Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.


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On the first day of Christmas, 2013…

I came down with PNEUMONIA!   NOW God? I just rejoined your church– doesn’t that count for anything? We have a new baby Granddaughter–born 6  weeks prematurely on Dec. 16,–her Mom and Papa need my help with the 2 and 6 year olds!  It’s Christmas…You saved her life, and you saved her mother’s life, and I am thankful, and humbled! To be quite honest, I thought maybe I was the one leaving this earthly life just Christmas night!  But it seems you have decided to keep us all around for a bit, thank you! Don’t think I don’ t recognize how blessed we are…how you sacrificed your Son so we could have life abundantly and eternally! Thank You! But what is this then? I can live but not help? No….I’m sure that’s not it…The three of us get to live, but not my neighbor, who died this week? WHAT!?!

You know Lord, when I first got sick with my heart disease back in 1999, yes, almost 15 years ago now, You and I had quite a few talks about it….why….how….what now. Patience you said, learn patience…..and I tried, I really did. I prayed, talked with my minister, others prayed for me, I studied the Bible, lead a support group, wrote, researched, and life moved on. Differently than I had thought it might…but with the blessings of daughters entering adulthood and now the birth of three grandchildren. Now, I admit, I have shook my fists at heaven more than once and said “Patience, smachience! Enough already! I failed! You knew I was flawed when you made me, and yet yu gave me free choice? ”   The doctors said I couldn’t/wouldn’t live this long–apparently You had other plans.  The doctors said Ali and Greg couldn’t have a child without fertility help, but here’s Evie! I’m not bashing doctors–Lord you know what a blessing they’ve been to our family!  But okay there’s only one Lord!  And a blessing this life is! With all its trials and tribulations Lord!  Thank You for pneumonia, it made me stop and listen again, but…now… give me a hand will ya please Lord, so I can get back into things, please Lord? Patience?? really??? I’m not Job you know. Love you and thankful for life!


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The Second Day of Christmas is all about Turtle Doves…

        I could hardly breathe with pneumonia, and my throat was so sore it felt like pins were sticking in it, so even though my sweet hubby of 42 years was right beside me , being so kind and caring, I was more in the mood for turtle soup than doving! I was fun to be with also–coughing, sneezing, freezing, burning up…and whining all the way to the doctor’s office where yes, that precious man, my husband Max. took me! It was Christmas! 

        This was December 26, 2013, the second day of Christmas! I wanted to be cheerful! But my oldest daughter had just had her third child, a premature little girl named Evie! It was so devastating to have a grandchild in the intensive care unit of a big old hospital and not be able to be there with her to help rock and comfort! Ali was home now, the baby Evie was 2 weeks old today, but not very available to us! The other thing we could do was to keep 2 year old Katy, and Liam, aged 6. Had they really been here just a few hours ago? “Oh Dear Lord, please, please don’t let either of them or Ali or Greg get this pneumonia! You brought that little baby girl into this world, now let her family be there for her! Hope I’ll be sacrificial enough for you…go ahead, keep me away just not the parents or kids!”  (This is the way I pray most of the time, in running commentary throughout the day!  Sometimes I do pray more fervently, more focused and in a more reverent way I guess. ) I’d thought I just had a cold, one the kids had given me…so we were all sharing germs like all good families! 🙂  I was shocked when 3 hours after they left our house Christmas night, I began wheezing audibly and being very sick! 

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   When my children were young, we celebrated the 12 days of Christmas in a very special way. We would choose a friend or neighbor, one who wasn’t well, or alone perhaps and each day during the 12 days of Christmas, starting December 26 and ending at Epiphany, Jan. 6, we would give a little gift  in secret to this friend. The kids enjoyed sneaking gingerbread men cookies drumming onto the porch, ringing the bell, and running away so our friend wouldn’t know it was us! It was especially fun to see our friends smiling from the joy, almost as much as we were! Sometimes we gave  things like  golden earrings for “five golden rings”! Of course, they were not expensive. Day one traditionally brought a basket of pears with a lovely bird perched on top, made by one of the children of course. Maybe I’ll get to do this with my grandchildren next year. Please know, that although I am not happy to be sick and isolated, I am already, here on day 5 of my illness, feeling better enough to be sitting up writing! Not true just yesterday! The kids and I will be laughing together again soon! I also know, that no matter what is going on with you…you can almost always look around and find someone having more difficulties at this celebratory time of year! In my own small group, I know three who’ve lost parents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! So sad! My own Mom died on Epiphany, 1980, I still miss her!  I hope the ones who have lost loved ones will move to a place in their grief by next Christmas perhaps where they can  truly remember the joy of the relationship  and  not let the death dampen the holiday, but instead, let it sweeten it with very special memories and perhaps even new traditions of honoring the loved one. 

