Category: Best Friend Page 1 of 2

Best Witches

Boundaries blurred

Whispers heard

Be mindful of your spoken word

Let not intention be recanted

From seeds once planted

Requests be granted

Equals only be enticed

Review the guest list once or twice

Then light the candles

And fire up the blender

‘Tis no better night for wishes rendered!

Charity Begins At Home

Watch yourself, sister.

Should you dismiss that vaguely familiar shitty feeling once again, your role in this recurring drama is destined to continue indefinitely.

Hold still for a moment.

Take an objective view of the scenario that you have found yourself drawn into.

Notice anything?

Ah, there it is.  Now you see it.

It is painfully obvious that once again you are the

Last

One

Standing

While everyone else has abandoned the one who is in constant need.

Again.

Positioning yourself for sainthood, are you? :)

Or, perhaps you are simply afraid to be perceived as heartless, selfish, merciless.  Perhaps you are blindly committed to live up to someone’s definition of a true friend.

And yet if this behavior is so noble, why do you experience a feeling of doom whenever this one particular name appears on your caller i.d.?

I’ll tell you why.

It is because without even having to retrieve the message, you already know that it will contain yet another desperate plea for salvation from her perpetual hell.

You realize that you are ultimately unable to save her from a world that she has deemed unjust, but you have dutifully continued in your attempt to assuage her hopeless saga.  You provide comfort when there is no one else she can turn to, compassion when there is no one else who can understand her struggle, and assurance when there is no one else remaining to answer her cry for help.

When did that stop feeling rewarding for you?

When did that start to feel shitty?

Was it last week?  Last month?  Last year?  Or was it during one of the several million times before this when you answered her call to no avail?

And now here you are.

Again.

There has been no change in her dire circumstances.  There has been no change in her perception of the world.  There has been no change in her inclination to drain the energy from the resources of your open heart.

Change, my friend, has at long last come for you.

I commend you on your willingness to recognize the unsettling sense of futility you experience every time you answer her call.  Fearless inventory of your emotional response is a testament to the decision to be true to yourself.  When it comes to a chronic friend-in-need, ‘tough love’ may be a theory that offers self-preservation for a so-called savior; and yet the practice of said theory can be heart-wrenching.  When you are conflicted with your obligation as a dutiful friend, only you can determine the best course that will provide inner peace throughout your continued expansion.

Congratulations, sister.  To walk away is often the simplest way to say “I love you.”

Crazy For You

I wonder if I might pose the question, “What is love?” without prompting a slight gag reflex in either of us?

A smirk?  A roll of the eyes?

C’mon, Jill.

It is possible to address the subject of love seriously.

A practical witch will gladly remove a firmly-placed tongue from the cheek to explore all energy forms that are available for our human use.

After all, love is energy.

…And what is a blog maintained to ‘encourage the individual creation of the best life experience’ if it does not include the topic of love, itself?

This is my one-hundred-and-fiftieth post.  ‘Love’ seems fitting.

I love this site.  I love our visits.  I love the opportunity to continue sharing my words here.

It is easy and natural to love things. It is just as easy not to.

It is when we express our love for people that the energy of love is often transformed into a complex formula of highly emotional extremes.

In its purest form, love simply exists.  Divine nature does not complicate, much less care about that which we make such a fuss over in our physical realm.

It is only in our human existence that we use direct experience to assign our understanding and predictions toward love.  We have all sorts of ideas about it, too.

We love our kids, of course.  There are days we don’t like them so much, but our expression of unconditional love remains pure.

Every parent I know would not hesitate to “lay down their life for their children.”  This edict can sometimes be misinterpreted by parents who may experience a potentially harmful “forgetfulness” toward attending to their own life.  It happens.  A timely reclaiming of self-love allows for a healthy recovery when desired.

I should move on, but I want to note here that there is not one mother I know who appreciates the term “doting,” particularly when it is suggested by someone who is not a parent.  We’re not stupid.  We know that neglecting our own desires could naturally escalate throughout the temporary life-on-hold requirements of motherhood.

This side-effect, along with the six-million other potential aspects of parenting, are always best left for an individual to figure out for themselves, in their own time, when the necessary precautions may eventually be discovered for the sake of sanity.

So for those of you who don’t have kids…Just shut-up, already:)

Not exactly a lot of love in the above statement, but it does provide a smooth segue to the next subject regarding love as shared among our family and friends.

“I love you” is too often such a loaded statement.

Overuse between friends and family members have relegated these three powerful words to insubstantial status, as if it were a mere closing to every casual conversation.

