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2012-11-22 digital edition

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2012-11-22 / General Stories

Home Country

by Slim Randles

Sometimes it’s good to just walk around slowly and quietly and look and think. This morning was one of those times. I didn’t get mildly out of breath the way Doc wanted me to, but just strolled comfortably.

There was what we still call the old drugstore, there in faded brick solidity on the corner. The new drugstore’s made mostly of glass and is three blocks down these days, and the old drugstore has become a meeting place and rehearsal hall for our local actors, and is also a place where members of the PTA take turns tutoring children after school. Not a bad job for a grand old building.

And here comes Mrs. Sandiford. She’s bent over pretty badly these days, but she looks up at me with effort and smiles a good morning. Two years ago we knew she wasn’t going to survive that stroke, but here she is, still smiling and still taking care of her two cats: Boots and Desdemona.

There’s old Billy, asleep in the street again. He was Stewart Simpson’s dog until Stew passed on, and now Billy belongs to all of us. We haven’t had a town dog since Sally died in her sleep on Doc’s front porch, you know, so now Billy has picked up the slack. We all feed him and pet him, and he has quite smoothly made the transition from one-man dog to one-town dog. He greets each of the children in the mornings down at the school, just to make them feel good about themselves. A worthwhile job.

Old Martin, the crossing guard, stops the traffic for Billy now, as well as for the kids. How Martin can make it out there, year after year, in all that weather, just to get those kids safely across the street, is a mystery. He’s a special guy.

That new young couple just parked the car over by the dress shop and got out. They have that new baby of theirs in one of those tummy sling things. You can zip a parka right around those babies, you know. Keeps everyone warm and feeling loved.

As for me, I just like to think of Thanksgiving and the treasures life has given us.

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Brought to you by the national award-winning book “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right.” Read a free sample at www.slimrandles.com.

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