Monday, October 13, 2008

Wisdom (Not My Own)

© 2008 Karen Van Fossan

I used to be a wild-eyed collector. In 1978, when my family moved from Chenoa up to Bourbonnais, Illinois, my collections had to go with me. We carried my brother's effects (hardly any) to his brand-new room. With sweat dripping and muscles popping, we hauled my stuff (endlessly endless) to mine. Dad discovered my rock collection, in two giant boxes, hiding among the others marked Karen's Room. Long story short, he almost sent me back to Chenoa.

I don't collect rocks anymore, from other people's parking lots. Now I collect their wisdom. Here's a little I gathered this past month:

On the Empire Builder train out of Minot, North Dakota, I met a florist named Bonnie. Her advice...
Let the flowers speak to you.

On a stroll through the Illinois woods, my seven-year-old cousin turned to me, and she said...
I like snakes.

While visiting my dad, I did some research at the Kankakee Public Library. Shock of the world, I spotted an old heart-throb at the check-out counter. As the heart-throb said...
Time marches on.

In Chicago, my mom and I found ourselves at the Freedom Museum. Here, I first learned about America's founding mother, Mercy Otis Warren, who once said...
Every domestic enjoyment depends on the unimpaired possession of civil and religious liberty.
In other words, we're only free in the home when we're truly free in our country.

On the Empire Builder back from Chicago, I met a political scientist named Maggy. We talked and shared our souls from Chicago to Minneapolis (eight full hours). World-wise and shrewd, Maggy reminded me...
There's only one remedy for a jellyfish sting.

2 comments:

Julie said...

I love "Let the flowers speak to you" I want to go and get some flowers now!!

blogslut said...

Does "wise ass" count?
Love the blog!!!