We have just spent an incredible week with a pair of friends we've known since high school. They flew from the warmth of Southern Cal to the frigid cold of New Hampshire to visit. Actually, they lucked out. The weather, hitherto in the single digits, had hit the high twenties/low thirties by the time they arrived and stayed that way their entire visit. My friend from high school is an avid skiier, as is my husband. I no longer ski because I need a knee replacement and his wife doesn't either. Soooo, the menfolk went skiing almost every day and we shopped, read our books, went out to eat, etc. Every night we'd have bottles of nice wine and laugh and feel like we did when we were sixteen, except for our aches and pains. The wine did much to kill the aches and pains however. The most interesting part of their trip came when we'd take a drive and listen to their comments about our part of the world. They loved the cozy quaint towns, the "charming" architecture, the unspoiled beauty of the White Mountains, the lovely old churches, the cool shoppes, etc. My husband and I saw our own world through our friends and it was a, pardon the pun, eye-opener.
We all take for granted the things we have and the beauty we see when we see it every day. I remember when I was young, single and living in San Diego near Mission Bay, I would drive to work each morning along the water and think "I am the luckiest person in the world!" I remember thinking that when I lived in Richmond, Va. and would travel to D.C. on business and pass all the great monuments, federal buildings, memorials, etc. I remember thinking that when my children were small. I remember thinking that when I moved here. I remember telling myself I would never take it for granted. But I do.
I woke up this morning and the sun was shining on the snow and the temperature, though frigid, seemed less daunting and I felt energy I hadn't felt in a long while. I think the visit my friends paid us did that for me. And, boy, am I grateful.