This past Sunday was the sixth anniversary of our coming to the Possum Kingdom with 12 suitcases, a dog crate and our dear, departed Diva Maggie.
That winter was a big change for two Angelenos who hadn’t seen real snow in a long, long time. In fact, we were far more used to winters like the glorious days that we are having right now. I seem to remember never feeling quite warm enough that February.
How we’ve changed in six years! Our Maggie left us, Shmoo and Peaches arrived. We certainly never planned for my mother to join us here, but she did. The house we’ve bought has been primped and turned into something that suits us perfectly and we have gotten used to climbing more stairs in a day than we probably did in a year in L.A.
We’ve learned to look forward to our three times daily walks by the river as much as the dogs do, and are always eager to see what Mother Nature has in store for us, whether it is a hedgehog, an egret, a heron or a soaring eagle.
Things that seemed strange to us at first now seem normal; after all, does one REALLY need to go shopping on a Sunday? We have become part of a community; something that one never really felt in a big city like Los Angeles. We can feel safe out walking at any time of day or night.
One of the changes that has made a huge difference for us, and that we would never have imagined, is that having a television in only one room in the house, which is not central to where we spend most of our day, we never have it on for “background noise.” That means that we just about never watch television news, because we are not usually in front of it during news hours, or if we are, we have other things we’d rather watch. This has made us realize that being constantly bombarded by local news in particular, builds a climate of fear and insecurity. Reading articles in the newspaper or online doesn’t impact you in the same way. So, we feel generally more relaxed and less stressed.
Not being afraid of going to a doctor when we are sick or losing our house if we need serious medical treatment is also relaxing. We don’t think we would have been able to maintain health insurance if we had stayed in the L.A. area.
We’ve learned to eat as locally as possible. We have weeks where we never get into the car at all. We don’t think twice about walking to one of our local shops for something we need at the last minute. We take time to chat with our neighbors. We have learned that rain doesn’t just mean bad traffic on the freeway.
Not a day goes by when we aren’t happy with our decision. Granted, it’s not something for everyone and there are plenty of people who would not be happy giving up life in a giant city for that in a rural village, no matter what country that village is in. But for us, it was the best choice we ever made.
Thank you, Chalabre, for being our new home and welcoming us into your community.
Ciao for now,