Our little St. George neighborhood is rapidly becoming a ghost town. The snowbirds are fleeing north. One is off to Chicago, two to Minnesota. One to northern Minnesota where he harvests the beautiful diamond willow that he uses to make walking sticks like the one I got from him. One to Montana. One to western Wyoming where the snow is still piled up. One to the northern Michigan peninsula. The very one who cooked the corned beef for the annual St. Paddie's dinner. Several to various places in northern Utah. This time of year the I-15 corridor from St. George to points north has a steady procession of fifth wheels, pickup trucks, and cars with Alberta Canada license plates, heading home to keep the legal requirements met for Canadian health insurance. Winters were spent in Arizona, Nevada, and southern Utah. Our last little neighborhood potluck dinner was thinly populated, with only about 22 people to share the best of the best that people cooked and brought to the dinner.
We always have mixed feelings about fleeing the cold of the north in late fall and leaving the impending furnace level temperatures here in St. George in the summer. We love St. George after spending parts of each year here for nearly 20 years. We love the peace and quiet, the red rock cliffs, the brilliant sunsets, the absence of snow and ice. The town has drastically changed in character, spreading in all directions in the 20 years we have been here. Shopping areas, restaurants, and all kinds of business have sprouted up everywhere. We love our doctors, hospitals, clinics, and health care facilities in St. George. Our neighbors are solicitous, loving, and caring, all looking out for each other. Even now, we have one person in the neighborhood recuperating from complex back surgery, one with pancreatic cancer, one with lymphoma, several virtually immobile from chronic pain, and a multitude of other miseries and health problems.
The general attitude here is that we never give up, we go to the doctor's, we go to the cancer infusion centers, we go to the pain clinics, we take our wheeled walkers and our peg leg walkers and our oxygen tanks and many grimace with pain each step they take, the pain sending wrinkles of anxiety down stretched cheeks and sometimes teary eyes. We inevitably lose mates occasionally, ripping the souls and life sustaining forces out of us, and yet we go on. The words are optimism. Hope. Tomorrow. Love. I brought you a plate of brownies. What can I do to help you. Faith. Prayer. We'll check on you. The most precious gift each of us has is today. Today is the only certainty we have. And when we wake in the morning, we will have tomorrow. And it will either be raining or cloudy or sunny but the birds will be singing loudly at 5:00 a.m., the waning moon will be falling in the western sky over Utah Hill, and we will have the daily papers with the comics and crossword puzzles and sports scores and life will go on. For another day, our prayers are answered.