“I had a hunch you were Minnesotan,” I told her, “you kind of give off that vibe, the way you take forever to say goodbye at the door. And I’ve never seen you wear a coat, ever. Even in chilly weather like this!”

“You got me,” she said with an exaggerated wink, “I was born and grew up in a small town near Litchfield. Population 60, can you imagine that? Moving to Seattle was a huge deal for me. I had never even lived on my own before.”

“Why’d you move?”

A pause.

“Heartbreak. It was 30 years ago. I was trying to get over a heartbreak.”

“Oh.”

“I just really wanted to go somewhere else and be on my own. Just me and my two cats.”

“How did you choose Seattle?”

“Well, they told me nature was good for healing. Seattle had the mountains and the ocean—neither of which I had seen before. I told myself that’s what I needed.”

“What about the rain? Didn’t that bother you?”

“Oh honey, the rain was the biggest draw,” she said with a watery smile, “Everyone warned me about the rain but I thought, all the better. No one would know when I was crying.”

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