I have always loved dialects. I love hearing them and I love repeating them. I have feared, at times, that people might possibly think that I am making fun of them, but that couldn’t be further from the truth in my heart. It is music to me. I love the people talking that way, and I guess I just want to be like them. That said and out of the way, I’ll move on, and hopefully, you will know the purity from which this thought springs.
You might not know this, but YOU are ‘You’ns’ here in the Ozarks. I love that. Y’all is plural. You’ns is singular. I found this out by questioning the neighbor who said it. At first, I thought she was saying ‘You’s’, and I asked her if she was originally from the North. She said, “NO, You’ns is one person. Y’all is more than one.” She then proceeded to tell me that she had worked for someone who had tried to get her to change it, and I said, “NO, PLEASE don’t change it. I love it.”
I have tried, consciously, to remove ‘Y’all’ from my vocabulary, but it’s part of me. When I’m really relaxed around you, it still comes out without me thinking about it. I am more determined to just let ‘er rip, seeing how charming I think ‘You’ns’ is, and I might just adopt that one too!
I have found my people. I know there are good people everywhere, and that I should get along with everyone (and I do, for the most part), but I feel at home here. Everyone we’ve met has been so genuine, open, honest and helpful, right down to the people at Home Depot. We never shop at Home Depot in our current home town because you can’t get anyone to help you there.
Honestly, I had almost become a hermit at home. I only went out to get groceries for the most part. When we moved into our last two neighborhoods, no one came over to meet us, and I don’t know most of the people in my current neighborhood. It’s partly my fault, but there is just a different vibe in the ‘burbs than there is here in the Ozarks.
I know more people here (though we are miles apart) BETTER than anyone in either of our two previous cities. I love that. Honestly, I had sort of feared that moving into the country, I would become even more isolated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I feel like I’ve known these people for most of my life! I have done more socializing here in the short time we’ve been here just by people ‘stopping by’…and I haven’t freaked out. I even invited them right in to my wrecked up house!!
We met another couple the other day. They just stopped by on their way home from the city. They live a couple of miles down the road. They have a homestead and a business. They sell their free range eggs, raise hogs, can stuff, garden, and they sell their wares at local Farmer’s markets. We instantly felt like we had known them for a long time. The man gave us some of their homemade pan sausage! I made breakfast sandwiches with it the next morning. It was so good! She sells Pampered Chef, and loves to thrift shop and re-purpose things. It was she who saw the tub in our junk pile and was horrified. I told her it had a hole in it, and she told me I need to plant some flowers in it, so that’s what I did. I decided upon ‘vincas’. I think they make the place look happy, and Bud said that someone in a truck slowed down to look at them as they passed by and waved at him. He thinks it was the flowers that caught their attention.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. The Mennonites down the road have a very pretty entrance to their property. They have two tubs on either side of their road filled with Marigolds.
Anyway, as we talked with the couple that had stopped, the conversation turned to deeper things, and they invited us to church. It was a Bible church. We decided to take them up on their offer.
We decided to take a much needed break to the Super 8 in Harrison the night before. The people who invited us to church assured us that we would be accept in the clothes we had to wear, but I have a feeling that we would have gotten some strange looks if we had gone there without having had a shower in a week!
I had two showers while I was there at the motel, shaved my legs twice, and had a nice comfy bed to sleep in, but I couldn’t sleep. I guess it was the absence of the toadly serenade I’ve gotten use to at night. (By the way, we were awakened by the Son of Godzilla the other morning. I have never heard anything like that in my life! I can’t imagine any known animal that would really sound like that! We didn’t see him though, and Big Foot has still not shown his face. I guess they are scared of the chickens, too!)
Anyway, at the Hotel, I was able to post several blog posts, and to quickly scan the news to make sure California hadn’t dropped off into the ocean, the market hadn’t crashed, or that there hadn’t been a nuclear attack anywhere in the world. That was a relief! We are totally out of the loop without Internet. It was actually kind of nice. Out there, I don’t think it would really matter much if California fell off into the ocean!
We got up early to get back to let the chickens out. It was later than usual, and the chickens let us know about it, but they lived through it.
As we left for church, it took us longer than we had anticipated to travel out the back way down the gravel road, and as we neared the doors of the church we could hear the sound of a piano and HYMNS. I love singing hymns…the words are so rich and meaningful. I later learned that they also do the more popular songs, but that morning, it was all hymns. There was a sermon on letting the Lord fight your battles, and how some battles in the O.T. were won by sending a group of people praising the Lord before the armies which defeated the enemy. It was an encouraging sermon for both of us.
We were pleased to see not only the new couple we had met, but also the family who had let us use their shower and cooked us burgers on the grill. We talked to them after the service, and also, we met many new people who came up to us, and they were just like everyone else we have met: Open, friendly, genuine, and unpretentious.
We have taken four loads to the dump, and have bought lumber to fix the bathroom floor. This would not have happened if The Sellers had not let us borrow their flatbed trailer. They have been so nice! We went up yesterday to borrow the trailer again. Bud and the man were having trouble getting the lights to work on the trailer, so the Seller’s wife and I had a good long conversation outside until the flies got too bad, then we moved inside and she fixed me a cup of Carmel Vanilla coffee. We were delayed that morning, but we felt like what transpired as far as good, neighborly relationships was much more important than any work we had to do that day.
She gave me a book written by a neighbor in the area who is a retired school teacher who is now 82, and only lives up in this area part time. It’s about how she built her homestead and what her life was like here. I’m looking forward to reading it, and also to meeting her when she comes back up here.
The seller’s wife also gave me some of her brother’s honey. He has his own bees. I was actually able to meet him the other day and thank him for it. He didn’t have much to say, but he did say that if we didn’t have more rain, there wouldn’t be any more honey. The weather is everything here. I was inclined to believe him about anything he had to say about these parts. He also pointed to the mountain in the distance and said, “I live right over there.”
We also met the Seller’s Sister’s husband who helped do many updates and repairs to the house in the past. He told us that the cabinets in the ‘old’ kitchen were made by hand tools by the Seller’s Grandfather. (I don’t want to use real names, but I think I’m going to have to make up some names to use for the purpose of this blog so you can keep everyone straight). Anyway, he had stopped by to ask Bud if he would be interested in serving with the Volunteer Fire Department down the road. Bud said he imagined he would once we were here permanently.
This morning, Bud and I were having coffee out on the porch. One of the ‘Burgers and Shower’ people drove by and stopped his truck in the road in front of our house. He rolled down his window and yelled across the way, “I’m going into town to get some chicken feed and I just wanted to know if y’all needed anything from town?”
I love this place! I keep telling Bud over and over how much I love it here. It’s dirty, there are flies everywhere, we have no plumbing, I’m covered in chigger bites, we are working ourselves to the bone, I’m cooking on a camp stove and washing dishes in hauled, heated spring water, but I love every-single-bit of it. I already feel like this has been my home forever.