Do you ever get overwhelmed with gratitude, with the feeling that you must be the luckiest person in the world? Followed, of course, by the feeling that you don’t deserve it, but let’s focus on the positive.

It started on July 4th; a great parade in a great town in a great state in a great country. I am so grateful to live in a country that has a First Amendment and not an anti-blasphemy law, where you don’t get locked up for lobbying to change how our government operates, where members of the opposition party don’t disappear. And I am grateful to those who have given so much to our country as exemplified by the Honor Guard in the parade.

As a recent transplant to California, I am proud and happy to live in a place that values the environment —can you imagine what the air in our country would look like had not California worked so hard to restrict automobile admissions? No state is perfect, and criticizing state governments is the real national pastime (sorry, baseball), but, with all of its problems, I can certainly assure you that California is a big step up from Kansas.

What I feel most fortunate about is waking up every morning next to the most wonderful woman in the world, one who radiates internal and external beauty, who has an inexhaustible capacity to love. Were we in Siberia she would make it seem like Shangri-La, but being in Idyllwild with her fills me with indescribable joy. I am also blessed with two amazing sons and their families. All of you grandparents can appreciate the delight I take in my granddaughters. But, on to Idyllwild.

We stumbled across Idyllwild years ago and fell in love at first sight, often a recipe for disaster; thankfully, not for us. We could see that Idyllwild was beautiful but little did we know…

It would unfold before us as we discovered all the amazing things it has to offer: great restaurants, great music, great galleries, great shops, Idyllwild Arts, the Town Crier, the Summer Concerts, Lily Rock. People: They take a little longer to get acquainted with, but they make all the great things work. There may be a more interesting, decent and gracious group of people in some other town, but certainly not in a town of 3,500. From kindergarten students to Ph.D.s, from restaurant servers to attorneys, from artists to business owners, from retired soldiers to firefighters, you can’t walk down the street and not run into someone who will make your day better, just by being here.

So, thank you, Idyllwild, for being here and being what and who you are. I hope my words will get readers to reflect on some of the good things in your life, especially if you are fortunate enough to live in this paradise like I am. I love being here with you.

Dr. Kluzak, an Idyllwild resident, is board certified in Anatomic Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also is a freelance photographer for the Town Crier.