        I love the second day of Christmas actually, because I am very blessed to have my turtle-dove beside me, and beside me for 42 years! Love you honey, and thank you God!


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The Spangler Family Reunion, Meadows of Dan, Patrick Co., Va.,July,2013

Spangler homestead, Meadows of Dan 

  Elegant, southern, and stately, this is the home of Debra Spangler Shelor, Rob Shelor and their two sons, Paul and Aaron.  It was the original home site of Charles Langhorne “Tump” Spangler and his wife Kittie Cockram Spangler, Debra’s grandparents. Before that, this land was a part of the original 13,000 acres of the “Langdale” plantation, owned by our Great, Great Grandfather James Steptoe Langhorne and his wife Elizabeth Rachel Omohundro Langhorne. It was so incredible to walk on land that my family had been walking on for more than 100 years!  Spangler Reunion, Barn, best

Arriving at the Shelor home site, my husband Max and I were immediately swept up in more cousins than we could imagine! We quickly met the Patriarchs of the family-Harvie Langhorne Spangler, age 86, and Daniel Patrick “Pat” Spangler, age 79, shown here with wife Dorothy. They were full of energy and excitement for seeing all the  family. 

Spangler, Harvie, 2012  Spangler, Patrick and Dorothy, 2013

   

        We enjoyed having the opportunity to meet lots of people, like these, my cousins, Margie Spangler Cartwright and her sister Berniece Spangler Irvin who told me a lot about the family. They felt like long time friends! When we gathered under the tent, Margie introduced Max and me to her brother Wallace William Spangler and his wife Evelyn. We shared stories and laughter!   Margie, Wallace, and Berniece are the children of Tump’s sister Mary Josephine Spangler and Dudley Spangler.They are first cousins to Harvie and Pat. Margie, Wallace, and Berniece are Fannie Langhorne Spangler’s grandchildren, just like Harvie and Pat. All five of us are second cousins. 

Spangler reunion, Helen meets sisters Berniece and  L age 98Spangler Reunion, l to r, wife, brother and sister

       Harvie Langhorne Spangler         Spangler's left to right, Beverly Spangler Fariss , her husband and child, Harvie Spangler with microphone, next to daughter Debra Spangler Shelor and daughter            welcomed everyone to the reunion,  as did his daughter Beverly Spangler Fariss, first on the left, standing next to her nephew, Debra’s son Paul Shelor, with his daughter Autumn in his arms. Beside Harvie, in the black blouse, is Debra Spangler Shelor,  also Harvie’s daughter and the home owner of this lovely homestead. With Debra is her granddaughter Ivy, Paul’s daughter. Debra’s husband Rob and other son Aaron are not pictured here.                                                 

 

 

Spangler brothers Pat in red cap and Harvie  enjoy a private moment

 Above, brothers, Harvie and Pat Spangler take a private minute together.

 

Spangler reunion, view of tent Spangler reunion, gathering under the tent to watch and listen

 

Off and on showers, even downpours didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of this group!

 

     

      A call for all the grandchildren, greats, and great greats, of Wallace Wolford and Fannie Langhorne Spangler to come carry the flag and raise it brought out all generations!

spangler grandchildren carrying the flad to raise

Spangler's , grandchildren raise the flag

Having sung the Star Spangled Banner, and dodged another rain shower, each family spoke to the crowd and let us know what had happened in their family since the last reunion: births, deaths, marriages, achievements like college-it was great! Chuck Spangler acted as emcee and did a great job!

   Spangler , Chuck emcees at reunion    Spangler, Clockwise from left Mary, Cammi, Chuck, Bryce & Bailey at Mabry Mill along the Blue Ridge Parkway. (2)

In the picture on the right, Chuck Spangler’s family gathers at Mabry Mill . Clockwise from left: Mary his wife, Cammi, Chuck, Bryce & Bailey  along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Chuck is the gg grandson of Wallace and Fannie Langhorne Spangler. His great grandparents are Tump and Kittie Cockram Spangler.  His grandfather  Samuel Maurice Spangler, was the  firstborn  child of Tump and Kittie Cockram Spangler and  was married to Iris Texas Branscome Spangler. That also makes him my 4th cousin, and gives him about 15 other 4th cousins in my generational line of the Langhorne family. LOL, isn’t this fun!

