I don't know how these things work, but when I travel around looking at blogs, I show up as from, variously, Tyrone, or State College, or someplace like that. Today, I was surprised to see myself denoted as entering from "Chest Springs, Pennsylvania." I've never heard of Chest Springs, but it struck me as humorous. I have a chest cold right now, and I woke up early this morning, coughing. I simply got up because Tim has to work this afternoon, and I didn't want to disturb his sleep. So I got up and I came down stairs and discovered that I was coming from Chest Spring, Pennsylvania today.
I did a little looking around and Chest Springs in in Cambria county, some distance from here, a small 'map dot', population 110. Isn't that something? And in that little borough, there is no one who lives below the poverty line. That's something too. Furthermore, I discovered that there are 49 homes there, and that 42 of them are lived in by home owners. I discovered that only 11 of them carry mortgages, the other seven occupied by renters. I read on and on. There's a wealth of information on that little town of Chest Springs.
I'm a daydreamer. I have always been one. I remember, as a child, watching a woman in a full skirt shaking out rugs on the big concrete front porch of her home. It was just a glimpse of her, as I rode past in the back seat of the family car. But even then (and I couldn't have been more than ten), I found myself wondering what her life was like, what it was like to live in that house, whether she had children. Did she work outside the home? Was she happy? That sort of thing.
Even today, I still do that. I drove past a woman in Russell. She was pulling weeds from a small garden. Fresh laundry flapped on the line. Her laundry basket sat in a little red wagon. That glimpse told a story. She was elderly. She cared about how her property looked. She was having increased difficulties doing her chores, but had cleverly managed to figure out ways that enabled her to stay active and busy and taking care of herself.
Yesterday, going to Erie to meet with a financial planner (?!!), we drove through a small town in New York State, full of old homes, all well taken care of. I caught a glimpse of another elderly woman, this one sweeping the snow from her steps, from her sidewalks. To sweep the snow...now that's something you do every day or else it packs down and becomes ice. Sometimes multiple times a day if you are getting a lot of snow. She had an old fashioned wool scarf tied around her head and under her chin, and she busily swept the snow away. I daydreamed about what it was like to live her life, to walk in her shoes, to see out of her eyes.
I don't know what this means. It is just something that I found myself thinking on yesterday as we drove to Erie for a business meeting. Today, I'm daydreaming about the residents of Chest Springs, PA. What they're like. About living there. About their little corner of the world. I wonder about quiet people, about quiet lives and quiet places.
Hey. If you live in Chest Springs or know of it, drop me a line.