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From the Mouth of the River

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When you live in a vacation paradise, expect houseguests

Where in the hell do people go on vacation when they live in the center of paradise? We become so accustomed to the beauty surrounding us that we take it for granted, and this is not good. So we have to go off to Buttugly, Ark., or Byuself, Louis., just so we can come home and again appreciate what we have here.

"And Jesus said," (look out, he's going religious on us!) "And Jesus said, 'I am going to build you a better place," not knowing that we were going to find THIS place. So now we've got Him working nights trying to build an even better place than this!

People who would be afraid to speak to you on the street, or who wouldn't want to, will become your best friends and neighbors when you move up here. You'll see well-to-do ladies sharing tea and garden tips with Pack River Moms in long dresses and sandals. A scrungy looking old backwoodsman with Copenhagen running down his chin will be discussing the Stock Exchange with a college professor wearing bib overalls and logging boots. It's amazing how quickly people fit in here. Their blood pressure goes down and you can see them almost slump into relaxation. Men will stop work to go help their neighbor and women will stop, well, whatever it is they're doing to go to town to shop. And should they happen to run into their neighbor in the store, they will block the aisle and talk for an hour. Sometimes they come back from the store having acquired a whole clutch of new friends.

However, being too friendly can, at times, put a strain on one's wellbeing. For instance, my lovely and I had not seen our new-found friends all summer, and we decided one evening to drive down for a visit. Our friends live along the river adjoining a large meadow. As we approached their property, we noticed, off in the meadow, a couple running and frolicking like small children. They were nude, and didn't seem to notice when we drove by.

When we got to our friends' house, we noticed a lot of out-of-state cars parked all over the yard. Our friend was carrying a load of wet laundry to the clothesline. She looked haggard and spent, not at all how you'd expect her to look living here in paradise. "What on earth has happened to you?!" we asked. She gestured with her hand to the out-of-state cars and said, "when we left San Diego, we showed all of our friends pictures of our new-found paradise and, like a damn fool, as a gesture of kindness we said' come up and see us some time.' I've now spent all summer cooking and doing laundry, and some of these people, I don't even know."

And Peter taught us "Use hospitality to one another without grudging." (1Pet 4:9)

Maybe Jesus DID know we were going to find this place, and that's why he went to prepare us another place—after everyone else's vacation, we're going to need it!

On the other hand, there are times when someone is so stuck in his or her way of speeding through life they don't seem to notice the laid back lifestyle they've found themselves in, here. One such gentleman was in the process of having a new home built. Each day, he would show up at the job site to prod and direct his workers in the fashion he had been accustomed to, without any regard for his fellow man. We sometimes will overlook these faults, knowing it takes a certain amount of time for one to become acclimated to a new climate.

On my way to town one frosty morning, I decided to stop in and see how the construction was coming along. The gentleman was mad as a wet hornet. "Where in the hell is everyone?" he demanded to know, as if I was to blame for their absence. About that time, a worker showed up in his 4-wheel drive pickup, loaded down with camping supplies. He jumped out and ran across the yard. "I forgot my cooler of beer!" he said and then, jumping back in his truck, shouted, "see you next week!' 

"Wait, wait! Where are you going? Where in the heck is everyone?

"It's opening day of elk season. We're goin' hunting. Be back on the job in about a week," was the reply.

When the newcomer muttered that there 'might not be a job next week,' the construction worker/hunter answered. "Well, in that case, I better get an elk. I'll need the meat to get me through the winter!"

In town later, I noticed there wasn't a man left between the ages of 9 to 90. The women were running all the businesses, while the men were out hunting.  In the stores, everything was on sale.


PS– The men did return from the hunt and finished the house. The lady of the house made a home out of it… and she serves tea.

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Author info

Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

Tagged as:

vacation, houseguests, hospitality

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