(We know the day we were born, but most of us do not know the day we will die. This love letter to my life is written on the day I've designated as my death day, the 17th of every month, and reminds me to be grateful for my incredible life.)
I fell in love with California when I arrived at 22 with my Marine Corps husband who had just returned from Vietnam. This kid from Kansas/Oklahoma was enchanted and was fortunate enough to spend most of her adult life in some of the most beautiful places in California: the southern coast, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Bishop, the Sierra foothills, the central coast, and even a place called Paradise.
At one point I remember swearing three things:
I would never retire
I would never remarry
- I loved my work and thought I would do it forever … until the Universe retired me in the recession of 2008.
- My husband died fourteen years ago and I haven’t remarried and think there’s little likelihood of that happening, but 2020 is such a weird year, who knows?
- A few months after my husband died, I left California and experienced three years of Arkansas and Colorado before returning to California. Later, when it seemed impossible to balance my income to California housing prices, I left for Mexico for two years and then tried Nevada for a year.
Part of it was family, however, it wasn’t until I stumbled on the possibility of living on the lake in Northern California that other pieces started falling into place … trees and water … wildflowers … nature … beauty and peace … kayaking on a quiet lake surrounded by yellow pond lilies.