Too bad, too.  There are some of us who really mean it.

Perhaps due in part to the “free love” movement, there are undertones of uncomfortable misinterpretations that are sometimes associated with the expression of love.  These underlying notions are often relieved by those who will substitute the written word “ya” for “you.”  We’re not sure why, but we know that a non-committal “love ya!” automatically eliminates any creepy factors that may be associated with a rather bold declaration of “I love you.”

To avoid potential blathering, I will refrain from any further discussion regarding the expression of love as it relates to a spouse or significant other.  Romantic love and the nature of our intimate relationships comprise an entire category of human experience with trust that may be best left to another post, another day.

I began writing this musing with the intention of sharing a perspective toward the energy of love that may (or may not) be of appeal to one who wishes to ‘play’ with the potential of natural forces among us.

It is a simple approach, really.

In silence and to yourself, whisper the words “I love you” to those whom you choose.

So what if it’s the guy behind the counter at the 7-11?  It doesn’t have to mean “I want to jump your bones” or anything.  Unless, of course, you do.  Get your mind out of the gutter, people!

I am merely offering a suggestion to play with, and enjoy, the potential energy of love.

Silently addressing a fellow human being of your choosing with the words “I love you” can be an amazing experience.  When spoken sincerely within, there is a gentle summoning of the purest vibration.  Weary and overladen misconceptions surrounding love are not present.  The natural rhythm of well-being is permitted to move freely, and most assuredly serves to open your heart, if not that of your unsuspecting subject.

We could always use a little more of that:)

Wash Away My Sins

I don’t like to drink water.  It’s so… blah.

Durwood routinely stands at our kitchen sink to draw a large glass of filtered water for himself.  He ceremoniously ingests the contents of his glass with such pomp and circumstance, you would think he were partaking in the nectar of the gods.  I just don’t see the appeal.

Apparently, we are supposed to drink LOTS of water for optimum health.  Everyone says so.

I used those flavor-enhancing packets for awhile.  I bought into the marketing campaign that offers a convenient and tasty way to satisfy my proper daily water requirements.  Those little packets are really cute, and there is an entire aisle-full of flavors to choose from.

In the end, it’s still just water.  I would really rather have a diet Mountain Dew.  I can suck on the ice cubes from the glass.  I also consume several servings of coffee throughout the day, and there’s some water in that, right?

When I woke up this morning, it was immediately clear to me that this would be our last day of the 2010 calendar year to visit.  We made it through this interesting and strange-as-shit year, my friend!

Smoking in the house be damned.  After the last few weeks of what any self-respecting, thin-blooded Floridian would consider “wicked freezing”…it is thankfully warm enough to throw open the outside doors, grab my smokes and a beverage, and sit down to chat with you.

(Don’t snicker, my fine frozen comrades of the North.  I was “one” of you long enough to appreciate your seasonal experience.   Weather conditions are subject to one’s relative perception.  I’m just grateful to be relieved of the annual windshield-scraping chore.  I can say that I barely minded the last 23 sweltering summers I endured to reach this pleasant state of mind.  Want to complain about the cold up north?  I will relay similar horror stories about the heat.  As in hell.)

We need water.

This past year, we have relied on the element of fire to dispose of our unwanted baggage. We used everything from our ashtrays to our backyard bale fires to relegate our undesirable experiences to the past.  From ashes to ashes, we transformed our old energy levels to reflect more of who we are, and who we want to be.  We have used fire to successfully carve a wide-open avenue for us to expand our creative potential.

For 2011, I am switching to water.  Now that we have successfully navigated through some of the most wretched funk periods of 2010, it is time to relax in the current of the massive tide of abundant blessings that each of us have created for ourselves.

(I know how much you hate hearing this overused adage, Elle, but water will allow us to finally “go with the flow.”)

The moon is in its final days of waning.  It is the last day of the year.  A bee just flew through the door and landed on my computer screen.  The bee provides additional confirmation that the time to move in the direction of our dreams is here.

How much water can I drink?  If that is my only concern, then I know life is good.  There’s always the ice in my glass of Mountain Dew.

I will work on my water intake.  While I am honing my drinking skills, I will mark all subsequent new moon phases with deliberate focus on other practical external cleansing methods.  The availability of water is abundant.

Our septic field may be currently overtaxed,  but this recent development has not infringed upon my bathing habits.  I love to shower.  I get some of my best ideas while I’m in there.  When the moon is waning, I will take the opportunity to consciously send all my residual funk right down the drain.

