Customer Service is it out there?

I thought I would tell you what happened last winter out here in Forest. It took a while to recover thus the late report.

I went into such shock that it became necessary to take a nap late on a Saturday afternoon. It was either that or figure if it was five o’clock somewhere and visit Miss Merlot to overcome my emotions.

Every time you turn on the news these days all you hear are the horrors of the world we live in. If you don’t get your fix of world and local news to damage your mental stability you can always find a reality show to fill in the gaps.

Me, I’m from the old school. WORK being a four letter word of the right sort and I’m going to tell you that it still does exist and it’s about to give itself a facelift.  You corporate types might want to consider leaving your egos at the door of your corner office when I’m finished.

My darling daughter wanted her car detailed. She could have left my Forest where she shares life with me and her dad only to deposit her vehicle for ten plus hours while wandering around the mall in the big city leaving her vehicle in the hands of  a corporate structure owning a massive parking lot with a roof over it.

Naturally they would have been happy to detail her nice new car, charge her lots of money and treat her as though she should be happy and grateful for the privilege of their very presence. Having  chosen to be number fifty in line for their fabulous detailing price list. Just check the blocks and you will be out of here in say a few hundred dollars from now. Oh about the time we don’t actually guarantee the time of completion, damage that might occur etc. Just leave your credit card via pre-swipe of your card and go sit on a bench or as I mentioned earlier wander through the mall for hours and miles of walking.

Corporate being what it is  the only deal in town  choose the pale face rider behind the customer service counter push the appropriate button on the computer screen and agree to signing your life away; last button to the right that says agree to all terms and conditions before dropping  keys in the happy to oblige slot.

Daddy had a daddy daughter talk with her and it was decided she might want to call some little guy just getting started with a van, cleaning supplies and a little thing call Groupon. I can’t be sure why she agreed to take his advice other than the last time she left us alone UN-supervised we were either on the roof again sweeping the leaves off or into some other nefarious things she deems dangerous we are famous for out here in my Forest.

Sooooooooooo, this young fellow shows up to detail her vehicle and the crapper is on time. Imagine that? His pants arn’t hanging down to his knees showing his bad taste in underwear. He is neat, well mannered and went right to work. His van was filled to the brim with all the equipment and cleaning supplies he needed to accomplish the task of detailing her fancy dancy much loved hybrid vehicle.

I should tell you up front before we go any further this all occurred last winter coming back from a trip to up-state New York traveling back through that big-ass snow storm.

Let’s just say it was a job of all jobs and to top it all off the dogs had taken the trip as well. Two shedding creatures filled with lots of love having rolled  in all matter of mud, snow and farm manure while there visiting on a dairy farm.

A big smile crosses his face instead of a frown as he begins working. He knocks on the door after a time for her to come out and take a look when he had finished his chore.

I follow being nosy and curious as to how all this magic can happen from a tiny little van parked way out here in my Forest.

To my discovery a forensic CSI agent looking for DNA evidence would have thrown up his hands and given up. The inside and the outside of her vehicle was showroom ready.

I’m thinking this is going to cost you a fortune daughter I don’t care what that Groupon said. After all she had ask for extras once he got here.

The bill, oh the bill; I thought a southern woman would get the vapors and need the smelling salts. It was half the price of a big city job and the work was well the work was simply outstanding. Her vehicle was show room ready if I might say so and I will. It was show room ready.

Industrious hard working folks do exist and in my opinion are the future of our country.

This young man offered something unique, a job well done with a smile on his face coupled with appreciation for the opportunity to do it.

The corporate world should take a lesson from him not to mention the managers and other employees that spend the day complaining about how much they hate their jobs and are on the hunt for more money with less to do for their pay check.

I’m not finished yet.

There are a lot of folks that are intentionally  or not out of work wandering around scratching their rears whining in their beers tapping away texting on their free cell phones who think they are to good to get their hands dirty. Listen up and learn from this young fellow because one day you will find yourself seeing him on the news representing one of those fortune 500 companies HIS the one that understands the word WORK and CUSTOMER SERVICE.

You will no doubt find him in the corner office with the sign that says leave your ego at the door.

Thanks for listening I’ll lighten up next time with a funny for you from my Forest out here Through the Whispering Pines.








