Best Θings in Līf Iz Gratis 
 
            Man and wīf step out۔sīd ov θā’s hous, let۔ing θe rēr bug·skrēn·dōr slam xut.  Walk۔ing along θe paθ by θe fens, θā nōt grōθ in θā’s vejtabel garden.  Θā eksit۔d θrū θā’s rēr gāt, enter۔ing a long nārō paq ov fōrest, and strōl۔d up·hill along a well-utilize۔t paθ.  After θe worxip selebrāxun θat mōrnin, and bak hōm fōr lunq, θā’s nīn yēr۔s ōld dauter had bēn eskort۔t tū a nearby birθ·dā partē, wīel θā’s seven yēr۔s ōld son trot۔d down·hil tū θe fōotbal fēld tū plā wiθ his neighborhood friends.
            Mid۔dā, sun۔ē and warm, θe kupel strōl۔d along θe fōrest paθ, hand in hand:  xē slender and pritē, wār۔ing a modest yelō flower-print dres, hē muskyūlar from konstruktxun work, in a tēxirt and xōrt trouser.
            “Ō, lōok!”  Xē stūp۔d at a rō ov wīt lilē۔s, glēm۔ē in sunxine.
            Az xe bend۔d fōrward tū smel won, he nōtis۔d wiθ plejur θe splax of brown hair۔s θat lā, V-xāp۔ē, on her yelō dres.
            Θrū gaps in trē۔s apēr۔d glimpses ov smal won-flōr۔level۔ē hous۔s similar tū θā’s ōn – θe western outer rim ov θe plan۔t komyūnitē, bild۔d dekād۔s erlē۔er and stil flourix۔ing.  Θe hous۔s along θat rim wuz relativ۔bē smal – sit·rūm, kitqen, mārital bed·rūm, and twū smal bed·rūm۔s – but kōzē.  Build۔t by his grandfaθer, θā had bēn renovāt۔d several okāxun۔s.  On θe far ēstern sīd ov θe komyūnitē (design۔t in θe patern ov a wagon wēel wiθ lān۔s from θe senter alīk wēelspōks) wuz big۔er hous۔s, wīd, twū flōr۔level۔s tal – fōr familē۔s wiθ stedē hī-pay۔in job۔s.  Θe Komyūnitē Senter (θe hub) fētūr۔d a market, an elementārē·skūol, bal·fēild۔s and spōrtkōrt۔s, a larj mēt۔in rūm, a fyū stōr۔ets.  Fōr big۔er purqas۔s and θe midel·skūol, resīdent۔s rīd۔d bus۔s ōr drīv۔d kars tū town.
            Bird۔s qirp۔d.  Xē and hē brēθ۔d lung۔fuls ov pyur āir.  Nōiz۔ē, polūt۔ē gasoline-engines, stil a nūsens in distant neighborhoods, wuz ban۔d in θe komyūnitē.
            At θe worxip gaθer۔in erlē۔er θat mōrnin, θe sermon wuz entītel۔d, Ask and Yū Will Rēsēv.  Az θe kupel strōl۔d along θe fōrest paθ, xē ask۔d hē if hē bēlēv۔d θat wuz trū. 
            “Ask and yū will rēsēv?”  Hē nod۔d.  “Wiθ mē, yes.  I fīnd۔d yū, and our līf wiθ our qīld۔s.”
            “It mā depend on wut yū ask fōr,” xē spekyūlāt۔d.
            Aprōq۔ing θā on θe paθ, an ōld woman hobel۔d along, lēn۔ing fōrward on her kān, her grā hairs tī۔d bēhīnd her hed in a bun stīl popyūlar haf a sentūrē erlē۔er.  Hōld۔ing her hand wuz a grandauter – haf۔grōn, wiθ θe sām nōz and ī۔s.  Az θā pas۔d, al fōur eksqānj۔d warm smīl۔s.
