently; I wished I'd been there for the celebration of his life. I believe in this community.
4. Modern medicine can be a miracle. We sought it out in December, February and March, and today we are well.
5. Sunny weather in Arizona and sun breaks in Washington.
6. The convenience and efficiency of our dentists in Mexico.
7. Our children, all eight of them, and their partners: Melissa and Scott, Jason and Kalei, Karl and Angie, Russell and Amanda, Laura and Brian, James and Cinthia, Peter, and Greg. We don't always see them, but we are there for each other.
8.Our grandchildren Kyle, Mary, Malayne, Alex and Kaleb. And Sam, Mikaela and McKenzie.
9. Our Designer Cat, Larisa, who endured two plane rides to spend the winter with us.
10. The ability to appreciate each person, whether their views are similar to mine or completely different. We are all in this together.