I was walking around a strip mall late at night heading for a spot I liked to bed down on occasion, I was actually feeling pretty good, because I had a conversation with several people that day.
When I started coming out of my deep misery on the streets I began to understand how lonely I was.
This lonely feeling rose up as deep as I had ever felt, I had to sit down for a minute. After six years of no one but myself and a transistor radio I like to carry, the conversations were feeling good. I think that lonely feeling was rising out of me because it was being chased out.
Now that I am back in my home town, I am a chatty Cathy so to speak. Here is a little piece about community.
One thing I have noticed if you are in a public place, be it at a coffee shop, a commuter train, or as was the case yesterday, a senior dinner at the community center. If you start talking to someone, they will start talking back.
While I was standing in line to get some prime-rib, I met this 90 year old gentleman who grew up in Genesee. He had on a handmade bolo tie, with an Idaho gem as the center piece, turns out he likes to make jewelry and showed me a ring of his own creation.
He had worked hard growing up and there was some real pain in him about not getting much of an education. During the World War II there wasn’t any help to be hired, and his family had 1000 acres. So he got yanked out of school so much he never ended up finishing.
He and his wife are moving up to Moscow and into a modular home to be near some family. He is not looking forward to the cold up there and is going to be missing the weekly community dinners but over all he is fine with it. His wife was worried about what to do with all the stuff from their four bedroom house. I suggested Habitat for Humanity.
The old time fiddlers play once a month down there and they kept it pretty lively, they even played that Christmas classic Grandma got ran over by a reindeer. Those fiddlers stay busy. One of them told me they play five days a week mostly at retirement centers.
The lady sitting across from me was feeling a little sorry for herself because a friend she was supposed to meet did not show up, but she got to chatting with the rest of us and left with a smile on her face.
Some of you may be thinking prime rib is pretty fancy for a five dollar senior meal. But this was the last big dinner of Patty Cooper, who has been running the kitchen at the Community Center for the last 14 years. My mom does not bake much any more but likes to give cookies to people. She gets hers from Patty and these cookies are pretty much legendary around here.
You see a lot of stories about some lonely devil shooting a bunch of folks or taking his own life. Or a mom gets fed up and drowns her children. Never know if just one or two kinds words might have changed the outcome of that. So if you are enjoying some coffee and got your nose buried in your phone or I pad, poke your head up, take a look around and start a conversation. Especially around this holiday season when lots of folks are dwelling in a secret misery.
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