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Today I spoke with our neighbors-to-be. They were warm and engaging and welcoming. We were delighted.

When we lost the house to the wildfire last year we did not lose the people from our neighborhood. It had not occurred to me what that would be like. It would have been horrible.

Talking with our new neighbors reminded me that a home has three components: the land, the structure and the people around it. I had not factored in the people. So, after a year focused on my house, I have come to learn that I only got it right by the structure and the land.

I did think about who our neighbors might be, or more what they might be but we only talked to a few people. Certainly it was not enough talking to give us a sense of who our neighbors might be. In one of the areas across the multiple towns we considered, we decided right off that the area was not for us. It was was situated on the most beautiful land and the houses were gorgeous with sublime landscape. I saw a golf cart drive by with the stereotypical older men casually dressed (e.g. tummies with shirttails hanging out, etc) and in that cart were perfectly dressed young women. They were manicured, botoxed and not a hair was out of place. Even with household help I would never be that thin. This was not a place for us.

So off to the mountains where people chop their own wood we go. When we finish the fire abatement work and remove all of the dangerous fuel for fires we will have all the wood we need to chop for years. Maybe with all the chopping I will be that thin after all. Still, if I’m not, that is just OK by me.