Always dream and shoot higher than you

know you can do. Do not bother just to be better

than your contemporaries or predecessors.

                  Try to be better than yourself.”

William Faulkner said this and I thought I would pass it on to you for thought and contemplation.  It has held me in good stead over the course of life’s challenges and triumphs.

Happy Sunday “Through the Whispering Pines”

Arlene Switzer Flynn



God who took the Lard?

Soooooooooooo I’m standing over my  pre War War ll made by General Motors cooking range frying The New World Order water infused bacon this morning.

Stove still works fine. It has never taken a day off in all these years or needed a repairman or in today’s terms a technician.

I got to thinking. The bacon is shrinking and you have to fry up so much of it to have a bite or two that even the dog won’t eat it. He goes for the Beggin Strips these days.
Time is traveling by and my nice planned homemade bacon, egg and pancake breakfast is turning into brunch or as my husband calls it “blegin & cake” breakfast.

In the old days when my stove was new people out here in my Forest all enjoyed a nice Breakfast, Dinner and Supper. Today we have in this new age of knowledge a more refined version of breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner. I did not capitalize them since they don’t count for much these days.
The sleepy heads were still snoozing toward brunch so I decided I would ask God a question.

God what happened to Lard?

I miss Lard and I miss bacon those big thick slices of bacon you could cut from a hunk of side pork wrapped in cheesecloth hanging on a hook in the smoke house. We called it side pork back then and actually knew the hog it came from. My goodness when frying up a pound of the good stuff it took an entire platter to hold it all not this little crapper of a desert looking plate these days. Well, the package that it came in didn’t actually say pound I confess it said twelve ounces.

God where did the pound go?
And God what’s with eggs these days? They are all egg whites and have tiny little yolks. I like my eggs with big yolks you know from hens that eat bugs and such.

Then there’s the cow for milk where’s the grassland God for the cow to graze?

The only thing that round-up hasn’t killed is the ragweed that makes me sneeze. Poor cows are all locked up eating Monsanto grown corn and strung out on extra hormones and such wishing they could all have been born buffalo and living somewhere in the black hills of South Dakota. If I were a milking cow that’s what I would be thinking.
Now God what’s up with the flour these days?

When I was a child it was up to my pappy’s shoulders come harvest time. Boy ole boy when you took it to the mill for them to grind  it was real flour you got back. That was before the wheat met the laboratory scientist that made it grow shorter than a midget in the so called effort to feed more of us folks.
I’m here God in front of my Frigidaire made only by General Motors cook range with the big four burners and the warming drawer, the large oven and the bottom you pull out to store your cast iron cooking pots and pans, are you listening God?


Hello Child this is God speaking:

I can tell you what you need to know but first you must leave and go to the nearest restaurant chain serving by various names the grand slam all you can eat breakfast/brunch. Don’t forget to get the hash browns with all the toppings, order eggs, bacon and the all you can eat pancakes.

     Child make sure you get several orders of any assortment of petroleum based glazed fruit toppings of your choice. Have them put on extra of the chemically treated real artificial whipped cream topping.

Dear One, I’ll see you soon and tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Love from God until we meet face to face.

ps:  Child I’m glad you kept your wonderful ole cook stove. Not many have you know!

Welcome to my Forest

Hello, Readers. I am Arlene Switzer Flynn, the author of Buzzard’s Glory. The novel made its debut in February of 2014, and is a story of remarkable courage, stamina, and a child’s will to survive in the mid-twentieth century Shenandoah Valley, nestled in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains.

I can be found in my chicken-filled yard, busy in the garden, and suckling the best out of my vegetables and herbs. I have done this since childhood, knowing the goodness it provides. My home is in a Virginia National Park with many trees and excellent neighbors.

My faithful dog, Braveheart, makes the rounds with me and in the evening sits on my lap giving me the feeling that all is well. I am an early riser and can be found in the early morning hours before dawn pounding on my keyboard, writing whatever comes to mind.

I am a proud member of The Daughters of the American Revolution and write articles for Women’s Voices Magazine. I have a background of excellence in commercial and residential real estate, and finally as a corporate broker for home mortgages. In my 40 years of business dealings, I held fast to those same principles written in my novel. There is no glass ceiling for anyone!

Thoughts from the Forest