Lest we forget how much we love a cool body of water, as well!  From the swimming pool to the ocean, one can get an amazingly clear perspective while immersed in, floating on, or traveling through any-sized body of water.

We have the next few days of this holiday weekend to finalize our current disposal list of 2010.  Whatever it is you feel remains, now is the time to slough it off for good.  If you miss anything this weekend, the next new moon is only 28 days away.

Drink the water.  Shower in it, play in it, and rinse any remaining aspects-of-old down the drain as often as you choose throughout this new year.

Separately, alone, and together, we have created an infinite realm of potential experiences in our near future.  Like a symphony of endless choice, our desired journeys lie before us on this magnificent day.  I appreciate the chance to continue my visits with you, my dear friend, and I look forward to another fruitful year of true magic.

Be true to yourself, always:)  Love, Jillian

Restart Required

It often takes a lifetime of mediocrity before a human being is able to recognize their own inner voice.  This is the voice that remains consistent and true.  It fills the human heart with the assurance that all is well, and it reminds us that we are far more powerful than we can ever think we are.

Too bad we cannot always hear this inner voice.

Too bad we prefer that our life seem much more complicated than that.

Remember those big, deep breaths that we are reminded to take?  Sometimes it takes about forty-nine thousand of those before your inner voice becomes loud and clear.

Then there may be other moments in our lives when it will take at least forty-nine thousand more of those big, deep breaths before an actual connection with the inner voice is realized.

Since something so simple cannot be readily understood without the human illusion of complexity, there may be many more of these deep and significant breaths required to drown out the perceived influence of other human beings.

Until we feel confident in our decision to listen to what this source of divine energy is saying, we may need to inhale and exhale at least forty-nine thousand times more.

Bound by the physical properties of space and time, the ability to listen to our divine source of infinite intelligence can take anywhere from two weeks to fifty years before the simple message of well-being becomes your truth.

And even then, it may take over forty-nine thousand more deep breaths to live it.

Just keep breathing, my friend.

People Person

Unless it is my idea, I find that I am no longer a fan of impromptu and spontaneous social gatherings.  On the other hand, I am not particularly fond of planned affairs, either.  I wasn’t always like this.  I still like people, and I cherish good company.  Perhaps it is just the ‘treacherous’ factor that kicks in with age, but it seems that I have become rather particular about the quality of time that I spend with others.

I wouldn’t describe my behavior as anti-social.  If you read Coffee and Comfort, you might know that it is impossible for me to refrain from social interaction, particularly when I am in the public realm.  I like people.  I just don’t see myself having a cup of coffee with the guy who sold me a can of paint at Lowe’s any time soon.

I think that I was almost forty years old before I gave myself permission to not answer the phone every time that it rang.  This liberating notion led to the discovery that I did not have to respond to every single inquiry that was made of me, either.  Interrogating remarks, threatening forecasts, and demanding innuendos that were left on my voice mail (even when delivered under the guise humor) became the basis upon which I made my decision to return a call.  Naturally, this seemed to be a popular development with certain members of my extended family, and a few acquaintances, as well.

“What is wrong with you, Jill?!  You never answer your phone!  What are you so busy doing that you can never call me?!”

Yeah.  Those are the phone calls that you just cannot wait to return.

I reevaluated the significance of my relationships to focus on the depth and quality of a mutual exchange.  My criteria was simple.  Unless there was a life was in peril, I would return phone calls of a social nature when I wanted to.

What a novel idea!  Choosing to visit with people because I wanted to enjoy their company, as opposed to carrying out a perceived obligation that I should, had opened a whole new operating system for me.  Old friends, new friends, and soon-to-be-discovered friends could now flow freely in and out of my experience.  Once I decided that mutually beneficial exchanges will comprise the majority of my interactions, the quality and timing of all social engagements seemed to fall into place naturally.

(Almost as if it were magic!)

So, what is wrong with Jill?  I suppose it now depends on whom you ask…:)

Scavenger Hunt

I started writing this blog for myself.  I wanted to read something that would address some of my ongoing questions concerning the REAL journey through life.  After spending many hours perusing the Internet for relevant information, my desire for sparkling insight remained unsatisfied.  I wanted more.

Fellow mom blogs are fun, worthy, and full of practical advice, but I am way past the perky stage.  Knowing what may have transpired in the pick-up line at school, and what clever fare may have been packed in the lunch box are familiar anecdotes for millions of moms who are in the midst of full-time parenting.  It is a non-stop, often thankless job that requires some sense of fellowship just to preserve our sanity.  However, unless these shared stories reveal a personal insight toward the deeper thoughts and emotions that accompany the journey toward our self-expansion, frequent reading held limited interest for me.

