I made it back to the house just as the wind rose. At the weekly community dinner, I met four new people and tried three small bites of Sally’s pasta, careful to avoid the cheese. Other than my coleslaw and some bread with butter, there’s nothing I could eat but I didn’t mind. Sally brought a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck and a finger of red did me fine.
It’s not gone eight before I turn the lock. The rush and roar of the night shakes my tiny dwelling. I ask the Google lady to tell me the wind speed. There’s a sixteen mile per hour wind in Isleton right now, she acknowledges.
From my writing loft, I study the darkness on the other side of the sturdy pane. My little electric heater hums. I still wish I had chosen propane. I don’t quite know why I didn’t, or why I didn’t spend an extra few thousand for a solar system. The flickering lights signal that a storm draws near. I’ll be needing a flashlight before dawn. I check for batteries and settle into my rocking chair.
The neighbor’s porch light beams across the way. Her son has come outside with their little dogs. Rain begins, a gentle patter now, but soon the house will fill with a staccato rhythm as the wind whips through the meadow and the skies open.
Back home, we had a keeping shelf. Sand bottles and little charms; angels, Lego guys, and Christmas bells, nestled side by side. I gently packed each one in my last few days there. Now I live in a house of treasures. I count my days with golden coins, as the wind blows, and the rain falls, and the river flows silently past the park where angels dwell.
It’s the fifth day of the sixty-third month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.