Home » Gate Guarding » Smile and Nod

Smile and Nod

All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.Β  ~J R.R. Tolkien

I’ll try to finish up the story of how we got into gate guarding tonight soon (lately, the internet has been evaporating after 10). In the interim, I thought I post a couple of short conversational recaps, just for fun.

Some leave little option but to smile and nod. πŸ˜€

I used to have a Life is Good t-shirt that had the second portion of Tolkien’s quote Not all who wander are lost on it. I loved that shirt. I decided it was my lucky t-shirt the day I caught the almost 6 pound bass when wearing it as pictured in: In A Land Far, Far Away.

Then, one day last summer, I got overzealous and added too many quarters to the dryer in the already steaming hot laundry mat in Nixon and transformed it into a 4T.

Still, Tolkien was right. Not all who wander are lost. And neither are all who ask for directions. Variations of this conversation have happened several times (no kidding)!



Trucker: Are y’all familiar with this area?

Sorry, no I’m not.

Trucker: Aren’t y’all from around here?

No, Iowa.

Trucker: Well then, that explains your Canadian accent!Β 

?Β  (smile and nod)

Trucker continues: I was going to ask you for directions.

I have a Texas map, would you like to look at it?

Trucker: No, that’s OK, I’m from around here.

(smile and nod some more)

I’ve quit dressing like Johnny Cash. Now its blue jeans and I’ve traded in my Steve Jobs black forΒ  white t-shirts – the absolute thinnest they sell at Walmart – to wear under my not as cool as one might hope, jailhouse orange security vest.

But Heidi, who unlike me, no longer feels like it’s 127 degrees when it’s really only 107, mostly wears Life is Good T’s. We both love the company and the are happy to advertise the optimism.


I threw Heidi’s t-shirt over a pillow. She’s long asleep by now, which is why it’s headless! I did dress it up in my vest, so you could get the full colorful effect! πŸ˜€


Today a delivery guy made an interesting comment on Heidi’s optimistic Life is Good t-shirt:

Delivery Guy: Hey, cool shirt!

Heidi: Thanks!

Delivery Guy: Just like the Army!

Heidi: (smile and nod…)

Heidi thought the exchange was funny. She had no idea what he was talking about but we’ve kind of gotten used to that since arriving in Texas. πŸ˜€

I’m guessing that he was thinking of the Marine motto Simper Fi –Β  Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful / Always Loyal).

Simplify and Semper Fi – two great concepts for the job and for life! That and smiling and nodding…



Life is Good! πŸ˜€

19 thoughts on “Smile and Nod

  1. You are so funny and I’m so blessed by your sense of humor. The headless Heidi one cracked me up! And just thinking of you smiling and nodding . ..now, that’s grace in action! haha! Hope your night goes well as you talk Canadian to the truckers! Maybe you can make them smile and nod!

    • Hey Deb!
      Tonight one of the drivers,a semi (pun) regular, asked if I would microwave his Chinese food. I have no idea where he found Chinese food down here (must have been in San Antonio – 80 miles N)!
      Anyway, Carlton smiles all the time – one of the few who are smiling at 3 in the morning! πŸ˜€

  2. Oh hell yes! Smile and nod for sure, I have a post I call ‘voluntary mute’ in which I share these sentiments. Debbie I’m delighted to read your post, you can tell a story, for sure…..but of course this you know, I just feel the need to repeat it! Have a safe night.

    • Hi Sherrie!
      Voluntary Mute! I’ll have to look for your post and for my button! πŸ˜€
      The internet, which has been completely absent, seems to have mysteriously materialized tonight?
      I’m hoping to carry some smiling and nodding into the real world, should I ever re-enter. πŸ˜‰
      Thanks for your kind words!
      Feel free to repeat yourself anytime!

  3. (Pot Pie smiles… then nods ~ now I know what he means by that…) True wisdom without comparison… how else would one respond to simplify = Simper Fi? πŸ™‚ …you two must keep an extra stash of Goody powders around the Fork! God bless.

    • Howdy mt –
      I think smiling and nodding has probably kept us out of a lot of trouble.
      Of course, it could get a person into some, too – but we can usually tell by looking. πŸ˜€
      That Pot Pie is a wise one!

