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 Texas : Feature : Columns : 'The View from Under the Bus'

Time runs in circles like a one-legged duck

by Gael Montana
"Tonsorial Artist and Hill Country Contrarian"
Comfort, Texas
Many of us who prefer life in the slow lane have done our share of traveling in the fast one. Rolling through the miles listening to wing-window symphonies on long trips where radio signals failed. The little transistor hanging on that long-ago rear-view mirror sounded like it was playing in a foreign language but it sure did the trick. When all else failed the trucker's channel in Shreveport could almost always be tuned scratchily in along the way from time to time. There was a show somewhere in Kentucky where they buried a DJ in a box of snakes for 24 hours. It was so hypnotizing that I had to sit in an old diner on the far edge of the transmission area all evening and listen until they dug him up. Who does that now? We have every kind of music and gigs and gigs of endless information at our fingertips...on our cell phones, in our ears, available to be implanted in our brains (really!). Heck, I hardly listen to 'terrestrial' radio at all anymore since my husband got us satellite; of course he still has to remind me to use the cell phone. Yet, the magic that little transistor and those wing-windows provided is nowhere to be found in this modern world. It seems that since everything is everywhere, I long to be home where the sleepy buzzing summer can be heard and that pesky cell phone can't ring. Now that the blustering fall is finally underway the birds are becoming a bit more frantic and watchful. They're coming in from away in tired, noisy groups needing sustenance and rest and they are aware of these crucial changes in their world without benefit of a weather station. For them the signal is survival. I love to hear them chattering in and the wind picking up in the evening, thumping the little gourd against the kitchen window frame. Thankfully, we still have a reasonable peace out here. When big excavation equipment isn't beating its inevitable drums in the neighborhood, we can feel and hear the world around us shifting in its seasons, too. We hope to share this with our grandchildren before it's gone forever.

The old stewards of the land are fading fast, and the developments are coming. They must occur, as we all know in our hearts. For the children to come home to roost, they need homes of their own. Affordable and well built, hopefully by the people with whom they will continue to trade and remain neighbors of in years to come. There is still a possibility for this kind of home-based commerce in the Hill Country. It is said that the future will hold us as safely and gently as we deserve to be held. Could be we'll have to lighten up a bit, perhaps turning to some of the simpler pleasures and more frugal ways. Maybe pull in a bit from the federal building sized homes and step into more of a 'bungalow' mentality where families actually share one anotherís 'space' a bit. Perhaps we should consult those who know how to live without all the peripheral additions while we still have them around, if for no other reason than the gift of their memories. Maybe it will help us all get along in a more civil manner in a progressively more complicated society, maybe not. It's worth a try. We love our communities and hope for the best in all things for our kids and theirs, right down the line. Remember, that pesky 'future' is lurking around every corner where itís always been, just waiting to happen.
© Gael Montana
'The View from Under the Bus' - June 30, 2007 Column

See Comfort, Texas
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