By Sandy Dale
   Here in Colorado we joke about the weather…you don’t like it? Wait five minutes.
   Sometimes that’s funny, sometimes not, like when you are painting in the mountains on one of those golden late fall days. It’s warm, it’s beautiful and there’s one tiny black cloud way over there on the horizon. Suddenly, you are trying to find anything to cover your poor soaked body as the rain and sleet turn to wet, heavy snow. Just as you reach your car, there is a fabulous double rainbow arching over the aspens. I suppose it is a cliché to mention life is like that. (I also suppose that is the meaning of cliché as this kind of thing happens more often than not.)
   If we think back to something bad happening in our lives, an expectation not met, or some other major disappointment, we remember how awful it was. We don’t remember that, not too long after, something good happened or after a time our life changed for the better. Another door opened. (Sorry, another cliché.)
   As I write this, mid-term elections are coming up. By the time you get this paper, the results will be known. You will either be elated, or devastated. You will gloat or pout. (Me, too, of course.) As I write, no one knows what will happen. Who will win or lose? There is only one thing certain…change. No matter who wins the election, or what the weather is.
   Even in our sleepy little town of Florence, things change. Our wonderful Fox Den of Antiquity closed and our True Value moved from the middle of town to the east end…but…our Quincy’s Steak House expanded and a great consignment shop moved into the old True Value. There are rumors of several shops moving or closing and signs of new stores opening. I can remember when the grocery store moved into their big new store at the edge of town and the drug store closed. In their places, Willie’s Antiques, one of our finest stores and our great little library…so…I will try not to worry about changes.
   I have feared change most of my life, but as I get old I am a little better at acceptance. To change what I can, accept what I can’t and to know the difference. (Sorry, another cliché.)
   Since it is the time of year to be thankful (of course, any time of year is a good time to be thankful), I plan to be grateful for all the crappy things that have brought me to this wonderful point in my life and to this great little town. Come visit us here in Florence and see what I mean. Also, remember to holiday shop at your small local merchants. You will save mucho buckos on shipping and have way more fun.

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