The g grandson of Babe Spangler, George, was talking to the group and filling us in on Babe’s descendants. He reminded us that “Sweetie” ,his Aunt Grace Spangler is the only living child of Babe’s.  Sweetie will be 98 this year and still lives independently in Richmond, Va. He says Julie takes good care of her, and there is rarely a problem, except sometimes they have to yell at her to “get off the ladder Sweetie,and stop trying to clean out those gutters! ” LOL  Longevity and humor abound in this family!

There is so much more to tell you and to show you,but that will have to wait until the next post. The Spanglers are such a down to earth, normal family, yet they soar with  musical ability, intelligence,  and creativity as well. I can hardly wait to share the fun with you!


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We traveled to the skies of Virginia this past week!

    We went to the sky this past week! Well, it felt like it, but in reality, we were in the mountains of Virginia, in the beautiful Meadows of Dan! The Meadows of Dan is a small town just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, in southwest Virginia, but as a region it is much bigger. I have a lot to tell about this trip and the incredible people we met, but I want to show you a few pictures of the area first.

Meadows of Dan, Lover's Leap 2

     This is lover’s leap. The legend says that a young white man fell in love with an Indian maid, but they were given so much grief about their relationship, shunned and shamed, that they supposedly held hands and leapt to their deaths to be together in eternity! How sad! How poignant! How romantic, and what a sad commentary on our society now and then! Looking at this view you are standing on the JEB Stuart Highway in Patrick County, Va. , in the Meadows of Dan, but this valley that you are seeing is an  area of Patrick County called Woolwine, at least this is what one of my cousins told me!

       This area of the Blue Ridge Mountains is known for its beautiful stone churches. We went to visit one of them, and gracious, look at this beauty!

Slate Mountain Presbyterian Church in MOD, VA

This is Slate Presbyterian Church. I can just imagine that you would feel closer to God worshiping in this church on top of the mountain!

      Just a bit down the mountain from this church, was the lovely and gracious Woodberry Inn where we stayed. The owners of the Woodberry were so very friendly to us, helpful in every possible way! We felt like we were among friends with them and with their restaurant owner. Good friends, good food, great hospitality!   

Woodberry Inn, Meadows of Dan, Virginia

 

    

         

     

   

   Everywhere we went, we saw beautiful views and met friendly people! We were very happy to be there, where our ancestors had lived for over 100 years, and where we still have many cousins!  

Greenberry House, Meadows of Dan

Greenberry House above, where owner Leslie Shelor spins her own yarn was a wonderful place to visit! You can find her on facebook! She sells yarn, collectibles, books, and other things.

Below is a picture of the first shop where we stopped, on our way up the mountain, just a half mile past Lover’s Leap! Joyce and Ronnie Green are the friendliest proprietors, and take good care of their handicapped customers, important to me with my wheelchair.

Poor Farmer's Farm Store in Vesta, Virginia, just down the mountain from Meadows of Dan

       One morning we had brunch at Jane’s Country Café in Meadows of Dan. That was a blessing to us! Besides good food, and great service, we felt like we made new friends who gave us directions and information about the area. Besides that, they were able and willing to cater what we needed for the family reunion we were planning to attend. They fixed up a big bowl of banana pudding and another of baked apples for us to take with us, The food got rave reviews at the reunion also! 

Jane's Country Cafe in Meadows of DanJane's Country Cafe, red building

      We also wanted to spend time in the nearby town of Stuart, because again, we’d had ancestors live there, and because we wanted to do some research at the Historical and Genealogical Museum and at the Patrick County Courthouse. We found helpful people everywhere we went, at the courthouse and the museum where the records are well organized and easily accessible. Driving through downtown Stuart you see how close the mountains are! Only 20 minutes up the mountain to the Meadows of Dan and the Blue Ridge Parkway!         Stuart, Va. downtown and view of mountains

Stuart Virginia, historical marker

      Below is the stately Patrick County Courthouse where we went seeking records of long ago relatives.

