I'm back from Hicksville. My wife is almost back. Don't get me wrong; she returned with me, but psychologically, it's taking her some time to re-establish equilibrium. I never had psychological balance to begin with, so, consequently, the hike to and from Hicksville had little impact. It was the time in Hicksville that has me in recovery-mode. Here's some slices of life in Hicksville:
*I drove to the Hicksville Bank to see if a particular feature had changed. Nope--still there. The parking lot still provides a hitching post for the Amish to diagonally park their buggies. Apparently, it was a slow day at the bank.
*Something took me by surprise. I've always known that Hicksville isn't the epicenter of liberalism, but I was stopped in my tracks by the conservative sentiment painted across the windows of a local business. Of course, the business is owned and operated by one of my cousins. I didn't have the courage to ask Dave about his political stance; I just snapped a quick photo and sped off quicker than a Republican can spell "healthcare legislation disaster."
In case the picture isn't clear for you, in the upper windows is painted "Palin/Beck 2012" and across the lower windows is contained "ONE BIG ASS MISTAKE, AMERICA," what I assume to be a reflection on Obama being elected President. I think if I had engaged Dave in conversation about politics it would have been "one big ass mistake," so I discussed the barometric pressure, instead.
Life there is simple; the front page of the latest Hicksville News Tribune addressed the pros and cons of the newly established school policy of mandatory playing-of-a-musical instrument for all 5th and 6th graders. The NRA wants each of us to pack a weapon; Hicksville wants us to carry a clarinet. Actually, I think the world would be a beautiful place if we all would follow Hicksville's lead.
I poke fun at my roots, but, at the same time, am grateful for those initial anchors and guides. They are people who would do anything for you. You don't have to guess; what you see is what you get--duplicity is the exception. Nothing fancy, little sophistication. Unimpressed with credentials and degrees, most of them are the real thing.
Before we left Hicksville I stopped by my dad's graveside. I stooped and touched the earth in a futile attempt to somehow re-connect with him, a simple man whose body lies beneath the soil, but whose spirit soars in realms beyond my reach.
I am blessed to be back; I am blessed to have gone. After all, a day in Hicksville is like a month anyplace else.