Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Lessons from the road

Having a job that takes you on the road gives the opportunity to explore new places. Though much of the time, it makes you more familiar with franchise restaurants and hotels.

And of course, it makes you glad to snuggle back into your own bed in your own community. Wauwatosa looks even better after an absence.

Still, there are a couple lessons other communities have for Tosa.

West Bend: Say hello to people you pass on the streets

Driving through those pretty hills around West Bend, I found myself behind some kind of huge cultivator. Tis that season, after all. Traffic slowed to 5 miles an hour, and one at a time the impatient drivers passed the farmer, who graciously pulled as far aside as he could often.

When it was my turn, I remembered my country manners and waved thanks and greeting to him. He gave me the expected index finger off the steering wheel salute, and then a big friendly wave.

I have neighbors I've been waving at for 18 years who haven't waved back yet. Everyone's busy, but it seems like a good idea to acknowledge the people you share space with, if only for a moment.

Eau Claire: When life gives you music, dance

Shopping at Sendik's on North Avenue yesterday was a blast. It's some kind of anniversary, and they always bring out the marimbas in the balcony.  I'm not sure how you can resist rocking out a little, or at least smiling, when Brown Eyed Girl fills the air and the narrow aisles. But everyone seemed to be able to resist, except me. My children would have been so embarrassed.

In Eau Claire, ending the day too late to find a restaurant, we stopped at a 24 hour Festival Foods to pick up sustenance. It was too late to buy adult beverages.

We were tired and dragging our feet. But tn the aisles, a cleaner danced with his mop to music from some hidden electronic source--or maybe his own head.  It was contagiously joyful.

I guess the bottom line is  whever you go, there you are. You might as well be there.

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