Patrick County Courthouse

Patrick County Courthouse with JEB Stuart memorialMemorial to JEB Stuart at Courthouse in Stuart, Virginia

The building pictured below houses the Patrick County Historical Museum, the Genealogical Museum, and the Public Library. The Historical Museum is full of incredible exhibits, if you have never been there, it is worth the trip! One of their many volunteers, Mr. David Sheley, wrote a column in the local newspaper, The Enterprise, about my search for genealogical records, and that connected me with many cousins I didn’t even know I had, bringing outstanding joy and friendship to my life. From working on the family tree, to traveling and meeting your kinfolks, can life get any better than this?! 

Historical and Genealogical Museum and Public Library in Stuart, Va,

Next Post: the reunion, the nicest people and the prettiest Southern homestead you could ever want to see!

 

 


      



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It takes a Village — Mental Health Services, #mhblogday.

I'm Blogging for Mental Health.

May is mental health month, a subject near and dear to my heart. I grew up in an abusive home which I’ve written about before. Living amid anger and tension as one of the younger children, and an observer, I grew up interested in why people acted the way they did and what could be done about it! Early on I decided to teach emotionally disturbed children, having a firm belief that behavior modification and a positive environment could/would turn them around and allow them to live a happier, more productive life. After seven years in the classroom however, I realized much more was needed and decided to become a family therapist, as I truly believed that was where the interventions would be most valuable in correcting unacceptable behavior. 

I had the opportunity to work with adults and children in my role as psycholtherapist, for twenty years! What did I learn? I learned it takes a village! By that I mean that mental health issues can’t be solved, or even controlled, with only a one prong approach. Our brains and our social milieus are complex, and it takes a myriad of services to make a difference. This is one of the issues that frustrates me most in 2013, in North Carolina. Our State took a huge step backwards in its treatment of the mentally ill in the year 2000. I know, because I was working in a large public mental health center that closed its doors, moving to “privatization”. I’ve come to realize that I was somewhat fortunate to have become disabled and no longer able to work in 1999, because I would have been out of a job anyway!

Without access to a large public mental health center, treatment is mostly available to people with good insurance to help pay for services, or to the wealthy. Many middle class and lower middle class, forget those millions on medicaid, cannot afford the care of a private clinician! Not only that, the team approach that was used in a center–being able to use a psychiatrist, a therapist, a coach and a case manager offered a more  complete care systerm to help an individual get back into the life they wanted to live. And that’s what mental health treatment is all about–getting back into your life.Being happy, having good relationships, productive work, not being paralyzed by depression, anxiety, or some other malady.

We call this “mental health” and of course, it is, and we know much of what goes wrong is centered in the brain. Schizophrenia and bipolar are proven to be chemical imbalances, as is depression. Medicine can make all the difference in a life well lived! Why then do we continue to distinguish these diseases from other physical illnesses? Why do we as a public and professionals not demand that they be categorized as such so that our insurance companies have to pay more than 50% for services?! Why do we make people suffer so, not with diabetes, they can get treatment, but with depression and anxiety? hmmm…maybe..hush, hush, don’t tell anyone still seems to apply! That is crazy! We have let the shame and stigma of mental health issues guide us for much too long! I love Mental Health Month and Mental Health Blog day, because it gives us a forum to stand up and say, “Be mentally healthy!” Talk about it. Get help. Demand our legislatures fund help for us and require insurance companites to help as well.

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It takes a village, we must advocate for ourselves and our loved ones to get the help they need to be physically and mentally at their best!

Mental Health Month Blog Day – Links Round Up 2013 – http://www.yourmindyourbody.org/apamental-health-month-blog-day-links-round-up-2013/

Helen Y. Holshouser, M.A. Clinical Psychology


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Bunn Fire Department’s Annual Barbecue Fundraiser

                                                           

The Bunn Fire department stands proud as it serves its community. Picture from Judy Ferguson

The Bunn Fire Department stans proud!
picture given to HH by Judith Fergerson, BFDLAux.
Bunn Fire Engine on display for the public to see.
    Bunn, North Carolina is a small town nestled between Rocky Mount and Raleigh, in Franklin County, where they know how to take care of their citizens and have fun doing it! Every year during the Spring, Bunn Fire Department holds a barbecue community dinner and fundraiser! 

     The firemen, including some retired, and some community volunteers start work before dawn. This year they started roasting the pigs about 5am this past Friday, March 9, 2013, and slow roasted them for about 12 hours!  They cooked thirty two pigs! That seems amazing to me, yet I understand they’ve cooked more in years gone by! I joined my neighbors in volunteering to help get ready for the big event in any way I could. That gave me the opportunity to see the whole process up close and personal!   
    The firemen had to cut tons of wood for the fire to begin with. Then they loaded the front loader with the logs, and dumped them into the incinerator! Next, they shoveled the hot coals out and over into the bottom of the long rows of cookers, to slow cook the pigs over the coals.











