In all my born days I've never lived in a place like this. We've got the beauty, we've got the talent, we've got the community, we've got the sense of place. We've got the love.
The love. What else do you call it?
I come home from visiting a friend who's been housebound for a week, the snow intimidates her a little. She's 86 and still drives but not so much on the snow anymore. I don't blame her. I've slowed down a lot with the driving on snow and am aware, yeah, maybe in a little over twenty years I won't be quite so brave anymore either. My visit gave her an excuse to bake and to make her famous dumplings and her famous soup. Yummy. She tells me more of her history. How she was so trusted that at fourteen when she was put out to work in the big bad city helping in a huge boarding house she had no curfew so she gave one to herself. Of ten o'clock. She felt that was right for the time. In summer. In winter it was eight o'clock. She was born old. I was born far too young and stayed that way. Good thing, bad thing? I don't think you can label it. It just is.
Anyway, I get home and when I finally reach my kitchen I stand back in awe. And yeah, tears. Lined up on the counter are:
A loaf of homemade bread.
Chicken curry (a really extraordinarily odd local delicacy with no curry that I can ever ascertain in it)
Carrot relish (can't pry the recipe for this out of anyone)
A jar of bakeapple jam.
And a whole tub of thick beef, vegetable and rice soup.
Three different friends had dropped these off.
"All within a few hours of each other," said Leo, who acted as point cop with all the traffic.
"Did I die?" I asked him.
I was rewarded with him laughing till he bent over double and lost his breath.
PS And another friend dropped by also while I was gone and took this picture of my house in the snow.