When Nina and I moved to Ashland, Ore., after having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 34 years, we knew very few people. We had gotten to know the innkeepers in whose bed and breakfast we had stayed during our monthly visits to check on the progress of the remodel of our home-to-be and we’d come to know a number of the craftspeople who were working on the remodel.

When we did make the move in November 2008, we got more involved with the community, something that was made easier because there are a lot of other people living here who have relocated and many of them previously lived in the Bay Area.

Nina became good friends with Jean Collogne. Jean and her husband, Joe, were very active in the theater community in Ashland. They had met in San Jose, Calif., both having become involved in a community theater there.

For me, Jean and Nina’s friendship was one of the best things about having moved here.

On March 16, Jean died. Nina had spent about 40 minutes on the phone with Jean the day before.

Her death was completely unexpected.

I am grateful that Nina and Jean had the experience of being very good friends and that they both made a point of regularly seeing and being in touch with each another.

Life goes on. For how long? None of us knows. So make the most of it every day. Don’t wait. 

Paul Winans, a veteran remodeler, now works as a facilitator for Remodelers Advantage, and as a consultant to remodeling business owners. Contact him at paul@remodelersadvantage.com.