Chris and I used to have a saying “Beware the Bananas!”. See, when we first started our school in 1989, we quickly learned what a small town Evergreen really is. We learned how much people talk, and what they talk about. It’s actually kind of amusing, really. Sort of Vail on a beer budget.
People often come to Evergreen with the dream of buying a house in the mountains. Then forget that often includes a steep driveway, which means a plow truck, a longer drive for shopping, which means greater gas bills, and neighbor children who live far away, which means planning and additional expense in both money and time.
We would often have animated, and very private, discussions about the lives of our clients. Family dynamics were an endless source of fascination. Why do people behave the way they do? Why did that mom have to go back to work after moving up here? Why did that dad trade a McMansion up here for an hour plus commute back down the hill? And why, on God’s green earth, does this little town have such trouble supporting one Christian school. My sister lives in Lancaster where they have whole Christian school districts. She is flabbergasted.
Speculating about children was the most fun. See, people, we could really tell a lot about you by your children. You know that old teacher saying “You believe half of what they tell you about us and we’ll believe half of what they tell us about you?” That’s about right. My, my, what you can learn by simple observation.
I once had to deal with a preschool boy who was fond of telling little girls- “You can’t do that because you’re a stupid girl! I’m going to get my dad to bring his rifle and shoot you!” Or a young girl telling another one, “You can’t use my makeup. It wouldn’t look good on you because you’re skin is too dark!” Hmm, well those didn’t just fall out of the clear blue sky.
Jesus Christ had a half brother named James. In chapter 3 of his book he talks a lot about the tongue. He likened it to a little bitty rudder that steers a ship. The ship can crash mightily upon the rocks if you don’t watch it, and then you lose all your cargo.
He also calls it a tiny spark that can set a whole forest on fire. Remember when Yellowstone burned in the 80’s ? I guess some construction worker threw a cigarette butt into a pile of sawdust. You can Google earth Yellowstone and still see the burned out wreckage.
Hence “Beware the Bananas!” More than once we caught ourselves chatting together while shopping for food. Inevitably, one of us would say something catty or unpleasant about a client, and lo and behold, said client would be rounding the corner, right by the bananas. I think we learned to keep our mouths shut in public somewhere in the early 90’s. Took us a while, though!
Funny though, how much that has changed. CS Lewis once said that there is a reflection of God in all of us, and likened people to pieces of a broken mirror. I guess he meant we all reflect divinity, somehow. ( I daresay we can also reflect spaces in Hell, though, too.)
“Beware the Bananas!” is now on it’s head! I look forward to seeing you people at the produce aisle. I look forward to seeing you here, and at other places we gather. I think Chris would be happy about that.
See you by the bananas!