Today I went for my normal run. My legs felt fatigued, more than usual, and it was more strenuous than usual. After my run was over, I began my "cool down" walk up Montgomery Gulch Road. Two of my neighbors Ted Turnbow and George Gaylord were talking. I had just passed George and his chocolate lab, Brandy, on the bike trail at the beginning of my run going the other way. I said a few brief words and continued across the street to my house.
It then began to hit me as I approached my house. I'm so blessed and thankful to get to live where I live. It also means a great deal to me to get to have neighbors who have lived here for a long time and have really enjoyed life, and continue to do so. I also have some family-friend connections with both of these gentlemen, so it makes the small town feel that much more meaningful. To me, it is all about connections, which I guess is why I'm such a small town guy at heart. Sure I have had aspirations to move to bigger cities out of curiosity and opportunity, but my heart still pulls me to the small town.
Some of my memories and connections with my two neighbors include playing Babe Ruth baseball with Joe Gaylord, for coach Joe James. Those were great times for me and Joe was one of the reasons. Despite being 2 or so years older than me, he was a nice guy and funny too. Now here I am living next to, and enjoying the company of his Grandpa. (I think it is his Grandpa)
Then there is Ted Turnbow. I've known him most of my life. The connections here are many, but my most vivid ones are the trips to the Turnbow/Carney river property in the summers, more specifically, the "Clinic Picnic," which was an annual event. My mom has worked at "The Clinic" for most of my life and I have some pretty amazing memories of packing up the VW van and heading up to Ted/Dorothy-Jack/Shirley's place for a day filled with fun. Not only did the kids all have an absolute ball, but their were always amazing connections with all the adults. Horseshoes, card games, good food, drinks, etc. And now Ted/Dorothy are my neighbors.
As I wake up each morning I try to remember not to take all these wonderful things for granted. I'm so blessed that is for sure. Well, to top it off I got another gentle reminder. As I went out to set my sprinkler in the front lawn I was all of a sudden struck at how amazing it felt to walk barefoot through the wet morning grass. It has been pretty hot the last few days, although nothing compared to what my lifelong buddy Ken Lagerquist is experiencing in Afghanistan, but hot nonetheless. The contrast of the hot days with the cool mornings and the cool, wet grass on my bare feet really made me thankful just to breathe and experience this amazing creation. I can think of no other place I would rather do it than this small town.