In search of mature discussions involving Universal Truths, I found many blog entries that do offer some basic and useful information.  Although I am interested in individual interpretations and practical methods toward living your dreams, I really do not want to implement nine-hundred steps, or purchase a recommended program that claims to guarantee my results.  I know that the Law of Attraction is in place for every human being, but I do not want a 5,000 page workbook on how to use it properly.  After 50 years of exploring the potential of Divine Source within,  I prefer an elegantly simple and relevant reminder of Who I Am.  I want to be able to laugh, enjoy, and embrace the elements of an ongoing journey.  I practice it.  Studying it just feels like too much damn work:)

I found other blogs that delve so deeply into the complexities of spiritual enlightenment that I felt dazed and confused.  These are the essays that I would read for a few paragraphs, attempt to hang in there for several more, and eventually stop somewhere around the tenth paragraph, shake my head, and ask, “What? What the hell are they talking about?”

I appreciate a mystical and cosmic theory, and I am particularly fond of an over-analytical brain.  I do, however, still consider myself a resident of planet earth.

Fellow witch blogs are fun, worthy, and full of practical insight.  I love and honor my Sisters in Wicca, but I wanted something more.

Selfishly, I started writing this blog six months ago so that I would have something suitable to read:)

If you have been visiting with me for awhile, or if this is the first time that I have the pleasure of holding your attention, let me take this moment to remind you of Who You Are.

You are a beautiful and Divine being.  You are The Splendid Creator of your physical experience.  You are the One That You Have Been Waiting For!

All the answers to all the questions that you have ever had about your life, your purpose, your path, and your enlightenment are within you.  You know this stuff already!  You are remembering what you already know in the Divine order that you are artfully allowing to be revealed throughout your earthly existence.

I continue to write for the purpose of encouraging you to seek your Truth.  I honor you, and I respect the unique journey that you are choosing in order to live your heart’s desire.  I wish to remind you not only of Who You Are, but of Who You Can Become.  You are the only Witch that can make it Work the Best for you:)

If you have ever entertained a inner desire for a deeper connection with your Divine Source, it is a natural human response to seek inspiration and confirmation from our fellow beings.  I welcome you to visit the website You Are God Also and enjoy the message of remembrance that Jean Tinder offers all of us in her elegant Creator Cards:)  Enjoy!

You Are God Also

Don’t Ask

Some things are better left unsaid.

Most of us have heard this many times throughout our lives.  Sage advice reminds us to keep our mouth shut in order to avoid potentially offensive words toward our fellow human beings.  It would be prudent for us to consider the same sentiment regarding the process of creation.  Being privy to the heart’s desire of someone who has shared their dreams with us is an invitation to proceed respectfully.

Creators get excited about the indications that an intended outcome may manifest in the near future.  Naturally, they want to share this potential development with a fellow human being that is aware of their intended creation.  When time passes and their hopeful prediction has not yet been realized, well-intentioned queries from interested parties are inevitable.  These inquiries can often change the energy pattern by introducing a thread of doubt and quite possibly contribute to the delay.

Of course, we always mean well.  In a situation where we know that a fellow being has started a new business venture, we certainly would like to express our encouragement by asking how things are going.

We might say something like, “Any prospective clients yet?”

Really?

The energy of this form of question is about as helpful as asking a couple who is trying to conceive a child if they are pregnant yet.

I have to remind myself that a good witch is ever mindful of the appropriate time to keep her mouth closed.  Offering silent energy that is loving and supportive toward a fellow being is so much more productive than asking a ridiculous question.  Someone who is in the process of concentrating their intentions toward a desired outcome may already be dealing with their own questions of self-doubt.  The additional energy of a pointless inquiry is never required.

After all, when a friend has trusted me with their dream, I should think that they will be sure to let me know as soon as their dream has come true:)

It’s A Record

Last night I talked on the phone with my cousin Candace for four hours and twenty minutes.

“What do you talk about?” Durwood wants to know.

This can never be explained to a man.  (Particularly one who is a lifetime member of the Man-Talker Association.)  Durwood’s phone conversations are kept to a brief greeting, statements containing five words or less, and responses that are limited to one word remarks.

“Hey, man.  How’s your schedule looking?  Very good.  You on your way?  Oh, yeah, yeah.  I saw it.  Okay, man.  See ya.”

