We're back home, to a clean house, a trimmed yard, a stocked refrigerator thanks to wonderful neighbors and friends who got together and prepared this lovely welcome for us.
Port Orford is a small town, a thousand people or so, half of whom are part-timers. Those of us who live here all year long have become accustomed to each other's rhythm, each other's special circumstances. On a second's notice, my neighbor Joyce and Jo coordinated the upkeep of my empty house, the maintenance of our gardens, the stocking of the refrigerator.
Dragging ourselves in last week, after 800+ miles of traveling with a caged cat who didn't enjoy the trip at all, we were tired, hungry, overwhelmed, expecting to find a weedy yard, dead plants, a messy house we had left when we rushed down to Long Beach after getting a 911 call from the sheriff's office in Fullerton where our son had been a victim of a homicide.
But, I knew that about Port Orford.
What I didn't know and didn't expect was the enormous amount of love and neighborliness Long Beach and Los Angeles showed us. People came to work on the garden and the house from miles away, day after day. Neighbors brought food and tools, put up with noise and constant crowds. They eased our pain with grace and consideration. The people on Terrace Drive were enormously congenial. Even when we blocked their driveways to accommodate trucks delivering sand and amendments, neighbors jumped in to help unload.
I'm still wrapping my head around last month's events. I'm still in shock in so many ways. But, I want to tell the world that we humans can be most human to one another in our gravest times, in the times that count the most.
So, thank you Port Orford.
Most grateful to you, Long Beach.
Thank you Fullerton's Sheriff's Department.
Gratitude to the people of L3, the company Brian worked at for their generous and heartfelt support.