Deb Ward, GWS, OWS, PWS, WSI - WATERCOLOR/WATER MEDIA - My passion is teaching adult “beginners”. Weekly classes in my home; workshops; classes for Cincinnati Recreation Commission. My work is nationally recognized and published - see “Featured” on my sidebar. I’m a Signature Member of Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana state Watercolor Societies, Cincinnati Art Club, past-President of Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. Contact info below under “Class Information”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Every now and then some small thing suddenly makes me realize how fortunate I am. The other day comes to mind.

Mike and I were out in the afternoon and he went to the bank while I sat in the car. Jake and Jeff came out and chatted with each other and as they began to walk away I called out to Jeff (my son’s friend since high school) so he came over and talked to me while I waited for Mike. Then Jake drove out of his parking spot to park next to us and talk to Mike when he came out of the bank. Very neighborly.

Main Source Bank, St. Leon, IN
Then that same Friday evening – so pleasant, warm and NOT raining! - my husband and I went to the local steakhouse for dinner ( and, as usual, the food was delicious. When was the last time you had a steak you could cut with your fork and when you were done there wasn’t a scrap on your plate, not one tiny bit of fat? The salad was comprised of fresh local produce and the rolls were so yeasty and sweet. Terry does a great job! Yum!
Mike got to know them soon after they bought the restaurant and has plowed their parking lot in the winter, given them a wood stove to use in the winter and plowed their garden in the spring. If we get dessert we ask for it “to go” – and we get to take it on the china plate – they know we will return it!
Mr. Jim's Steakhouse
Before we left, our neighbors up the road walked in with their family and we chatted with them a few minutes. Mike had recently turned over their garden and we get our eggs from them.

Following dinner we drove up to the interstate exit and while Mike fueled the car I ran into the gas station and bought a gallon of milk. Paul was at the cash register helping out. He always has a smile and kind word and of course he asked “what are you up to?” and really cared about the answer!
Alig's Shell Station - and car wash!
Paul used to own the local tavern - not your typical tavern, but a local landmark dating back to the mid 1800’s - where on any given night you can find the locals playing Texas Hold ‘em or Euchre, talking, laughing, eating and having a beer or two. Nothing fancy here, mind you, none ah them high falutin’ prissy drinks; just beer or a shot. (Think “Cheers” in the country(!) because everyone does know your name!) And the burgers are thick and juicy and done to perfection.
St. Leon Tavern (Formerly Paul's Tavern)
Two of the other gas stations in St. Leon are owned by David. We have known him since he was in high school!
Exxon Station, St. Leon, IN
And we used to run a “tab” at the other gas station – still a “mom and pop” operation where I still buy my dog food and have it carried out and put into my trunk!! (Note to Murr: they will even pump the gas for you!)
E-Z Stop, St. Leon, IN
We drove home admiring the fields, newly mown lawns and slowly setting sun.

We passed our daughter and Joe – apparently they had been to our house to pick something up. Soon they will live about 2 miles and 5 minutes away, not the far away 9 miles and 15 minutes where they live now!

Lining our driveway (over one mile long!) the grasses swayed with the gentle breeze; soon a local farmer will be baling them into hay. The neighbor’s cows stopped to watch us drive past.
Fields and driveway
I thought about how I’d just seen several people I know, and how I truly KNOW people within about a 20 mile radius of my home. We wave as we go by; sometimes we pull over and stop our cars just to chat a bit and catch up (after all, we don’t see much of each other during the winter!) “What are the kids up to?”, “did so-and-so have her baby yet?”, “your garden’s looking good!”, “been fishing lately”, “come back soon and see us!”

Nothing special, nothing noteworthy – just a pristine moment in time when I take stock and realize how truly lucky I am to live in this beautiful country.

(For another post about St. Leon - go to October 29, 2008 and read about the Pole Raising!)


RHCarpenter said...

Small town living has to be the best for a country, girl, Deb :)

Christiane Kingsley said...

Deb, you are indeed lucky to live surrounded by warmth and friendship. I drive to work in the morning getting stuck in traffic jams and surrounded by anonymous cars and drivers that I will never see again:-(

debwardart said...

You are right, ladies!
For some reason the "Green Acres" theme is playing in my head, with Andy whistling along!!!
It is a great place to live!!!

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

What a fun, warm blog post. Its the kind of thing you take for granted. We forget the busy, hurried days of city life. Not that I think thats bad ... we enjoyed the city life yesterday and loved every minute of it.

Chris Beck said...

Well, you can see how far behind I am in blog reading -- sheesh! But this post was so enjoyable to read that I just had to leave a comment -- it reminds me of how things were when I was growing up -- the "country" was about 5 minutes away by car and we knew so many people just to stop and chat with -- same as you describe -- nothing earthshaking, just honest interest in each others' lives.