YON

I remember when I was a tourist in Montana recently.   I needed to mail some postcards.   I was pretty sure of the cost of the postage,  but I just wanted to make sure, and my GPS knew where the post office was in that little town.   This is it.

butte p o

This was a small little city but it had plenty of people working in the post office.  One nice man called me over and asked what he could do for me.   I told him I just wanted a “price check” for these post cards.

He said:  “Let me see those.”

He proceeded to comment on my “pretty stamps,”  all black and gold, old Christmas stamps,  old one-cent stamps.  They actually did look nice.  We talked for a while about stamp collecting.  I had plenty of time, and he seemed genuinely nice, genuinely interested, as I had found many people across the northern tier of states,  Idaho,  Montana,  Wyoming,  the Dakotas….

He also commented on the post card photos of beautiful scenery.   So we talked for a while about where I had been. . . .post cards

And then he discovered what state I called home, since he read the addresses I had written out.   I’m pretty sure he read a couple post cards too!   Oh, well.   I had plenty of time and he really was nice.    Must be a result of…having plenty of time for people.

Today,  back at home,  rushing around doing errands,  I was stopped up short by a lady behind the cash register, and as she checked out my purchases,  it turned out she also was nice…and friendly….and interested…and from South Dakota!

south dakota   We talked mostly about the wide open spaces in this country, how you can drive for miles and miles,  hours on end, and not see another person,  a town, or even a house.  The land is beautiful – but empty!

So we talked on about how sparsely populated the world as a whole is.   I told her how I had done the math one time,  and if you take ALL the people living on this planet right now,  you could give them each a three-bedroom house and two acres of land, and you wouldn’t even fill up one-third of our own country – and the rest of the planet would be empty!

plains house

I did it for the state of Texas.  I fit everyone into Texas and a few surrounding million acres added in for good measure.     Every family had its own big house and two acres of land.    And then the lady at the cash register and I agreed we could put everyone in the Upper Plains of the U.S.  — just in case people would like to experience the four seasons.

It is a concept so opposite of what we are being told, that it sounds like it is way “yonder,”   way out there.    But truly,  if we were “nice” people who cared about each other,  if  we could take the time and  “do the math,”  we would discover:  we really all could live yon, way out there, comfortably, peaceably,  prosperously, without any overcrowding at all.

plains overview

Hither, thither, and yon.   We could stretch our minds yonder…..

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