Saturday, December 31, 2016

Farewell 2016

It was a few days before Christmas when I was sitting in my Dentist’s waiting room. I need to paint the picture here, because it isn’t what you are thinking. My dentist in Arlington, Vermont is an old New England farmhouse turned into a Dentist’s office. It is small, carpeted, and painted in shades of stone-ground mustard. There are no flat screen TVs and the appointments are made in a book. I adored all of this. The rooms are small and cozy since it was someone's home at a point. There are low country windows and wainscoting accompany dental chairs. I love it.

I was sitting in this office when the receptionist walked through with a wrapped present about the size of a toddler. She set it on the carpet.  Soon a woman came in through the front door, all bundled up (it was very cold out there) and hefted it with viking-woman efficiency. I looked at the receptionist quizzically. She explained the woman who just left worked at the Inn across the street and she had the gift mailed and hidden here until the holidays as a surprise. So, the Dentist was in cahoots with the Inn to hide a present. I heard my dr's voice then, saying hello in full winter gear like he was ready to clean off cars or go for a walk. “Don’t worry I’ll be right back, helping this gentlemen to his car on the ice.” Seconds later an elderly couple came out and he assisted them down the sidewalk.

I love living among small towns.

Yesterday, while in Cambridge I was getting into my truck after running some errands in town and I heard my name. I turned around and June, who runs Black Dog Wines, explained that she could get my favorite brand of Mead in stock. We had talked about it briefly last time I was in the shop and I assumed the closest place that carried it was New Jersey. She said to stop in and pick out what I wanted.

I love living rural in 2016. I know this is the last day of this wretched year, but here in small-town New York it wasn’t so awful. Places without booming economies know how to be resourceful, depend on each other, be kind. No one ever treated me different or poorly for my religion or politics. No one made a scary comment about my truck’s stickers and I wouldn’t dare do the same to someone with Trump stickers. We may pray and vote different but like the wise Garrison Keillor says (I paraphrase) “You don’t care much about politics of the person helping you install storm windows.” Agreed.

I was invited to go out on a horse-drawn sleigh ride yesterday (I was working and had to decline, but only around here is that a common invitation) and to two friends' homes for dinner. Tonight is New Year’s Eve and I am certain I will sleep through the ball dropping, hopefully full of rabbit pasties courtesy of my hawk and winter’s bounty. I have been getting this new kind of exercise which those of you who hike or trail run already know, but me (a road distance runner) am not used to. I can run without stopping for miles at a constant pace - but the combination of sprinting in snow uphill after a hawk, bushwhacking into thorns, moving for hours over terrain - it uses so many calories. It makes me want a hearty meal at the end of the day and no snacking before. I feel like some character out of Game of Thrones at night; beside my fire with my perched hawk watching me bite into a thick stew or chicken leg, a horn of mead in hand. You really can be whatever you want when you grow up, ladies.

So I end this year in gratitude, with the resolution to blog more about small, everyday, things. To be kinder to myself and listen better to those I love. And to most of all, know the joy of living in this ten-mile radius of magic that is Dentists hiding presents and invitations in one horse open sleighs.

Good luck in 2017, for us all.

*now edited. Sorry guys I am a writer, not an editor. Do you want more posts edited poorly, or less edited well?

17 Comments:

Blogger Mel Baker said...

I think good luck is something we can all use in 2017. Happy New Year.

December 31, 2016 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger jodi said...

I truly love your paragraph on living rural in 2016.

December 31, 2016 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

All the best to you in this new year! Looking forward to many more blog posts.

December 31, 2016 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

This is a nice post. I hope for many more in 2017. Happy New Year

December 31, 2016 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Wayne Dellinger said...

Happy New Year to you Jenna. 2017 will be a much better year for all we have gone thru in 2016. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? I wish you warm fires at night, strong coffee in the mornings and much joy in the coming year. Keep on blogging! You inspire me.

December 31, 2016 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

Happy New Year

January 1, 2017 at 5:49 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Any kind of blog you want to post, I want to read! Happy New Year!

January 1, 2017 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger aart said...

Like to read all your posts.....but nothing wrong with at least proof reading ;-)

January 1, 2017 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

more with less editing!!

January 1, 2017 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

more posts, be damned with the editing!

January 1, 2017 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Colleen Vanderlinden said...

It's a blog, not a thesis. I'd rather see more posts from you. :)

January 1, 2017 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger dhovey said...

MORE MORE MORE

January 2, 2017 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

More posts please!

January 2, 2017 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger daisy gurl said...

Peace and continued blessings in the New Year!

January 3, 2017 at 6:18 AM  
Blogger HeidePB said...

I didn't read the unedited version, but loved this one. So true. I love that we count on our neighbors and folks in small towns. The eighteen year old girl who plows my town's roads is most certainly a trump supporter, but she's bad ass and stands by her values and I think she's fantastic, regardless of who she voted for. She does an extra good job on our hill, and she knows we're certainly not trump fans.

January 5, 2017 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Jenna, I've been a fan of yours since you started blogging on this life you chose for your journey. I'm still an admirer and I'm sure I'll remain one. You've never pretended to be anything other than yourself and there is something that touches my heart about your honesty--good or bad. Your books are great and I've enjoyed them. You're humble, honest, rightfully proud of your achievements and you reach out to others who want to learn about all these adventures as you live this life you dreamed of, worked hard to achieve, and that is admirable. Happy New Year, Jenna.

January 14, 2017 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Jenna, I've been a fan of yours since you started blogging on this life you chose for your journey. I'm still an admirer and I'm sure I'll remain one. You've never pretended to be anything other than yourself and there is something that touches my heart about your honesty--good or bad. Your books are great and I've enjoyed them. You're humble, honest, rightfully proud of your achievements and you reach out to others who want to learn about all these adventures as you live this life you dreamed of, worked hard to achieve, and that is admirable. Happy New Year, Jenna.

January 14, 2017 at 8:15 PM  

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