Thursday, November 24, 2011

Indie Travel - Giving Thanks

Seeing what others have – and don’t have – around the world often helps us appreciate our own good fortune. What are you thankful for this year ?

I'm sitting in the house where I came 7 weeks ago to house sit, not knowing anyone. Now I am house sitting again, more as a guest than live-in help. The neighbors have all become friends. One took me to dinner at an old farmhouse restaurant that routinely feeds hundreds on Thanksgiving day. Tomorrow I'll cook a turkey and the other neighbors will come over for dinner in the evening. The owner is off enjoying herself at the beach.

I'm grateful for the generosity of people I meet while traveling. The hospitality is radical.

In this town seven weeks ago, the owner of a car repair shop fixed my sliding door on the van and didn't charge me a dime. Since then, the mechanism that holds the back of that same door came lose and fell inside. I could have tried having it fixed somewhere along the way, but chose to wait until I got back to Siler City. Yesterday, the same guy took the door apart from the inside, fixed the latching mechanism, and only charged me $30 for at least an hour's work.

I'm grateful for people who do a good job, don't overcharge, and are generous with their creativity and problem solving skills.
A little sample of this beautiful life. 

All through Pennsylvania and Virginia, I saw very little grinding poverty, but here in North Carolina, there are many who live in trailer houses, or very run down homes with tarps and tires on the roofs. Old beater cars grace the roadways, belching blue-black smoke. Mangy stray cats prowl around in the woods. That said, I am staying in a lovely home with a luscious yard and two sweet kitties who love being petted. The contrast between have and not-have-as-much is more vivid and apparent here.

I'm grateful for modern conveniences like indoor plumbing and forced air heat, for telephones, computers, high speed internet, electricity, and for animals who give more love than they ask for.

Mostly I'm grateful to be alive experiencing this world, whatever it tosses in my direction. For I lucked being born in this time, this country, with a strong body blessed with good working parts, to middle class parents who saw to it that I received a decent education, and on and on.  I won the lottery of birth. I won it!! And I'm out spending it all, cause I can't take any of it with me.

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