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?