Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Wed, Feb 02 2005

Sizing Up Life In The Country

The Progressive Farmer recently chose the Best Places to Live in Rural America. Freedom, California doesn't appear to be on the list. Maybe that's because we're fast becoming less rural and more like a bedroom community. Actually, nothing in Santa Cruz County or Monterey County was chosen. Of course, if everyone goes running to the 10 best places on that list, those places won't be rural for very long either. A few years ago a lot of Californians headed off to Colorado because homes were less expensive there and things seemed less crowded. Now that so many people had the same idea, it's gotten a lot more crowded there, and the demand for housing ran the prices up quite a bit. So when people from here start running off to Fauquier County, Virginia and Oconee County, Georgia, I hope they make sure they really want to be there. They can have my acre there. I'd just like to have their lot here.

posted at: 16:10 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

You Don't Know Jacksonville

A lot of people are acting as though Super Bowl XXXIX will put Jacksonville, Florida on the map, so writers like Steve Powers and Pete Priso have been doing some articles to help balance the negativity. My husband and I lived in Jacksonville for a brief period of time about three decades ago, and I can tell you that the place has an atmosphere all its own. There's a lot of quiet "old money" flowing right alongside that St. John's River. Behind the doors of many well-maintained homes you can find front entryways full of antiques that have been passed down from previous generations.

Gardening, at least when we were there, was considered an art, and when my husband and I were the "new kids on the block" we inadvertently gained sudden acceptance from the other residents on the street by doing something they hadn't seen any of the previous occupants of the stately old house do. We pulled weeds. The landlord's hired gardeners had done a shoddy job, so we went out in the front yard and trimmed and picked up after them. People came out from behind locked doors to greet us and to get to know us. They invited us to sit with them on their porches in the evenings. It taught me a lesson I've never forgotten. When you want to get to know a new group of people, take time to notice what they consider to be important. Then add something to the neighborhood in your own unique way.

For those who rush into Jacksonville for Super Bowl XXXIX, Jacksonville might look like some misfit of a Southern Florida place, but when the press and the fans and the teams leave town for the next big thing, the residents of Jacksonville will smile and know that the brief presence of so many visitors didn't change the things that residents know make their town special. The kinds of things tourists can't see in one weekend are the very things that already put Jacksonville on the map a long time ago. If you really want to make an impression on Jacksonville, I'd suggest you pick up after yourselves before you leave town.

posted at: 07:19 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!