Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happiness in Santa Fe...

Last week, I met with a gal who is considering a move to Santa Fe. She lives in Arizona and she is looking to get away from the summer heat, among other things. So I broke out the map and gave her my 10-cent orientation. Then it was question and answer time and the first question was, "Are you happy in Santa Fe?" To which I answered, unconditionally, "yes." Then of course, there was the follow up, "why" ?

I have lived on both coasts, and I can honestly say that Santa Fe is the most nurturing place I have ever experienced. I lived in New Hampshire on and off for 12-years, worked in hospice, served the community as a volunteer in the schools and married a busy surgeon. But my connections were mostly shallow and even though it was a small town, I didn't feel particularly valued or even known.

My favorite sandwich place in Santa Fe is Back Street Bistro. When I walk in, David, the owner, yells out my name and asks me if I'm eating in or out. (I eat at my desk a lot, and his hot pastrami is the best in town, as are his homemade soups.) Then there was the time that Charles, who owns the mail box place where I have a box, stepped out of his shop and stopped traffic for me so I could cross the street with an arm full of mail. There he was in the middle of busy Santa Fe Trail, 6' 3" tall, arms out-stretched. My days are often populated by these little acts that bring joy to my life.

Then there are the slightly less mundane situations, like five trips to the ER in the last few years. We have a new ER here and as you can imagine, we are somewhat discriminating about health care services. But the broken nose, kidney stones and skin hives were all handled quickly and with good care.

And last, we are enjoying a rewarding and active social life. Politics, religion, animal-welfare, the environment--whatever your interest, we have a group for you.