“Of all the things I am not very good at, living in the real world is perhaps the most outstanding.”
― Anne Tyler, "The Accidental Tourist."
Raised in a most realistic household (and the Almond kin-line are some of the most realistic folks I know), I really had to work hard to fit in. Of course we don't realize that at the time, even if we know we're different. I was a daydreamer, though I seldom got 'caught'. I could weed a row of green beans, yet be miles away/continents away/centuries away in imagination. In my careers over the years, it's not surprising that as a nurse I worked best with folks suffering from Alzheimer's or doing 'medical detective work' for insurance companies. As a bookseller, I could fill any one's arms with a pile of books, exciting them to buy the whole series ("or you'll be back tomorrow or the day after to get them!"). But...the very real world...not so much. I touch tax forms and break out in a sweat. I pull into a mechanics or make a business phone call and my stomach is in knots. I listen to "Market Place" on NPR not for the financial savvy (the good Lord knows that's where I'm totally befuddled), but for the people who call in and share their stories. Anne Tyler understands. She, too, is an Accidental Tourist. - Beth Almond Ford
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