Grandson Liam inspects the cookers on Saturday
when the cooking was done













The firemen then had to monitor and tend to the roasting  meat until about five in the afternoon–twelve long hours! After the pigs, chickens were barbecued, then all had to be cut in pieces, or sliced and diced for the barbecue plates and sandwiches  they sold!   What an undertaking, what an amazing effort on the part of these dedicated men, who worked so hard to support the rescue operations they volunteer for to take care of you and me!    

Above and below, the friendly, dedicated,
and good looking firemen
of Bunn, North Carolina!


             Volunteer Firefighter Austin Murray
helps cook the  barbecue and chicken.
It just so happens he
is also a professional caterer!









                                   












    Where were the women you’re wondering? Oh they were right there! The  Bunn Fire Department Ladies’ Auxilary was out in full force as well–they were baking desserts like pound cakes, brownies, and cookies, bagging bread, cutting up cabbage for coleslaw,  roasting potatoes, and cooking up hushpuppies! They had to be prepared to feed several thousand hungry folks! Can you imagine?! So they worked all day Friday preparing, then came back Saturday  to serve, sell t-shirts, sell raffle tickets, cook and clean! I imagine each of them fell into bed Saturday night and into a deep, exhausted sleep!  

Tammy Morton in green sweater joins the Ladies’s Auxilary
as usual for preparation on Friday.










Bunn Fire Dept. Ladies Aux. hard at work!


Judy Fergerson, r, mother of Scott Strickland,
and Hazel Beck on rt.







     



Community volunteers JoAnn Hays, l, and Annie Holshouser, r.
Community volunteers l to r, Helen Holshouser,
Linda McLaughlin, and Dora Pryor












Sheila Strickland, longtime volunteer and aux. memeber.


Mickie Moody, firefighter, says he’s supervising,
amd gets himself in trouble!













     My own immediate family doesn’t belong to the group of firemen or the Ladies’ Auxiliary, but we are members of the community. Our next door neighbor, Dora Pryor is the grandmother of one of the firefighters, Austin Murray. Each year she reminds us its time to consider donating a little time, talent, and money to show these brave men and women how much we appreciate them! My husband and my daughter Annie bake cakes to auction and to slice and serve for the dinner plates, as does Dora and our friend Linda across the street.  We go with Dora and several other neighbors to put bread into baggies for the plates, such a simple thing, but needed. 

Judy Fergerson , l, and Sheila Strickland serve
barbecue on Fireman’s Day.

Then the best part, we come back Saturday to eat the delicious feast prepared for us! And it is GREAT! Our family goes early, in case they run low, so we get our choice of the incredible barbecue, chicken and all! 


Judy Fergerson , l, hugs Roxie Cash in black sweater,
while
Sis looks on with smiles.
These ladies are long time Bunn Fire Dept. Ladies Aux
volunteers!



Scott Strickland, firefighter in green,
Willie Mitchell on right


We buy t-shirts and raffle tickets and do whatever we can to let the Bunn Fire Department know how much we appreciate them! 


Retired firefighter, Tommy Baker Morton,
volunteers to show us the fire engines. Tammy Morton,
a voluneer and member of the
Bunn Fire Dept. Ladies Aux.



We even buy extra pounds of barbecue and chicken to bring home, we’ll be feasting all weekend! 





We bring the grand kids to see the fire engines and see the huge cookers and logs! 



    Service. These men and women deserve medals! If you have a heart attack, they are going to be right there for you. If your house catches fire, and its 3:00 am, these volunteers are jumping into their trucks and rushing to our aid! We all want them to hurry, hurry, even fly, when we need them. Then they work like Trojans to raise the money they need to take care of us!  Good gracious, we need to be there for them! 

    As well as supporting the men and women who help us in our times of greatest need, we support, create, and enrich our community and our joy, as we meet new people and make new friends!  Bunn is just one of the small towns in Franklin County, North Carolina. There are many more, like Youngsville, Franklinton, Louisburg, Pilot, and Centerville. The emergency services of each town serve the county area around them as well. And of course, this is true of towns, counties, and municipalities all over our State, and all over our country! So think about it , this is one small way we show appreciation to those we depend on to save our lives! If you didn’t get out to your local station’s event this year, put it in your calendar right now for 2014! Its an amazing experience, and a tradition your children and grandchildren will cherish all of their lives!                                                       


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A Capella Singing Groups from N.C.State, Duke, and UNC!

