Monday, April 24, 2006

What if WE Go the Way of the Old Country Store?

One of my earliest blogging memories is of discovering Unburned Pieces of The Mind by Scot Cunningham. I read a piece he wrote called A Mid-August Stroll. It moved me to write this comment before I left.

Thanks Scot, for the clarity, thought, and thoughtfulness in your writing. The further I read the more comfortable I became easing myself into your day. Enjoy the walk. Hope it gives you what your writing gave me.

That night at friend's house, I pulled up Scot's piece and we read it together. She had the same reaction to his writing I did.

Scot came over a few days later to find out about the stranger that had left a comment on his blog. He left me words I've quoted quite often since.

I'm beginning to find that having a blog is akin to having a village store.You have the regulars that stop in on a regular basis to get their usual wares
and to catch up on anything new. And then there's the new person in town who stops in for a look see. The new person might get a couple of the regulars curious to the point where one asks, "Who's that." To which the reply is, "Don't know, someone passing through I guess." As for my blog, I'm glad you stopped by to have a read and for your kind response.

Since you're a newcomer, I decided to check out your blog, and I find I'm very pleasantly surprised with both your content and your craftsmanship. I like personal narratives, especially when they're well written. "Trusting and Believing" reminded me of the many conversations I used to have with my grandmother. Without "Hope" and "Joy," as your essay so eloquently demontrates,we lose our "connection to humanity." Your last paragraph is especially poignant and makes that connection self-evident without being contrived. Beautifully done. I think I might find myself becoming a regular. As such I have linked your site to mine.

Thanks again for visiting, Scot.

So began one friendship which is now many friendships in common. We're a community—people that my heart knows are intertwined as much as any in the brick and mortar world might be.

I've been enjoying this community so much I've hardly paid attention to what's been happening about the Internet in the real world. I guess I figured that I wasn't hurting anyone, why would anyone want to hurt me?

That kind of thinking has gotten me in trouble before. I'm a little old to stop being Pollyanna now, but I can pay attention to what my reasoning tells me.

I don't pick causes or argue my views to others much. I figure folks have their own. They don't need mine. Still I value what I just described so highly that I cannot stay quiet now.

So hear me whisper this. Some folks don't care about country stores and communities. They care about pipelines that carry bits and bytes and how much they can charge for that service.

What worries me is that, while we're sitting in our country stores and around our campfires, they're fighting to make laws to own the Internet.

I wrote about it on my brainy blog, in an article called, How Do You Tell People Who Won't Be Told? I was including myself in the title. . . .

Would you read what I read today by a man named Jeff Pulver? He's running a contest for ideas to help make people aware. Here are the rules. Then if you could pass any part of this on . . .

I really like our country stores a lot. My life would be less without all of you.
—me strauss Letting me be


Anonymous said...

There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.
-H.L. Mencken

In country stores we find out to what degree they are wrong. Inside and out of the blogosphere your soulful presence makes a difference ... No blogging community can ask for a better country store than Letting Me Be ...

Keep shining through the cyberspace Liz as the words of the sun tend to be the best medicine for one and all ...

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hello Jozef,
My store is always open, especially for folks who need a place to find a friend. I miss soms of last summer's discourse. I wonder what I did differently then or maybe the world has just moved on and other folks will come along to talk of other thins. . .

Anonymous said...

You know that's a wonderful description. That's so much for sharing it. And for welcoming me way back when. You're country store makes me think of my small town post office. Ken the postmaters know's everyone by name. What they do, their children and a variety of other events in their life. You go in and you have a wonderful conversation everytime. He makes you feel special and brightens your day. Just like my Blog family :D

Great piece! Thanks for sharing.

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

Hi Jennifer,
I feel the same way when you come here. I see your smile and listen for your stories. I look forward to sharing them and being a part of your life.


Anonymous said...

> "Some folks don't care about country stores and communities. They care about pipelines that carry bits and bytes and how much they can charge for that service."

but, but... That's the New American Way!

Danger! Danger!

You are getting awfully close to an argument against our society's new mantra "Globalization!"

Large Corporations and "The Market" are much more EFFICIENT than Government at managing and allocating resources! And that includes the Internet! Don't try to mess with The Market!

Afraid your little community store is going to be replaced by a Walmart?

What are you? Some sort of pinko commie liberal anti-progress feel-good environmentalist?

Always Remember: Capitalism and Greed are good!

E :)

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

If I didn't know you better, I'd have to thrash you. :)

Anonymous said...


Sorry, I just could not resist... I know you want to create a place for peaceful introspective so I usually just stay quiet. :)


"ME" Liz Strauss said...

That's quite all right. I can't thrash you quietly. I won't disturb anyone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tribute. I'm grateful for the correspondence we've had with each other these past several months, and I enjoy the easy camaraderie that's developed between us. I'm never disappointed whenever I take a sit to see what you've been up to. Your kind, insightful responses have helped me considerably in developing more confidence in my writing. . .

"ME" Liz Strauss said...

And you for me, Scot.
And you for me.