My friend went back to Seattle yesterday after three packed days of visiting me. We talked and told old stories and mentally revisited Hawaii together.
As we drove around the murky lake we talked about her love of surfing and how she misses having a place to surf right outside her front door. The endless flat of the landscape made us both miss our lush, green mountains.
But I was able to share our interesting architecture with her, buildings you’d never see in Hawaii. It was a delightfully special time together ended way to fast.

After dropping her off at the Appleton airport I went to the farmer’s market to volunteer with Rotary. Nothing helps me feel better than volunteering and taking the opportunity to remember that there is always someone worse off than me.

I put on my white apron and pulled a large wagon filled with totes walking to the far end of the market and began asking vendors if they would like to donate any leftover produce to Shared Harvest so that we could take it to the food bank where those in need could pick up more than packaged foods.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted and curled on the sofa to take a much-needed rest. My little dog sat next to me and began licking my hand before jumping onto the sofa and curling near my feet. As I rubbed his fur with my bare feet I began to calm. My light depression brought on by realizing this is a permanent move and I’m not ever moving back to Hawaii began to recede. Hearing his content breathing paired with the tiny nose whistle brought me such comfort. I thought of what I do have versus what I have lost.

Dogs are pretty darned special. They know exactly what we need when our days are a little off or our world is in freefall. They can’t put any more money into our bank accounts or get us that much-needed raise or fix family problems. But life is more liveable with a dog who loves us.

My friend talked a lot during our too-brief time together but the most profound conversation is always with my dog. All I have to do is to listen.