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Thoughts of what I’m not and what I am

My thoughts have turned recently to what I am and what I’m not.

The latter would include not being a world traveler or even a U.S. one for that matter, which sometimes makes me feel a bit guilty or at least a little uncomfortable in circles where the conversation flows freely about joyful journeys people have taken here and there.

This was reaffirmed when I attended the opening meeting of the 2019-20 club year for a local woman’s club.

It was the roll call portion of all things that had me squirming a bit, not that the attendance was going to include me, but I had one of those sweating flashback terror classroom moments of being called on by the teacher for an answer I didn’t know.

When their names were announced, rather than just say “here” or “present,” members were to respond with something about where they had gone during the summer or what they had done.

The vast majority had been near and far.

I was in a bubble initially, still internally processing the fact that the summer of 2019 had come and gone without my knowledge or permission, it seemed.

Summer had left in such a hurry, like the Wicked Witch of the West, here one second and gone the next on her broom, leaving behind a cloud of smoke.

Members of this club had been on the move, save a hip replacement surgery and someone in my line of thinking who was a dedicated and content back-porch observer of life.

There was no way I could dazzle anyone with my destinations, that’s for sure.

Had I been part of this roll call, I would have confessed that I’d been on several high-mileage guilt trips at best (what scenery and experiences!) with one trip to the emergency room for good measure.

Oh, the priceless wish-you-were-here postcards I could have sent if I weren’t too cheap to buy postcards and stamps.

When it comes to traveling, I guess I got my dad’s genes, not my mother’s, who was ever ready to go anywhere and to her credit did.

Some of that adventurous spirit to see other places passed on to my siblings, two of whom traveled this year to Wales where our ancestors are from.

They did not go together or it wouldn’t have been a real vacation. (Just kidding. A little joke for my online subscribing sister.)

On a more somber note, it was at a family bereavement dinner last weekend that a conversation unfolded about how there was no better place to grow up during the period of time that we did than in the little town of Richmond.

I am prejudiced about this, of course, so you can replace that with any community of your choosing, but times were simpler, safer, special, so many things I think might be absent today in the childhood experience.

I have always felt blessed to come from a small town and to be in one where the sights I see are friendly and familiar.

Dorothy knew her stuff.

There’s no place like home.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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