            Θe sound ov bouns۔ing bal۔s, at first fānt, bēkum۔d loud۔er az θe kupel kontinyū۔d onward, fīnal۔lē/tū wiθin vyū ov θe basketbal spōrtkōrt۔s, okyūpī۔t by run۔ing tēnājōrt۔s amid kal۔s ov enkourajment and viktōrē.  A fyū tēnājōrm۔s, wār۔ing kyūt dres۔s and faxun۔ē hāirs۔stīl۔s, qēr۔d from θe sīdlīn۔s.
            Far۔er along, θe kupel pauz۔d tū watq a qun ov turkōis and blak buterflī۔s fluter akros θe paθ.  Θen θā dētūor۔d tū a paq ov rasberē bux۔s, and ēt۔d θā’s fil.  Θe fōrest separāt۔ing θe komyūnitē۔s wuz fil۔d wiθ frūt trē۔s and bux۔s, plant۔t yēr after yēr bī skūol·qīld۔s.
            “Nekst monθ we wil bē lā۔ing θe foundations fōr a nū plan۔d komyūnitē,” hē koment۔d.  A fōrmer konkrēt work۔ort, hē wuz by θen a sūpervīs۔ōr.  Xē work۔d θe lunq xift at Dāzē’s Eats wīel her qīld۔s wuz in skūol, and almōst evrē ēvnin eksept wēkend۔s rēpēt۔d stōrē۔s from θe litel resturant’s qat۔ē kustomōr۔s.
            At θe nekst wēelspōk θā turn۔d in۔ward, walk۔d along θe asfalt۔ē lān, and sūn arīv۔d at her parent۔s’ hous.  Θat mōrnin at θe worxip selebrāxun her faθer had tel۔d xē θat her moθer wuz sik.  Θe ōld۔er woman ōpen۔d θe dor wār۔ing her nītgown, sā۔ing xē wuz fēel۔ing beter.  Fōr a wīel θe kupel sit۔d and talk۔d.
            Θe brook θat wīndkurv۔d θrū several plan۔d komyūnitē۔s wuz dam۔d, krēāt۔ing a lāk, dekād۔s erlē۔er stalk۔d wiθ fix۔s.  Depart۔ing from his wīf, θe man hed۔d θer.
            Wāt۔ing at θe dok wuz an ōld frend, niknām P. M.  From θā’s lok۔ōrs θe twū man۔s rēmūv۔d θā’s fix۔in ekwipment.  Θen θā rent۔d a bōt, and rō۔d on θe water, past wār som bōē۔s wuz swim۔ing, and dangel۔d θā’s fix۔in pōl۔s.
            On bōθ sides ov θe long nārō lāk, wiq rēflekt۔d θe almōst kloud۔les blū skī, lō hil۔s wuz kover۔d wiθ grēn lēf۔ē trē۔s.  Wāt۔ing fōr fix۔s tū bīt, θe man۔s trād۔d vyū۔s on θā’s government, and on θe fōrθkūm۔ē ēlekxun. 
            Θā’s wīf۔s had long bēn best friends.  Bōθ woman۔s, voluntēr۔ōrs at θe sām plās, had bond۔d, and θrū θā, θā’s husband۔s had mēt۔d.
            Bak on xōr, ēq kārē۔ing sak۔s kontān۔ing enuf fix۔s fōr θā’s familē dinners, θe man۔s xāk۔d hand۔s gōodbī.
            “Noθin beter θan spend۔ing an afternūn wiθ a gōod frend,” koment۔d P. M.
            “Unles it·iz kaq۔ing fix۔s at θe sām tīm.”
            Mēnwīl, wīel her husband wuz fix۔ing, θe wīf dētūor۔d to wat komyūnitē resīdent۔s niknām۔d θe Hub, pas۔ing along Faxun Lān tū windō·xop.  Bēing frūgal, xē rār۔lē perqas۔d, but xē muq līk۔d tū lōok, tū sē wut wuz sel۔ing.  It bēing θe dā ov worxip, θe stōr۔s wuz xut۔d, alow۔ing xē in front ov a larj displā tū linger.  Θen xē hed۔d hōm۔ward.
