Is the Grass Greener Over There?

Is the grass greener over there on the other side of the fence or anywhere but here? There were many times in my life I believed this common euphemism.

Is the Grass Greener Over There?

Often, the grass is indeed greener in the neighbor’s yard. But is it because they spend more time, money, or energy grooming their lawn? Or perhaps it looks better because of our perspective.

jumpinoff rocks trail
Mountain Azalea

Last week, I shared my walk along a trail in the mountains with my newsletter readers. The photo in the email was a wild mountain azalea with buds. I hoped to return to see it in full flower, but the weather and a busy life got in my way. Then something unique happened.

My dog, Sugar, insisted that we go along the road in front of the house for a walk. So rather than take a solitary walk on the distant Jumpinoff Rock Trail, I indulged her.

mountain azalea
Mountain Azalea

Soon, we passed a shady steep area on the north side of the road. It is covered with an invasive multiflora rose. As we walked past, I noticed a flash of pink. Then, looking closer, I saw a wild mountain azalea in full bloom.

More Treasures Await

Although I always look for flowers on my walks, it amazed me how many new plants greeted me. Some were utterly new to me. Others included the hope of future fruits. And all these treasures allowed me to research their names, which is one of my joys in exploring nature.

Final Thoughts

flame azalea
Flame Azalea

For me, the grass is greener right where I am. So walking out my front door, exercising myself and my dog, I found a long list of new flowers. And it helped me see more treasures as I explored the country roads nearby, like this flame azalea blooming on the roadside.

The next time you think beauty is something you have to find elsewhere, slow down, observe, and discover wonders within your grasp.

Don’t You Love the DMV – Part 2

When you first read, “Don’t you love the DMV part 2,” I imagine your response, “Oh Yeah, one of my favorite places to visit!” Perhaps you expected to read my disheartening experience as a former Floridian, trying to become a North Carolina resident. Let’s see how my visit really went.

Two weeks ago I wrote Part 1 of my experience at the DMV. If you missed it, here’s the link.

The Process Begins

As I sat down in the small office area, I appreciated the protection of the large plexiglass that allowed me to easily hear the maskless DMV employee’s questions as we got started.

Things were going well until I requested a Real ID.

“I need a passport or a birth certificate for that,” he said.

“Oh… I thought I had all the documents. Doesn’t a Social Security card suffice along with my old driver’s license?”

He looked again at my documents. “Wait a minute… yes, this will work.”

Everything went along nicely with us sharing little funny stories about our lives. The rapport between us was growing.

And Your Name?

I always like to know the name of people I meet in an official capacity. It seems friendlier and I like to acknowledge their customer service. However, in this article, I’m giving the DMV employee an alias.

“Well, some people call me ‘asshole’, but my name is John Doe,” he chuckled.

Laughing out loud, I replied, “Well, you didn’t earn that nickname today with me!”

And Then the Photo

As John was working on finishing up the paperwork, I was concentrating on getting ready for the dreaded photo. My eyes tend to look like slits as I almost always have a smile… and the DMV is okay with a smile now. I’m practicing opening my eyes slightly wider in anticipation.

Then I suddenly lose my grip on my purse, which tumbles to the floor. Bending down, I gather it up and return to a sitting position.

Ding! The flash goes off before I had a chance to prepare. The resulting photo is acceptable. Maybe I’ll get another chance in five years when I renew!

Sharing My Positive Experience

Next stop was a walk to the nearby tag office. I’m in such a good mood, the clerk comments on it.

“Yes, I’m so thrilled with North Carolina. Becoming a resident has been so easy and positive!”

“Who did you see at the DMV?” She asked.

“John Doe.”

“Really?” She exclaimed.

“I know, it was kind of unexpected, but I gave him an honest compliment and everything was easy peasy after that!”

In Conclusion

More and more, I’m seeing the truism that ‘Like produces Like’. If I feel down or expect the worst, negativity meets me at every turn.

Conversely, if I feel upbeat and expect the best, life flows easily and obstacles seem to peel off as I walk my path.

Don’t You Love the DMV – Part 1

Don’t you love the DMV? If this acronym is confusing you, in the US we are referring to the Department of Motor Vehicles. We get our driver’s license, plus the title, registration and tags for our cars.

Last week I completed all these tasks, even received my North Carolina Real ID. Never heard of that? Me neither until I began my due diligence toward changing my resident status.

The Real ID is a new form of U.S. government identification. In the near future, airport security will require either a valid passport or a Real ID to board commercial flights.

Getting Back to My DMV Experience

As I headed to my local DMV appointment with my packet of required documents, I felt confident everything was in order. In addition to reading the 101 page driver handbook, I had studied the dizzying laws regarding every form of infraction imaginable. Rather than a onerous task, I was surprised I learned new, helpful information.

As I confidently walked up to the door, the first obstacle appeared. The door was locked. A neatly typed sign indicated every applicant must be accompanied by a DMV employee. Sadly, there was no phone number to call and reach them. I calmly walked back to my car in the 40°F weather and started searching for a solution on my cell phone.

Within minutes a man exited the building, headed toward his car.

“How do I get in?” I asked.
“There’s the guy you need,” He replied, pointing toward the building.

A young man was standing in the sun, smoking a cigarette. Hurriedly, I gathered my packet and purse and made my way toward him. Just as I got there, he extinguished his fag. I inhaled the familiar aroma.

“I never smoked, but in my younger years, everyone I cared about in my life did. Occasionally I really enjoy the aroma of cigarette smoke.”

The DMV employee looked at me with confusion as he held the door open for me.

”Thank you,” I replied.


Yes… this is a classic humorous cliffhanger. Stay tuned for the conclusion next week or signup for my newsletter where you receive additional information reserved for readers of my newsletter.