  4. LOL – It is really boring when we get back to Michigan and we can understand what people are saying!! I remember one time a man got angry with me and was yelling at me. I just smiled and nodded. He spoke spanish and I didn’t understand a word!! Then there was the time when I was asked in what part of Texas was Michigan located. I just smiled and nodded. Didn’t have time for geography lesson!!

    • Hey friend!
      OK, I love that one! No one has asked me just where Iowa is IN Texas! Really, if you’re not from Texas, it doesn’t matter anyway, does it? πŸ˜‰
      Sometimes I think it’s probably just as well I can’t remember any Spanish!

  5. Love you sister! I’ve been sadly unmotivated lately in blogland, but i am still cruising over blogs. I have met a new road that is less chaotic and more fun-loving, but i love reading all you write. I am stepping into spirituality in a big way. I’m not sure i’d call it spirituality as much as Love of Life: Life is Good. Maybe i’m only at I can DO this thing called life, and sometimes is really really good, and sometimes i’m a little bored, but i have opportunities now to have conversations about how Life is Good (and how that relates to war) … ?

    I’m glad you reinterpreted it as Always Faithful Always Loyal. I am a self-declared always Faithful, Always Loyal person, despite my discontent over war … but i’m not from Texas ??? πŸ˜‰

    Canadian accent! Oh boy. Iowans sound just a wee bit like the folks i heard in BC … but not much, and that’s the mild side of Canada grrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Much love and always thinking of you, lady, MEL

    • Hi Mel!
      Just kick back and cruise for as long as you want!
      Write when you feel like it. πŸ˜€

      My Dad was a Major in the Marines (in WWII)
      Believe me, I grew up knowing what Semper Fi was and what it stood for.
      Heidi’s Dad was in the Navy. She’s better with S.O.S.! πŸ˜‰
      love to you, too,

    • Hey guys!
      For some reason, your comment went straight to spam.
      It was still pristine when I retrieved it! πŸ˜‰
      I’m just guessing at the Semper Fi – but I think it makes sense… sort of. πŸ˜€

  6. Shoot, I should just park here at your blog–I laugh so much, keeps the endorphins poppin’–those conversations are hilarious! I’m a bit concerned about the guy who had trouble with simplify and semper fi–and he didn’t even know which branch of the service went with the latter…sorry, I know I was supposed to just smile and nod, or laugh privately. I really like the guy re “directions”, and Iowa folk having Canadian accents– I better just keep the rest of my thought to myself (PC and grace and all that). God bless you gals–much love, sis Caddo

    • Hey Caddo!
      I just found you in my spam! What are you doing hanging out there (with all those American Airline folks)?
      I’m so glad the internet held up long enough for me to read of your woes tonight and so I could go looking for!

      You know, they used to send news anchors to the Midwest to lose their accents (no kidding – we have the most boring bland way of talking).
      This accent thing comes up all the time here. So funny!
      It’s like someone saying Wow! You have brown hair!
      Anyway, thanks for ‘getting it’ and laughing with me!

      I see lights in the distance y’all, so I suppose I’d better be takin’ off, eh? πŸ˜‰
      Your friend from somewhere other than here,

      • I lived in Minnesota for 9 years, then TX for about a year before heading to the Pac NW in 1967–where I’ve remained. I guess it’s because I talk to my Houston cousin every week, that I sound “southern/Texan”–I don’t know.

        My spam issue just got worse–one of our very lovely devout sisters just let me know that she found me in spam, along with a “Caddo Co” selling sexual aids. I’ll never live this down–thank goodness you sent me the black mask, Sis! So I’m requesting BIG prayers that as I unsubscribe from “everywhere”, and re-subscribe–I’ll be back in Caddo-comment form sooner than later… Will email you soon, regardless! love you much, sis Caddo

        • Hello my veiled friend!
          I feel your name pain.There was a pretty famous not family friendly movie in the late 70’s with the name Debbie in the title.
          No point in writing it out – everyone knows it and I don’t want to promote it. I didn’t see it but people would tease me about it. I could have used that fancy mask of yours. πŸ˜‰
          Anyway, looks like you got your spam problem fixed and then some! πŸ˜€
          Love it!

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