Monday, August 4

B.F.E., TN.

Here we are in a tiny town in Tennessee, where the people are friendly, the dogs are friendly, and the flies are numerous. My boys and I are experiencing the hospitality of one of the best friends I've ever had, and her family. The household consists of a 19 year old, a 17 year old and a 11 year old (all boys, and all very handsome and smart), Barb, and her hubby of almost 20 years, Joe. There are also 3 canines, 1 feline (Bob) and a tiny little mouse, who is yet to be named.

I'm currently listening to "Cowboy Troy", album called "Locomotive"; a 6'5" Black Country singer, who also raps eloquently in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. The song "Rap Around the World" " …red and yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight, everybody rap around the world. Shake a hand instead of shakin' a fist." I hadn't ever thought of hearing the life of a cowboy being rapped about, but it is interesting. LoL It's not Will Smith, or TobyMac, but this guy is really very good.

The children of my bff in H.S., now there's another interesting topic; at 19 and 17, they are of the age that I was once inappropriately interested in, and now I find that while they are terribly attractive, I can't even imagine thinking those things about them. I will chalk that up to maturity on my part. (Well, it COULD be that!) They have been raised to be free-thinkers, and it shows. Mom and Dad are sure that they will have difficulty finding girls who are able to keep up or even begin to comprehend the deepness of their thoughts. I don't know if that kind of girl is even existent here in BFE, TN. But they are good boys, and are without a doubt going to be high-quality men. If I were their age, I would undoubtedly be way beyond intrigued, as would any of my gf's.

Is this what a life-time of home-schooling turns out? They are all 3 home-schooled, although with Mom being in college, now, the littlest boy is probably going it more solo than the others had. However, the proof is in the pudding, and the track record here says that the littlest one is also going to be just fine. Barb ("Mama") is taking classes to be better able to help those in a position of "re-entry" from the prison population. Having never been in prison, herself, I asked Barb why she'd gotten to be interested in this kind of work in the first place. It sprung from a trip to Brooklyn, where they met "Marley", in Lincoln-Terrace Park. Then they met "C", the older brother of Marley, and saw Marley there whenever they returned (Papa has family there). Upon learning that "C" was in Riker's Island, they decided that they ought to go and see him, having maintained a running conversation with them by this time…By staying in contact through letters and family members, Barb has been able to establish real relationships with a number of inmates, and does what she can to help them get art supplies, books for studying, etc., to feel like they still have some kind of human value…Very sad situations, when you remove the details and look at the HUMAN beings, there, who have the distinction of having just gotten CAUGHT, as opposed to those of us who don't have a record, and miraculously just never got arrested for our stupid choices…

How wonderful it must be to have gotten onto the trail that leads to the place that your future and your PURPOSE become tangible and factual. I suppose that I might have clamored onto MY trail, but it's still so dimly lit that I cannot say for sure that I'm solidly standing upon it.

It's been a fabulous time. I'm surviving the HEAT, and the boys have only a few bug bites and a bit of a heat rash, and I'm hoping that the exotic food we've had will perhaps translate into a new appreciation for my simple attempts at home-cooking. I couldn't pronounce most of the fare we have been provided if I HAD to, but it is primarily of an Indian cuisine (no, they're not actually of Indian descent), and much more tasty thatn I'd expected. Thanks, Barb, for keeping it less spicy than usual! Live a little, learn a lot. J

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