For better or worse, my family is mine

Sharon Randall

Some days are almost too much to believe. You’ve had days like that, right?

Let me tell you about mine.

It started out like any other. I woke up, got out of bed and stumbled out to the kitchen to push a button to start the coffee.

Luckily, I’d remembered the night before to fill the coffee maker with coffee and water. I forget sometimes, but not this day. I took it as a good sign.

While the coffee was brewing, I sat in the living room and stared out at the mountains.

Six months ago, we sold a house I’d loved for almost 50 years, after I found I no longer loved climbing the stairs.

We moved 20 miles out of town into a green valley, to a house half as big as the old one, with a nonstop view of the mountains and no stairs.

I miss the old place, but I like the new one a lot. Here’s a little trick I’ve learned. Maybe it will work for you, too. When life throws me a curve, I try to hit it out of the park.

Sorry, I’ve been watching too much baseball. What I meant to say was this: When a change comes along, as it always does, I try to look for things I like about it, rather than for things I don’t. And I usually find plenty to like.

That hasn’t always been the case, but it has been here. Take, for example, the view. I may tire of it someday, but not in the foreseeable future. From my seat on the sofa, I look west, up the valley toward the coast. I see no houses, only mountains and trees. Also hawks and buzzards and jays and dragonflies and — on closer examination — lizards and beetles the size of your fist.

Twice, we have spotted up close (close enough to give us serious pause) a mountain lion.

But that didn’t happen this day. This day was just the usual, bright sun, blue sky, rolling hills and a small patch of fog sneaking in from the coast.

Then my husband handed me a cup of coffee. If I time it right (and I usually do) he gets to the coffee pot before I do. Somehow it tastes better when he pours it.

Have you ever noticed how the first sip of coffee in the morning can you make you just a little gladder to be alive? I remember, as a child, thinking coffee was nasty. I got over that. Of course I also got over eating mudpies and sticking peas up my nose.

That afternoon, I drove to the village for groceries, dodging on the road the valley’s “rush hour traffic”: a flock of wild turkeys and a herd of mule deer.

It was a warm day, too hot to cook, so I grabbed a ripe avocado, a pint of potato salad, two chunks of grilled salmon and a whole pecan pie.

I love that market, not just for its food, but for the people who work there and the people who shop there, too. They all look happy. No hurries, no worries, no dirty looks for being one item over in the 10 items or less line.

The clerk remembered me and said he liked my new haircut. I plan to shop there more often.

I went home and my husband and I ate dinner on the patio. It was good. Especially the pie.

After dinner, we sat in the glider, gliding to and fro, talking about everything and nothing. The sun set in the west, the moon rose in the east, and the stars filled the heavens like pinpricks on a velvet curtain.

I wish you could’ve seen it.

Then we came inside to watch the baseball game my husband had recorded. We are Giants fans, and this has not been their best year. But they won that game, and a win is a win.

Believe it or not, all those things happened. I’m not making them up. I might have missed them, had I not been paying attention.

I’ve seen days, good and bad. So have you. They aren’t all as pleasant as that one. But it’s worth waking up every morning and taking a look around just to see what will happen next.

Randall is a longtime newspaper columnist who may be contacted at P.O. Box 416, Pacific Grove CA 93950, or via her website, www.sharonrandall.com.

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