By Abe Villarreal

I have a friend named Jean. She doesn't have a smart phone. She's never purchased anything online for herself. If she needs something, she drives down to the grocery store. If she misses a call, she calls back when she's ready. When she pays for something she uses cash.

She lives on her time and does things her way. When the world is moving too fast. Jean sits and waits. She knows that things will eventually make their way around to her corner of the world. She doesn't mind waiting.

I like Jean's way of life even though I don't see myself living like she does. When I get a text or call I answer right away. I don't want to keep people waiting. I know they don't like it. If I need new shoes or a home gadget that I can't find at the local store, I get online using my smartphone and purchase it in seconds.

It's nice to have everything you need in the palm of your hand. Jean doesn't see it that way even though she believes she has everything she needs. Jean is from a time and place that doesn't exist anymore and the more I learn about it, the more I see the value in that time gone by.

There have been many occasions when I encouraged Jean to get a new phone. I told her that she didn't know what she was missing. Afterall, how can someone live in the past? On other days, when I really needed something done, something crafty and creative that I know takes time and effort, I relied on Jean.

I could have done it but I didn't have the patience or the talent. I could have ordered it online but I knew it wasn't going to look as nice or authentic as if Jean had made it for me. So, I asked Jean to do it and she did.

Jean is the kind of lady who saves things. She saves things because she sees value in them that the rest of us don't. She knows that throwaway items can be used to fix something else. She treasures the little things in life because she knows that someone else spent their time and effort making it for someone else.

We live in a world that is becoming more like a cartoon version of reality. Neighborhoods pop up outside cities and all the houses seem identical. Cars are made to look and feel like they were pushed out of a mass production factory. Things don't have authenticity anymore.

We purchase things because they are easy to purchase. We hold on to them for a moment's time and then we move on to the next distraction. We don't keep things because we don't see value in them.

When what you need is only a click away, it becomes too hard to find worth because there was no effort needed in acquiring it. Jean knows that. The rest of us don't.

In a tiny town, located in the mountains of the Gila Wilderness, Jean spends her time creating things. She doesn't need an ATM or a computer. She has everything she needs because she has kept what is precious to her for many years. She doesn't mind if she misses the latest fad. Jean knows that most things are temporary.

I love Jean and I wish I was more like her. We may think this way of life is harder but really, it's much easier for people like Jean. She has fewer worries. She knows what she wants in life and she makes her way about getting it.

Jean does things on her time, in her own way. When you think it about it, Jean's life is one worth living.

Abe Villarreal writes about the people, culture, and traditions of America. He can be reached at

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