MY FRIEND HILLTON
By Kat Stickroth
I have a confession to make.
Remember in the movie, The Sixth Sense, the boy looks up to Bruce Willis and says, “I see dead people”?
Well, it’s not that bad, but… I see faces.
I’m not talking about the features on the front of the head of a person. I mean in nature- on mountains, in trees, in the most unlikely of places.
One in particular I see every time I drive to Enterprise from Joseph along Highway 82.
A certain morning after a snowstorm, I spotted the dark eyes and a smile embedded on the first hill of about a ton of gravel in the Moffit Construction yard.
“C’mon, Katherine. Give me a break,” I chastised myself. But he couldn’t be missed.
I named him Hillton, and he has become my attitude meter.
Now, when passing Eggleson Corner, I wonder, “How is Hillton doing today?”
The “face” on the south side of the gravel is more noticeable with white cover.
Depending on how the wind shifts the snow, he sometimes has a frowny face. I think, “What’s up with that, Hillton?”
Then I realize I myself am grumpy about something, and change my attitude before I reach my destination. But I have to say, most of the time he wears a big grin.
A circle of my friends say, “Spot it? Got it!” That is, if I’m complaining about someone else’s behavior, more than likely I do the same thing. Otherwise, how would I recognize it in the first place? It took days for my toes to recover from that one.
This awareness has contributed to my usually withholding my opinion until I’m asked. (Remember “If I wanted your opinion I would have asked for it?” I finally get what that means.)
The result of my changing attitude is that I and my friends are much happier now.
Years ago, I heard, “Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.” That one cracks me up.
Within the book of Proverbs is stated, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
I am grateful for friends like Hillton Moffit, who teach me how to live in harmony with myself and others.
My grandkids have yet to visit Wallowa County. I hope they will come soon. Hillton will be among the many they will be introduced to.
Originally published February 10, 2016 in the La Grande Observer newspaper. Reprinted with permission.
Personal note: The above column caused consternation among some of my readers. They wondered if I had lost my mind. I failed to say that this was something fun to see with children. Below is a photo to verify that indeed, the gravel pile looked as though it wore a face. This photo was not published with the article.