After Frank died, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. The house was quiet and lonely with no one to talk to. Friends were faithful, but there were many quiet hours alone. Then, through a friend of a friend, I met Valerie. She’d come out from Ohio after retiring from the post office and was looking for housing. Her daughter lives here in Pt. Loma. She’d hoped for an apartment, but rates being at an all time high, that seemed out of the question. We liked each other right away. She’s an open, energetic person who likes to laugh. And anyone who likes to play Scrabble has got to be a great person, right? She has a little one-eyed Shih Tzu named Punkin’, evidently born on Halloween! He is five and gets along well with my Chessie, who is a shepherd mix, now over 15. Chessie actually tries to play with him and looks for him when his mistress takes him with her somewhere. Valerie is a talented artist and paints sometimes during the service at her church. The paintings for Palm Sunday and Easter were amazing. She is working with a non-profit group who wants to build modular homes for the homeless. The Mayor’s office and other agencies are looking at this and her group is working hard to arrange funding. It’s a great idea, and provides very reasonable housing. The problem is the land to build the modular community on. If it comes together for her, which I hope it does, I realize she will probably want to have her own place again. I know I would. Condensing your belongings to a bedroom and some storage places in the garage isn’t too satisfying. I know one day she will go, but for now, it’s nice to have a special friend nearby.