Unless he’s had a few beers, our son Jim is of the same religion.  Whenever I text or chat with him online, I end up writing at least a full sentence or two.  I will be so pleased to get a witty and more-than-five-word reply, that I am inspired to respond with even more sentences.  After all, a mother always appreciates a lively exchange with her son who attends college over one thousand miles from home.

At first, his replies might include more clever insights that are kept to a few concise phrases.  Encouraged by the indication that he is listening to me, I reply with more sentences.  This is about the moment when a rapid decline of interest becomes apparent.  Like his father, he is simply weary of my chattiness, and the one word replies begin to make their appearance.  “Yes” and “okay” are two of his favorites.

My dad, an original Man-Talker himself, smiles proudly when someone mentions any of his fifteen grandchildren.  Mention Jim in his presence, and the sage smile brightens.

With a subtle nod of approval, Dad will remind us that “Still waters run deep.”

This is a sound theory and a beautiful observation.  If this wisdom holds true with Women-Talkers, then Candace and I converse within a deep and rapid-flowing river.

The duration of last night’s phone conversation may not be a record for me.  Besides Candace, I have had more than a few telephone visits of considerable length with my friend Gabrielle and my sister Evie, as well.

Talking on the phone while loading the dishwasher, sorting some laundry, or not having to make excuses when you have to pee are indications that one is totally committed to the conversation.

As unique beings, there are many aspects of our existence that require our individual attention.  We spend time alone to sort out our thoughts, ponder our choices, and adjust the direction of our emotional energy in order to strengthen our personal relationship with Divine Source.  Crafting our deliberate intention to remember Who We Really Are facilitates the outward movement of our spiritual expansion.  An additional connection with a soul sister provides the confirmation and mutual support that fuels this momentum with the most loving and harmonious energy.

Sometimes, my dear husband, this process can take up to four hours:)

Small Town-opoly

DSC07332Helga recently reminded me of the day when I officially removed my token from the Community Gossip board game.  One of our monthly PTA leadership meetings had just adjourned, and the two of us were exiting the conference room to head toward the front office.  We needed to log in our volunteer hours.  Helga and I walked side-by-side as we snaked our way around multiple single-file rivers of children.  Parading streams of students were being led through the school’s main corridor by a teacher holding a clip board.  It was lunch hour, and the shuffle of classes moving to and from the cafeteria was in full swing.  A sporadic symphony of small voices sprang forth from the tributaries of children that were flowing past us.

“Good morning, Mrs. Bean.  Good morning, Mrs. Dodge.”

Southern-bred offspring are well versed in their traditional greeting etiquette.  Most of these kids knew us in our homes as “Miss Jill” and “Miss Helga,” but it appeared that there was an amendment to this constitution that required children to use a formal address of “Mrs. Last Name” when aforementioned adult is met within an official educational environment.

As a former Yankee who had spent the majority of my life in and around a large metropolitan area, most of these traditional regulations were baffling to me.  One aspect of this new environment was familiar.  The procedure by which these rules were presented was much like the method used by the family dynasty in which I was raised.  Unspoken and expected to be understood, it is commonly known as the This-Is-The-Way-We-Do-Things Policy.  It reads something like this:

“If you want to be a part of our group, then you have to do things our way.  If you refuse to comply, or if you are a slow-learner, there will be no forgiveness, and your membership will be revoked.  In this event, you will be required to relinquish any welcoming gifts that we may have initially bestowed upon you, as we do not tolerate any instances in which you may be mistakenly identified as one of us.  In addition, we reserve the right to talk about you, and whisper criticisms amongst ourselves in your presence, once you have been deemed unworthy to join our group.”  I knew the drill.

In the few years since Durwood and I had become active participants in our interrelated PTA and Little League communities, I was getting the hang of most of the expected Southern Manners and Hospitality rules.  It was regarding the Small Town Personal Information Disclosure and Privilege Game in which I appeared to be in the slow-learner category.

Who knew what about who, that was not supposed to know what they knew about another, are supposed to tell you what they think about it, but only if you did not hear it from them, so that you will keep that in mind if you talk to another, or someone who already knows about it, but is not supposed to know.  It was mind-boggling.

I was the newly elected PTA vice-president, serving on a board full of life-long residents whose families have resided here for over a hundred years.  They had been playing a sanctioned game that I did not understand.  I was thirty-some years old, but I felt like the new kid in their high school.

Thankfully, I do not remember the specific details involved with the infraction I had committed during this particular PTA meeting.  Whatever I had said, not said, did, or did not do, had ruffled enough feathers to effectively rescind my invitation to become a member of this exclusive club.

