You know how good you can feel when you have a life-affirming experience?
There are days you do have them. They are rare, of course.
But when you get them, you keep on going.
Given a recent dust-up here in the beautiful Clear Fork valley, some people probably are thinking I’d like to talk about how I demonstrate I still have my chops.
Professionally, I do have my chops.
But I’m talking about something else.
Some good news came to my family recently.
The Swartzwalder group is a bit split up. I lived away from Ohio the majority of my life. My one sister lives half of the year in Florida.
Most people think of Florida as a mecca kind of place. Yes, it’s warm in the winter and many people become “snow birds” so they can get out of the Ohio winters.
My sister lives half of the year there, partially because her husband wanted to move there after residing most of his life in Wooster.
An astute woman, my sister realized how living that way can eat you up, financially.
The place she lives requires residents to pay something called “lot rent.” This is for people who have purchased an abode called a “double wide.”
Old timers would call these trailers. But modern ones are far from that.
Her house is contemporary, clean, beautiful.
But for the privilege of living in Florida, an owner has to pay what would be the equivalent of rent on a fine home.
She decided to list her home. And it has sold.
This event will probably put an end to some questions a few have had.
Where does a person really want to be in life?
I moved back to Ohio after living in Washington, D.C. for about 30 years. I owned a business there. My husband John passed away. I closed my business, sold my house.
Back to the Ohio farm.
My two sisters each have farms, the benefit of having a dad named John C. Swartzwalder.
My part-time Florida resident sister will now be back in Ohio.
One of the benefits of living in the country in Ohio is you can be close, because the farms are now situated not far from one another.
People talk about praying for good things. I’m more of a thinker about things, and I was thinking, a lot, about solving the problem of my sister’s living situation.
The bad things, in my mind, have been solved.
I suppose people think sometimes that when one chooses to return to the home turf, it signals that an individual is ready to give up all the good things in life, to retire, become passive.
Returning here certainly didn’t give a passive nature to me, and I don’t think that will happen with my returning sister.
She is a skilled artist, loves the country and in particular, likes to roam around with her beautiful pup, Carob.
Coming back here allows a person to go “back to the earth.”
This phrase is something my father would use often, talking about the true nature of mankind.
If you parse that phrase, of course people return to the earth.
But what you do before you actually go that way, can be wide and varied.
My returning sister and I have talked about writing our own obituaries.
Is this a little too much for you?
I believe having an unknown party talk about you (ie: a funeral representative) is demeaning.
My sister has done many great things. And she is the person who knows about them.
I think I’ve been one of the most fortunate persons ever, from having a good professional life, the ability to travel widely, and of course, to write.
One joy of this job, is getting to meet thoughtful, fascinating people.
It was my pleasure this week to meet four charming, talented young writers at the Clear Fork schools.
They want to pleasure the world with things they have written. I encourage that.
I think back to a lot to people who stood there for me when I was a beginning reporter/writer.
A favorite was Jimmy Larson, news editor at the Des Moines Register.
This is a guy who would work late at night, scouting among reporters for what he thought would be the best story of the day.
He would invent desired headlines: Santa Claus found dead in alley.
An irrepressible, unstoppable talent.
His photo I have posted. This is a guy who deserves reverence.