I owned an Anne Klein raincoat when I walked into the Goodwill last month and saw this beautiful London Fog, new with tags, on 75% of 50% sale, blue tag color of the day. Four bucks. How could I resist? My size, 4P, and a lovely plum with a hood. I saw no reason to walk past. I draped it across the cart and called it mine.
We like rain in Northern California. After a decade of drought, even we newcomers crane our necks for the sight of clouds. Is that smoke? Fog? Or could it be. . . a gathering storm? We dance to the staccato beat on the roof and laugh as we dash to the car. Winter settles over the Delta, chilly, and bold, and wild. It’s raining, and we couldn’t be more pleased.
Derek and Kelly came back from Montana and the community dinner attendance skyrocketed. Someone made mac and cheese. Two people brought salad. Derek and Kelly handed around bottles of home-made cider and beer made from hops that they grew on their family’s farm. Pool cues came out; wine corks eased from bottles; and Louis, who comes from France, brought three varieties of Madeleines — chocolate chip, vanilla, and Nutella. I sat at the end of the table next to Jessie’s grandma and asked everybody what they are “thankful for”. Family, friends, community, jobs, safe travels. We ticked the bounties one by one, all smiles and wide grins.
I liked Helix’s thankful-for best. “I’m thankful for my human experience,” he said. He talked about self-acceptance, and finding meaning, and his journey. The room fell silent. The mood shifted, to a quiet sense of calm.
A few minutes later, one of my neighbors walked me out to the car and I drove around to tiny house row. I opened my mother-in-law’s flowered umbrella and dashed to my porch. In the house, I slipped from my coat, perfectly dry, perfectly warm, and perfectly ready for rest.
It’s the twenty-sixth day of the seventy-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.