Recently I did something that’s had a lot of people in my life scratching their heads (including me): I bought a house in a VERY small town in the mountains of Colorado.

I did it to be closer to some people I love. My partner Benjamin died last May, and his 9-year-old twin boys and their family are here. My bestie Nance lives nearby, too. The house is beautiful, with a stunning view of the mountains from the kitchen window.

The other day I was standing there admiring the view when I watched a man in a black cowboy hat stride into my yard through a gate in the back fence.

Now, I’ve spent most of my adult life in New York City, Boulder, and the San Francisco Bay area. When a man you don’t know walks into your yard, it’s not assumed to be a good thing. So I crept around the perimeter of the house, spying on him from window to window, simultaneously indignant and petrified.

I finally saw him go into a shed at the side of the house. That was too much. I burst through the side door, intending to order him off my property.

But when it came down to it, all I could come up with was an accusatory “Hello?”

The startled cowboy popped his head out of the shed. “You must be the new owner!” As he came toward me I saw he had something silver in his hand.

A can of cat food.

This rugged, wind-whipped cowboy was coming over to feed the barn cat that lives under my house.

A cat I would soon discover was both “a real good mouser” and, apparently,mine.

Here’s to unexpected surprises for us all during this holiday week.

Love + Books,
Kelly

This past week as I drove from California to Colorado, I was listening to a fascinating book about how the human mind works.

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert basically explains all the ways we human beings are completely, utterly wrong about ourselves.

We behave differently than we think we will. We remember having felt things in the past that we didn’t actually feel. And we have ideas about how we’ll feel in the future that rarely track to reality.

I don’t know about you, but I found this to be super funny. Also, it felt oddly hopeful to me: We don’t really know how we’re going to react to certain circumstances, so we don’t have tobehave the way we expect to behave.

This affirmed my ongoing practice of letting Life lead the way. It’s an easier way to live if you ask me.

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (Vintage, 2007)