The wind is howling again. I’m sitting here at 8 pm with wet hair, tempting fate. If the power goes out, I’m in deep weeds courting a cold. I like to live on the edge.

Except, not all that much—living on the edge. Today, with the rain and the wind and the misery, OH MY, I’m not liking on the edge one little bit. There are other edges of the world, edges further South, edges with sun baked sand, warm mostly tropical edges calling my name.

After 2.5 years the novelty of living in the Wild West has worn off. December damned us all, I tell you. That’s a month I don’t want to relive—and I bet if the Baby Jesus had any idea it was going to be hell month, he would have been born in March. It’s not that I’m completely discontent here–because I’m not. It’s that my heart isn’t in the rain and the wind and the misery. It’s really not in the fact I can’t get a freakin’ contractor to come out and fix my roof. Which has caused us to coin a new phrase— every time we bump into another one of Astoria’s idiosyncrasies, IZ and I look at each other and say, “What are you gonna do? Freakin’ Astoria.”

It’s like that. And that’s the way it is.

But then there are moments. Standing on my tangy porch in the darkness of December ending, listening to an orchestra of ships sing in the New Year. Wind howling, blowing through my thin sweater, chilling me to the bone, and a warm arm around my shoulders. A crowded river on a clear night, the town a natural amphitheater, listening to a score that could only be written for a New Year. It could be a Dvorak symphony, this odd harmony floating up from the water. Everything glistening new. Everything promising hope. In that moment, all is well.

The trick is stringing those moments together. . . until I don’t have to any more.