So this morning I found myself sitting at a table for ten at the Yellow House Bed and Breakfast, another place I enjoy visiting. Everyone else has just left the table after an enjoyable meal with much conversation that was for the most part light in nature with laughter and smiles.
In addition to myself, seated at the table was a couple form New York, who now live in Asheville and are very happy to be there, and then there was a couple who live near Raleigh, North Carolina, and they were so excited because they had seen the Rocky Mountain Elk near Cherokee, which is not a long drive, and the last couple now lives in an area not so far from Memphis. They are pleased with their new home; it’s a safer area, but they still seek the restaurants of Memphis for great BBQ. They had great stories of Elvis and his kind nature with everyday people.
The inn keeper, who has become a friend over the years, is a US Marine veteran and knows how to keep the Inn in good shape, and he for sure also knows how to make a great breakfast. I enjoy our colorful conversations; however, on this visit he was suffering with considerable back pain that seems to come and go with more frequency with the passing of time. But as Marines do, he smiles and keeps on going.
The Blue Jays are among the other winged friends who are enjoying breakfast, but theirs is from freshly filled bird feeders just outside the large bay window in the dining room. It’s amazing to watch them, and when I stepped out to capture a few pictures after a moment of standing still, they were kind enough to allow me to capture a few good images.
I now hear the sound of the wind chimes from the expansive white rocker-lined front porch, and it’s calming as I sit here and reflect on how rich life is when you take time to have lingering conversations.
I had the opportunity to spend more time with the couple from New York. They were interested in hearing more about some of my stories and our visit lasted for some time. At the end of our visit, one of them said, “You know, I actually feel better about Southern people.” She went on to say that in the eyes of the Northerners, people from the South are not always thought of in a positive way. I said I am glad you feel better about us. In truth, I have said for many years that the Northern folks come to the South to get better and I still believe that it’s true. It’s not because there is something wrong with people from the North, but rather we are all better when we take time to slow down and enjoy each other. Taking time for lingering breakfast conversations with strangers is a good thing.
I believe it’s the best way to evolve and grow as individuals, and it’s just easier to do that in the South. While we are also busy people, we have a strong history of great hospitality, good food, good music, and the willingness to give people as many chances as they need as long as they are trying to do the right thing. This is a very practical approach to building good communities. I realize that we occasionally miss the mark but we do try hard.
As I sit here and write this down so I won’t forget this moment, I realize that I enjoy getting to know all kinds of people. I enjoy visiting the Yellow House, Blue Jays, and New Yorkers who are coming around to our way of being. It’s a good day when just by being yourself people feel a little better about life