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Introspective Sojourner

The journey inward following Christ’s path to that person I was uniquely created to be.

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Small Town

You Take You With You

She cast her eyes down and attempted to dissolve into the woodwork, removing herself from the line that had been moving her steadily toward the ticketing window. Only the man behind her, even briefly looked up as she wandered away counting her cash. She had been so sure this was the answer to the downward spiral her life had recently taken. She just wanted to run away, start over. She could picture so vividly her beloved grandfather’s porch and the rocking chairs facing the quiet small town road. Hardwood chairs with small tables beside them for your tea, with barely any room to pass. No frills, just peace and quiet and no judgment. A twinge hit her heart as she realized that her grandfather would no longer occupy the other chair. His passing was actually one of the catalysts to the events in her spiral. It hit her hard. She hadn’t been prepared.

Now her strong desire to run to that quiet place and start over gave her pause. Not that her grandmother would turn her away, but she could hear her grandfather’s voice. “You know, no matter how far you run, you take you with you.”

He had been such a wise man. He knew her so well. He gave her time to think, but nudged her in the right direction when it was time to go. Could she really start over? She had had just a little more than enough. She would indeed still take herself with her. She’d made such a mess of things since his passing. All of her relationships were strained. Now she had lost another dead end job. She just needed a break. Life didn’t like to give us that did it.

She could just sit and watch the neighbors go by with a cup of tea, but it wouldn’t be the same. The fog she had been in, that numbness might be worse near his things. Maybe that was being extravagant with her money. Tears started to roll down her cheeks. Somehow she had wandered upon a bench and she sat down, facing the busy street. The buses pulled out in front of her as she struggled with what to do.

A homeless man that was sitting facing her smiled. She thought how she should just get up and hike to her parents’ home. It would be a long trek and not a pleasant welcome. Sure they would lecture, but they would get her on her feet. She realized the little more than bus fare in her hands and some grace was all the difference between her and the man in rags before her.

Silently she cried out in her heart, “God help me! Please just tell me what to do!”

Almost immediately the homeless man spoke to her through a toothless smile, “God goes with you too.” He said. “Wherever you run. God’s still there.”

Tears streamed now as she looked at him with soft eyes and a quivering lip. She peeled the extra ten off of the exact bus fare to her grandmother’s handing it to him as she left to get back in line.

 

By Vicki L Pugliese

 

Story and characters are fiction any resemblance is purely coincidental.

Small Town Greatness

My big sister Cris wrote a play when we were very young.  All of the kids had parts.  My parents set up a stage and seating and all of the neighbors came out to see her play.  There were rows of seats.  We ran out from the side of the house for our stage queues.  What I remember most is how much neighborhood support it got!  I know it’s easy to be nostalgic, but in comparison to the places my children have lived, my hometown rocks!

We had summer theater, high school plays with orchestras, and various odd talent shows.  We had concert bands and award winning marching bands with majorettes, flag teams and a cheer squad called the “Rockettes”.  We had multiple High School and Junior High School choirs, and barbershop!  During school hours you could take wood shop, home economics, and fine art.  You could choose between college prep with all of the advanced courses like Calculus and Physics, you could go to vocational training to learn job skills, or you could take regular general education; all of which was top notch.

In sixth grade we went to Pioneer Ranch to learn about nature and hunter safety.  You could get your hunters license if you chose.  You shot a gun or bow and arrow there.  You learned what poison ivy looked like, and how to avoid a rattle snake.  At the same time,  you had the time of your life.  It was one of the most fun things because they made it memorable.  There were songs, and talent shows and cabins.  It was glorious.

If you were part of the marching band you went back to Pioneer Ranch and had a slightly more mature and slightly less mature version, with music and a little more structure and no guns, in High School.  It was even more memorable.  The talent shows were more creative. We were sworn to secrecy!

I walked away with a love for learning, reading, the arts and the ability to speak in public with very little fear, thanks to all those talent shows.  I have a wide variety of interests and amazing memories.  I am impressed that in a town so filled with arts, theater and opportunity, our little backyard would find so much support for a first time playwright and her vagabond band of thespians all easily under the age of 10.

Bravo! small town backyard patrons, bravo!

 

 

by Vicki L Pugliese

 

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