There was a time when old men gathered and sat on the benches in front of the
general store.  Too old to work hard, but still had the memories to share with
others who were willing to listen.  There were no nursing homes to warehouse those
who's memories had faded, or who had lost interest in everything.  Things have
changed and people have retired young enough now to get a few good years to travel
and fish and play before real old age sets in.  Our horizons may have broadened
beyond the life on the farm or in the woods, but we still seek somewhere to gather
where we don't have to rush off.

We drop in occasionally at the local cafe to get a meal, but more often, it's to get
a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll if they don't have caramel rolls.  There, in our
own element, we can take time to visit with people we know and get a smile from some
waitress.  We joke and people watch as people come and go.  No, it's not the kooky
people at Walmart.  It's the tourists and locals who sit next to each other.  They
take a break from a long trip to and from the lake, or a long road trip, and we, to
remissness.  Each heart of a small town is a little different, but each makes us
feel better coming out than when we went in.

sent by David Hanson of Gheen