Our friend will have been here a week tomorrow.
It's been good sharing time & conversation with her.
She's doing the hard, mental work she needs to do & much reflection about her previous life here in Florida. Guess being here brings up a lot of comparisons to our locations versus her former home; our lives versus theirs, our habits versus theirs.
This led to a discussion about the continuing decline of this country & people having to "double up," as she called it. Letting go of "the American dream," which I said was really "the American nightmare," is never easy but crucial if one is to address their circumstances head on. Too many people want what they want and are stuck in their anger over not having what they expected to have. She lives in Flint and sees more of that attitude whereas here, at least on the surface, people seem to react with more grace, common sense and a determination to help themselves.
By no means is this true everywhere but we've sure encountered a lot of it. Talking/listening to people at the Gulf as they fish or while standing in line at the stores in Inglis, their stories have a familiar line: life ain't what it used to be but we've adjusted. We're making better choices. We're doing more together. We're happier.
Then yesterday, at Dollar General, a version of this conversation occurred and the woman in front of us said, "you'll think that until you run into the worthless druggies."
The woman talking to me said, "Oh? I was a 'worthless druggie' and pulled myself out of the sewer."
To this response the first woman gave a "humph!" and left.
It was my turn at the register and I told the cashier: "You must see much of humanity pass through this aisle every day."
"OH YEAH!" comes a shout from behind me. We all turned to see a disheveled, dirty, blurry eyed guy holding crackers, tuna fish and a bottle of Gatorade.
"That woman needs to walk in any of our shoes," he said. To which we all agreed and the woman behind me said to him, "Good to see you again Mike!" and gave him a hug.