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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Gratitude, Happiness, Peace

Forgive me: I'd like to wax a bit eloquent tonight.

It's 1:20 as I begin to write this post. "What, on earth, am I doing up at this hour," you may ask?!

Well, I just got home from a day in the big city of Duluth. A day I didn't remember I'd be spending there until late yesterday afternoon when today's dental appointment FORTUNATELY (and very randomly) popped into my brain. Fast forward past 7 hours of driving, 2 hours of drilling, a few errands, and lots of deer-dodging, and here I am! (Yes, in pain, thank you for asking!) So, I am putting off blessed sleep another 1/2 hour or so in favor of some "coming down" time aided by an apple martini!

But, I regress: back to the gratitude, happiness, and peace to which I previously alluded. Returning home after an evening visiting two separate groups of friends Saturday night (and then, again, for me tonight), Tom and I have been struck by - despite the extra time required to drive home now that we live in the boondocks - HOW MUCH we love living way the heck out here!

Beginning at the farm where I was (south of Duluth) before starting the trek home tonight, it was a 3 1/2 (+) hour trip home. Was I tired? Yes. Did I wish we lived closer to town so that the drive wasn't as long? Not . . . one . . . bit!!!

For the last 16 miles, I didn't see a vehicle. I didn't see a person. I DID see a beautiful black bear and lots of piles of fresh poop in the middle of the road! (Why do the wild animals always seem to save it in the summer for deposit where we're sure to see it? Must have something to do with territorialism [is that a word?] . . . or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about - that's very possible, too!)

Anyway, then, when I pulled up in front of the garage and got out of the car, I saw nothing but millions of stars overhead and scores of lightning bugs around me. I smelled early summer's nighttime air. I heard a songbird call out in the middle of the night. I heard contended clucks and murmurs from the direction of the chicken coop. I saw an entirely self-supported, off-grid, independent solar electrical system read 'FULL' from the day's sun.

When I walked into the house, I smelled fresh cedar and pine. I saw the new doors on the kitchen pantry, the downstairs bathroom, and my office that Tom had previously built and then installed tonight after he got home from a hard day at work.

Now tonight (yikes - this morning!) - when I go up to bed - I will lay on my stomach and look out our bedroom window and see . . . nothing. No streetlights, no house lights, not a single man-made ANYTHING. If the moon was out, I'd see the top two-thirds of the trees we look out into from our 2nd story bedroom window. I'd see the river reflecting the moon's glow down in the valley.

I'd see . . . our life.

And we wouldn't change it for anything.

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