Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Honoring Differences






I stopped at the NH state line to take a picture of the "Welcome To" sign. I suppose it was fitting that there was a bar also on the state line marker and a car in the lot with a window sticker I had never seen in my and Barack's home state of Illinois.

This whole tour seemed to be an immersion in appreciation of personal and regional differences and eccentricities. Barb and I are one at the level of heart and core values. But how we make decisions, renew our personal energy, and decide how to spend the time allotted to us in each God-given day, is about as different as different can be. Such a formula could have spelled disaster, but instead it spelled deep appreciation that there is another way that is equally as good as "my" way. And, I don't need to change my way if I don't want to, but I do need to honor Barb and the guy with the startling window sticker the right to their way.

This honoring of differences extended to what, for lack of a better word, I'll call a state (NH) life style. I kept thinking I was in Alaska and needed to remind myself I was actually in NH one of the lower 48 contiguosities. Lack of cell phone towers, dial-up Internet, septic tanks and related concerns re: the water table and whether or not today was a good day to shower or do the laundry. Resplendent, relentless, and resilient mosquitoes, bears, and instructions on how to flush the toilet and find the candles should the power go out (which if does often) also knocking out the water pump. These were some of my clues I was not in Chicago. Maybe I should be thinking about these issues in Chicago, but I am one of the 80% of Americans who live in or near cities.

As memories of road construction detours, climbing hills, and descending their other side w/o a rear brake fade, what I learned from Barb, Janet, Lindsey, Betsy, and NH will be carried close to my heart for a long time, I hope forever.

Pix: Barb's wonderful little house big enough just for one + Fergus, one of a field of perfect spider webs in her woods, a tree scarred by bears sharpening their claws, and the 2nd amendment intact.

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