Monday, November 26, 2012

Deer Leg

Today as I was driving my kids to school, in the road and a bit to the right, was the front leg of a deer.  Yes.  Just one leg.  Blech.  My "country" kids that they are found this very amusing rather than gross.  I'm not one who pales at the sight of blood - I love watching surgery (yes I have) - but for some reason this really grossed me out.  (Some use of "vernacular" huh?)  Although I couldn't smell it, I could smell it!  Ack.  So, being the good citizen I am, I called 911.  The road was busy (as busy as a small town can be) at one of the busiest times of the day - getting the kids to school.  And several cars (not all... well maybe half) were swerving to avoid it.  I don't know who answers the 911 here, but it sure sounded like a police officer.  I told him about the deer leg and cars swerving.  He said, "Where is it?"  I told him the name of the road - a county road that goes through town - and then where on that road.  He said "Oh!  You mean IN TOWN?!"  Yup.  I said, "It's about two blocks east of the hardware store."  He said, "Is it in front of the baseball diamond?"  "No, it's about two blocks before that on the right if you're heading east." I said.  He said, "Oh yeah, that's by ______'s house!  We'll send a car to get it."

Only in a small country town - where we know where everyone lives, and we actually put dead deer parts in a car (personally, I'd use a truck but that's just me), and I probably work with someone related to both the cop I talked to and whoever left that deer leg on the side or the road!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Birthday Parties

I was always amazed at the views of wealth seeping forth in parts of Los Angeles/Orange County.  When I had spare time I used to meander thoughtfully though neighborhoods on my way to the beach pondering, "Where do all these people get all this money?"  It was always a mystery to me.  Because I work as an interpreter, I sometimes fly-on-the-wall observe the lives of others.  You learn a lot this way.  And always things you never tell anyone else about. Therefore, somehow in that life, I met people who planned kids birthday parties for a living.  They made more money than me.  They lived well.  Planning events for little kids (really their parents) that cost more than my annual income.  Amazing, depressing use of money.

Later, when I had kids of my own and lived in a completely different place, I tried planning birthday parties.  Every time I looked online for ideas, there was a plethora of Birthday Party Industries to provide for my every desire for my child.  I often felt inadequate as a mother as I planned old-fashioned simple parties without the help of the Industry.

Today my oldest daughter is at a birthday party.  This party started yesterday with a sleepover.  We ventured to a local store to find a gift for the birthday girl.  Then I drove less than 5 minutes "out in the county" to her home.  I feel safe taking her there because I know this family: my daughter and the birthday girl have been in the same class for two years in a row, the extended family runs one of the main service businesses in town, I know people who know these people and their relatives, and yes, as we all do in small towns, I already asked around to make sure there's no strange predators in the family. 

They have acreage, some horses, goats, plenty of dogs and other creatures roaming around.  Their home is a birthday party!  We pulled up and out in the field is a bounce house!  This is now A Big Time event!  (No professional planner needed.)  The local pet store (which only carries reptiles and rodents - weird I know) is bringing a variety of their snakes and lizards for the kids.  Let me tell you, "country" girls like to shoot guns, run around on farms, aren't afraid of seeing Dad clean a bird he shot, and pet cows like others pet dogs.  Snakes and lizards?  Not something you'd see at a party-planner-organized-thousand-dollar 9th birthday party for a girl in LA!  These girls will LOVE it - amidst squeals and laughter.

Comparing this to the basement party with some lame crafts I planned last year I still feel inadequate.  But I feel joy because I know my daughter's having a great day with kids who will be life-long friends.  So many reasons to be thankful for small-town living.

PS - Thanks to this website in the Birthday Industry for letting me use their image.  :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Life's Journey

All roads are journeys.  Journeys to the unexpected, the joyful, the painful, the fun and the frustrating.  Both fresh yet ancient, new yet familiar, with the possibility of Anything Can Happen.

Roads bequeath journeys from and to home.

My home is now a small town (again).  The smallest one I've lived in, left, and returned to after tasting many other roads. 

This blog has been on my mind for some time - my goal is to record my thoughts for why I am thankful that my Life-Road has brought me back to a small town.  I could live anywhere, and this is where I am.

I hope that the stories make you smile, make you thankful, and fuel others on the Life-Road to small town life.