Helga may have been a life-long resident in the community, but she was also my friend.  When the two of us finally arrived at the entrance to the school’s office, she placed her hand upon my shoulder to prevent me from continuing through the door.  With a most sincere expression, Helga confirmed my assessment of the current situation.

“I’m really sorry,” she said.  She lowered her voice, leaned her head toward mine, and spoke to me through her eyebrows. “It would appear that some of us believe that we are still in high school.”

“Or kindergarten,” I thought to myself.

As is typical of my approach to most things, I lack the patience and concern for preparatory instructions.  I have always preferred the ‘jumping in’ tactic over the ‘look-before-you-leap’ philosophy.  Any time that the Bean family has acquired a new board or card game, I limit my procedural review to the fundamentals of “getting started.”  My interest lies only in initial directives.  These may include how many cards to distribute, how to set up the game board and pieces, choosing a token, where to place it, or how to determine who rolls the dice first.  I will then hand the directions to someone else (usually Natalie), and start playing until I need to ask, “Now what?” (in which case, Natalie will have read the pertinent information by then).

Durwood, on the other hand, will insist on reading all of the directions before any participating family member is allowed to touch tokens, cards, or any other accompanying provisions that are included in a newly acquired game.  Once the appropriate set-up has been completed (according to the instructions that Durwood has read first to himself, and then out loud for the rest of us at least a dozen times), he will not validate any attempts at score-keeping until we have played at least one or two practice rounds.   Official play will be allowed to commence after we have exhibited some level of competence and understanding of the game that we are playing.

Had I followed Durwood’s procedure before officially placing my token on the Small Town PTA board game, I may have avoided many of the uncomfortable and confusing situations that I found myself to be in during those first few years of attempting to become an active member in our new community.

Helga, who remains a genuine friend of mine to this day, recalls this one particular PTA meeting as the dawning of her acute awareness of the ongoing game being played among the life-long members of our small town.  Her position on the game board has fluctuated over the years, as she has managed to control the nature of her contributed moves.  She is still looking for a way to get off the board completely, but short of moving out of town, this option remains unavailable to her.DSC07340

Unlike Helga, I have had the option to remove my token from the Small Town Gossip game board and still remain a productive resident of my community.  My experience has provided me with a comprehensive and insightful education on how to enjoy my environment, enhance the lives of my children (who technically, are considered life-long residents!), and remain active WITHOUT having to participate in any silly games.

This particular region of the United States has experienced incredible growth since Durwood and I first moved here over twenty years ago.  Although we have moved in and out of several residences throughout those twenty years, we have remained in and around the Small Town that we call home.  Resistance to change and ‘newcomers’ appears to have relaxed considerably, but some traditional Small Town behavior remains intact.

“Looking out for your neighbor” is a valuable asset to living in any community.  Life-long residents of Small Town practice this time-honored tradition through various forms of communication.   When someone asks you “how things are going?” it is always advisable to consider the nature of the inquirer.  After twenty years of trial and error, it becomes easier to ascertain the difference between one who has genuine interest in your situation, or one who requires useful information to hold in trust (should the occasion arise when they will need to re-establish their ranking among the social network by disclosing your information to someone else).

DSC07333When information extraction techniques are unavailable through direct communication, there is the time-honored practice of driving through town until you ‘see’ useful information to gather.  Since Durwood and I have lived in what is considered the ‘outskirts’ of town for the past 4 years, I witness the execution of this particular method on a daily basis.  Every time that I end up traveling behind a camouflage adorned pick-up truck being driven by a baseball-capped driver, I can expect to drive at least five to ten miles under the speed limit.  This seems to be the appropriate speed necessary in order to give the driver enough time to turn their head and assess the current status of every residential property that we pass.  In the event that some poorly placed trees, bushes, or front gates might obstruct the comprehensive inventory of said property, I can expect to slow down another ten miles or so (if not come to a complete stop) in order for the driver in front of me to obtain a clearer view.  It is a tedious job, but thank the gods that someone is still doing it.

I love where I live.  I love our house and I love our property.  The schools are outstanding and the opportunities are plentiful.  There are good people here ( like Helga!) and our children enjoy a bounty of friends and experiences.  Now that my little sister Evie lives here with her family, life in Small Town is even more rewarding and fun.  Since Helga reminded me of the way things were when Durwood and I first arrived here, I realize that there are many things that will never change.  What a comfort to know that we can.

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