Thoughtful Thursday, or Love Where You Live

Hey! How the heck are ya? Been a while …

I’ve been in Phoenix to teach three times already this spring; the class is three weeks long each time, with the first and last week online and the second week face to face. There’s work to be done on top of the other coursework. I was teaching a full online course at the same time the second time I was in Phoenix and had finished that same class the week before the third time.

I didn’t know if I was coming or going.

I have a student in a totally different class who seems to think I will review submitted work within three seconds of receiving it. Have repeatedly had to try and stop those impressions. Maybe there was a class before where the faculty person did that, but with a full-time gig, home responsibilities, and other assignments, that ain’t happening. Plus, I do like to get a bit of sleep and build up my game character in the midst of all that.

So yeah, it has been a while.

My Thoughtful Thursday moment is about wherever you call home. Sure, ‘love’ might be strong, but I can say that I have loved something about everywhere I’ve lived.

  • My parents’ house in Cape May County inspired many of my early fiction stories.
  • The radio station and meeting my dearest friend was what made on-campus college life tolerable in New Brunswick.
  • Living across from a lake (pond?) in South River was the soothing balm that probably helped keep me alive during the first part of the first marriage.
  • The first house I bought, although Dover became a place I came to dislike quickly, was on a large piece of land and was brand new.
  • The twin brick number in Chester was on a quiet street and gave me the opportunity to be close to Philly.
  • I could walk to campus from the three-bedroom apartment in Carneys Point I got after the first husband died.
  • The rental and then the house I bought in Salem City were both in nice parts of the neighborhood.
  • The kitchen in the leased house here in San Bernardino was a dream.
  • And the little corner of the universe I own now is sanctuary.

If you can’t find something pleasant about where you live, move.

Think of it this way: if you always say negative things about your town, neighborhood, or those who live near you, what does that say about you?

Sure, my childhood digs were evenly between horses, a clam factory, and the dump. It often stunk to high heaven. Places like Chester, Salem, and San Bernardino are described as dangerous, filled with drugs and criminals.

However, every time I drive through San Berdoo, all I can do is smile. There is such beauty, so many great people and places here. If I were to focus on the negatives, how could I ever hope to be home-happy?

I was on my way to the pet emporium to buy food for my four-leggers and saw this dude in a truck so ostentatious it may as well have been bedazzled. The chrome, bling letters, decals, and rims — I couldn’t stop staring. I think I giggled all the way to the store.

The sun was shining brightly while I was at the car wash. I stopped to chat briefly with the lady at the bank, which had been robbed last week. She said everyone was okay and was glad I asked. The person on register, the bagger, and I had a conversation about how great the prosciutto and mozzarella sticks were that I bought on special.

All right here in ‘scary’ San Bernardino.

I think of the people I’ve known who live in ‘safer’ areas and who never talk to their neighbors, much less the folks who work at the car wash, bank, or grocery. They are afraid to go outside while they talk with disgust about where I live.

Imagine that.

Find the good things. Think on those. Make home your sanctuary, no matter where it is.

And there you have it.

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