Greetings in America, a land of congeniality. In other parts of our country not blessed by irrepressible sunshine, people converse about weather. I’ve shared the jaw-dropping, weather-related comments of some of our visitors from Elsewhere in America in another post. They left us aghast. I recorded, yet do not condemn. Most of our guests have been genuine friends. Fare thee well and forward.

Local people, often of Midwestern roots, begin with a fresh-faced smile, saying “Hi. How are you?” When we were younger, the answer was usually, “Fine, how are you?”, though some people would merely say, “Fine” and move on.

Lately with friends of a certain age, “How are you?” will evoke an extended discourse about health plaints and aging, reminiscent of the classic Buddhist reflection on the 32 parts of the body — a report on the liver, lungs, joints, muscles, kidneys, heart — a conversation that could be entitled “the organ recital.”

I admit to sliding into this conversational pit of late. One of my purposes in posting is to alert myself and friends that I do not wish to be buried by the quicksand of this trap. It is a clear sign of curmudgeonly aging that I wish to avert, along with yesteryear rants against the country and youth. I want to sing a new song, tackle new ideas and turf.

I want to travel “Down Under”.

Greetings in Australia:

“G’day, mate. How’s it goin’?”

“I’m as happy as Larry.”

Native Aussies really greet each other with the phrase to indicate “fine” according to our friends who have traveled there recently. Less banal and more extraordinary, so apt for my husband, Larry. The Aussies couldn’t have selected a better role model for “fine” than him. He is mighty fine.

We are vacationing in Australia as soon as we can. We will fit right in; just like we fit right in here.  We are happy as PJ and Larry. Let’s speak of that.

Be Happy