{ Door Knocking }

My husband is running for a local government office, so he and I have been knocking on random doors, asking strangers in our county if they would be willing to place one of his political signs on their property. For me, this is like a series of cheap and daunting date nights; he and I with our clipboards and phone books, pulling up to farmhouses we have only viewed from a distance. I slowly crunch gravel as I tiptoe out, hoping for a positive connection, while at the same time, hoping no one is home. 

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Door knocking is full of surprises. Since we started, I have had strange dogs jump into my lap, and felt forced to pet them while listening to passionate stories of local history and watershed issues.

We have been chased down by a protective father whose child was in the house alone when we knocked on the door, and after the child phoned him, he pursued us for two miles to find out our business.

Yesterday, while chatting with one woman at her door, her husband yelled out the screen door: “If you are not wearing a mask, we are not putting up a sign for you.”

So be it.

But door knocking has been unexpectedly rewarding. We have met farmers — smart, sensible, resourceful individuals who push on with their strenuous, smelly, thankless work through hot haying weather and frigid winters. I am grateful to live around such hardy, independent people.

When we approach doors, we are reminded that joy and pain and history live inside these unpretentious homes. One neighbor greeted us warmly, even though we were strangers. After connecting ourselves to a common acquaintance, we watched tears trickle down his weathered face while he apologized, confessing that his wife had just died a few weeks ago. One hour later, we left his kitchen not caring why we had come and glad we had offered ourselves as company. 

Door knocking has given us a reason to march onto a neighbor’s acreage and introduce ourselves. We have been living next to these people for more than two decades, and have never met some of them, seen their backyards, or known things like:

  • Some dairy farms offer spa-like perks for their cows, such as fans, body brushes and pedicures. 
  • One neighbor drove a daily carpool 40+ years to work at a candy factory in the Twin Cities.
  • Around here, we have some innovative business owners, former federal agents, and 2:00 a.m. risers. 

So, I guess we will keep knocking on doors, putting up signs, and handing out pieces of glossy paper, because there are more fascinating neighbors to meet.

Photo: by John Reed / Unsplash 

 

 

{ Not a Bucket List }

I was inspired to create the “opposite of a bucket list” by Ordinary Stardust.

Here’s 6 for starters:

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Have a daily 9-5 office job.

One summer, I worked inside an office, typing at a desk.  Constantly on the verge of drowsiness, I’d regularly exit for breaks — a strategy to wake myself up.

Sing in a choir.

I am too prone to laughter. I got in trouble in 5th grade for giggling at silly boys, who were trying to make us laugh.  Even now, in church, singing hymns with my funny husband, it can be a problem. Just telling myself, “Don’t laugh, it’s not funny,” can start the giggles bubbling up.

Join the political scene.

I care about the issues, but don’t see a point in the ceremonial, political song- and-dance. It seems like a game, with its rhetoric and rules.  I try to educate myself, and participate when pressed. I vote, attend caucuses and local meetings.  But, I would never want to be up there on the podium.

Travel with tours.

I’m too independent.  I’d rather peek into forgotten hovels and investigate forbidden stairways than be led like a sheep through Rome.

Live in a big city.

I lived in Hong Kong for a year, and it was fascinating.  But, it had its drawbacks. It’s hard to explain the constant drain of people looking at you and being close to you all the time. Perhaps I will rethink this someday, but for now, I will leave it as is.

Be Cold.

Maybe I’m choosing this one because it’s January and I live in Minnesota.  But, I have been truly cold – it happened just after I had a baby.  Long story short, I lost a lot of blood, was airlifted to the University of Minnesota hospital and was given a few blood transfusions. Warm, dryer-toasted blankets were piled upon me, but still I was shivering.  I thought, “Hell isn’t hot.  It’s cold.”

 

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