            In her sit·rūm xē rēmūv۔d her flūt from it’s kās, and bēgin۔d tū plā.  Wen ask۔d wī xē plā۔d flūt, xē often rēplī۔d, “It iz wut I dū fōr mē.”  Wiθ θrē oθer woman۔s, xē okāxun۔lē perfōrm۔d “dubel duets” at lōkal fairs – grāt fun.  Θat afternūn xē wuz praktis۔ing θe Fōur Felines’ rēsent۔est song, ko-rīt۔t by herself.
            Wen her son walk۔d in, gras stān۔s on his tan xōrt·trouser, xē dispaq۔d hē tū baθ·xower.
            Bak in θe kitqen, her husband wuz rins۔ing twū ōranj karot۔s from θā’s garden.  Θrē pink۔ix grā fix۔s lā۔d on θe kount۔ōr, alredē dēbōn۔t.
            “Diner,” hē sā۔d wiθ a grin.
            Wīel xē wuz bāk۔ing θe fix۔s and kōok۔ing θe rīs, xē ērhēr۔d a nok on θe kitqen dor, and wēv۔d in a nū nābōr, hū had ērhēr۔d xē wuz a volunteer۔orm.  After skribel۔ing infō about θe Komyūnitē Senter fōr θe Def, θe nābōr koment۔d, “Voluntēr۔ing – giv۔ing az well az tāk۔ing – kēp mē senter۔d.”
            Θe faθer apēr۔d at his son’s ōpen bed·rūm dor.  “Want tū work on θe xip?”  Hē mēn۔d θe plastik minēatōụr fōur-windsāil۔s xip θā wuz glū۔ing tūgeθer in θe bāsment plā۔rūm.
            “Kant, dad.  I must finix mī ariθmetik asīnment bēfōr diner, sō afterward I kan watq Wonder World.”
            Θus θe man walk۔d bak tū θe sit·rūm, swiq۔d on θe televixun, and tūn۔ōr it tū won ov θe publik qanel۔s, support۔t by interspers۔d advert۔s, tū θe tāil end ov a fōotbal gām.
            At diner θe bōē tel۔d how hē had skōr۔d a gōl, and θe girl deskrīb۔d θe birθ·dā gift۔s her frend had rēsēv۔d.
            After θe qīld۔s klēr۔d θe dīn·tābel, θe man wax۔d θe dix۔s, wīel θe woman wīp۔d and tīdē۔d.
            Dur ēvenin۔s after θe qīld۔s finix۔d θā’s skūol work, θe familē often watq۔d vidēō۔s tūgeθer (adults watq۔ing kid۔s’ xō۔s), ōr if noθin ov interest on vidēōs, kompēt۔d at plā·kard۔s.  Somtīm۔s θe man dis۔fold۔d blūprint۔s ov θe fōrθkūm۔ē konstruktxun projekt and studē۔d θā.  Θe woman līk۔d tū kēp her hand۔s bizē nit۔ing a pāl۔bē blū sweter fōr her yung۔er sister’s nū bābē.  Θat nīt θā watq۔d Wonder World.
            Stōrē-tell۔in wuz part ov bed-tīm ritual, folō۔ing prār۔s, and ēven at āj۔s nīn and seven bōθ qīld۔s klām۔d θā kud not slēp wiθout first ērhēr۔ing a stōrē.  Θus θā’s parent۔s alternāt۔d, rē۔tel۔ing stōrētāl۔s from θā’s kultūr’s past.  Her alternat·tīm.
            Not long afterward, θe adults rētīer۔d tū θā’s bed·rūm.  After baθ·xower۔ing, on θe bed bēnēθ a wīt bed·xēt, θā hug۔d.  Hug۔ing led۔d tū kis۔ing...
            Afterward, θā lā۔d fās۔ing ēq oθer, θā’s lim۔s entwīn۔d.
            Sūn bōθ pas۔d tū pēasful slēp.
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