Friday, Feb. 8, marked three years since Will Johnson, my husband and partner in life, and I were in a bad car accident at the beginning of our return to Idyllwild on Highway 74.

Suffice it to say, Will was in Desert Regional Hospital for three weeks, and I for six weeks, recovering from injuries. At home, we were like two children left to cope in the aftermath.

If it hadn’t been for friends and the friends of friends who came out in what seemed like multitudes, we would have had to spend our recovery “off the Hill” in a rehabilitation facility.

So many people volunteered to bring us dinners that one person needed to volunteer as a scheduler.

Another friend came three times a week to attend to my personal needs, as I was helpless, wearing what is lovingly called a halo, which encased and immobilized my head and neck for three months.

Friends not only brought meals, but stayed to eat with us and brought us the outside world we so sorely needed.

Local Color came and serrenaded us. Another person “baby-sat” me when Will had medical appointments.

A myriad of little and large things that we couldn’t do for ourselves, including taking care of our dog, who received a lovely long vacation, courtesy of Doug and Scott, owners of Mountain Harvest (who even brought Larkin to the hospital to visit me).

The point I wish to make is that volunteers in Idyllwild come in many forms. Not all of us participate in helping by attending meetings and/or sitting on community boards. Many of us support organizations with time and money that are even outside of the confines of Idyllwild.

Some of us volunteer the way that we were served when our needs were great: people just simply came to our aid.

As we age here, such help as Will and I received under dire circumstances will become more vital to helping to maintain our independence as elder folk here on the Hill.

With this letter, I acknowledge the beginning of our fourth bonus year and am grateful to everyone who touched our lives in large and small ways through that long first year of my recovery.

Lorel Cornman