      The Varsity Vocal Showcase held at the N.C. State Fair, 2012 was a rousing success! Ticket proceeds went to the performing groups up to $50,000!  And what amazing groups they were!  It was a great opportunity for the community to see and hear awesome a capella singing from N.C.State University, Duke, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! I thought you might like to see and hear a little of them here, and wanted you to know that they all have facebook pages/and or webpages, all have CD’s for sale, and all are fantastic! A quick search of the web for any of these groups will give you all the information you’d like to have!

        
    We are very partial to the Ladies in Red from NC State, because one of us GRITS, Ali, sang with the founding group of this organization in 1993! We were thrilled to see these young ladies continuing the tradition of excellance! 

        The Grains of Time, men’s a capella group from N.C.State stole the show with their sharp look and awesome sound! Go State!

 
 
 
Rhythm and Blue from Duke was the only mixed, men and women group to perform! They were excellent as well, enjoy!
 
 

 

From UNC Chapel Hill came two groups to wow the audience! The Loreleis and the  Clef   Hangers!   





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Our Diverse Neighborhood Keeps Life Interesting




        I live on a cul-de-sac. Maybe that makes it easier for us to get together and talk to each other, I’m sure it does. We live in the suburbs of a moderate sized Southern city and are a diverse group including 16 houses that include blacks, whites, and Hispanics, retired seniors, middle aged, and very young- just starting out. There are  14 children aged  2  to 11, I believe, and yet several houses with only retired couples ,or young couples starting out without children. At least two houses have adult children living back at home after the recession cost them their jobs. Three have parents or grandparents living with them. We are Republicans and Democrats, we have professionals and blue collar workers, Christians and not,  but we don’t seem to be as polarized as our country right now before election time. We still seem to be able to enjoy each others’ company, cooperate, and do what’s best for our community, except for the one.

      Now don’t get me wrong, we let our views be known, and there are some heated debates, but perhaps because we are mostly concerned with who won the college football game (NCSU, Carolina, Maryland, or Duke, all are represented on our street! ),  who is celebrating a milestone, and/or who is grieving or sick– we still get along.  Well, its not utopia, we do have some problems…there’s a guy down the street who has convinced the homeowners association board that he just has friendly, not for money, poker games, when a lot of us know he plays for money, sells and serves dinner and drinks, twice a week, from 7pm to 2 or 3am.  He has a gun and knows how to use it, and generally makes his living on our little street whether we want him to or not and which is strictly against the HOA rules!  Thank heavens I don’t live right next door to him, and truly, I feel sorry for the ones who do, although they seem to be coping okay, one is having a hard time. Not being able to be comfortable in your own home for fear of your neighbor is very sad! 
   
      We actually have 4 of the 16 homes on our street that include an adult who majored in psychology on the college or graduate level, including one PhD.  Perhaps that’s why we get along? We always kid that we should have group therapy in the street. We practically do. On any given pretty day or evening you’ll find a bunch of us standing around out front on the street, well, me in the wheelchair, just chatting and sharing, and feeling like we belong. That’s such a good place to be. 


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The American Neighborhood Still Exists in 2012

The American Neighborhood Still Exists, 2012


As I gaze out my window, thinking how pretty it looks , but knowing how hot and humid it is, I’m enjoying just watching my neighbors working in their gardens and yards. I’ll change their names to protect the innocent, and the not so innocent!
There’s Darling, age 84, who can work rings around me! She is pruning her roses, and shrubs! Her lawn and garden always look immaculate, because she has never ending energy and drive and works hard at it! She also loves it, shares her plants and flowers willingly, and loves to laugh, flirt, and visit as she works.
Across the street, is our newest neighbor Dee, who travels for work up to 5 days a week, and yet can be seen planting, trimming, and weeding here on Saturday afternoon. Her husband and mine are cutting the grass! We had the most fun at Dee’s house one evening recently as she showed me a flower/weed that had popped up in her newly planted hostas. It looks like its going to bloom, and it looks like something I should know, but neither of us could identify it! So, we called our neighbor Laura who is the world’s best gardener and flower identifier, and it made me feel better that she didn’t know either! LOL Since I see Dee outside, I’m going to run over there and see if the flower has bloomed, to see if we know what it is now!
That’s the kind of thing that makes a community, sharing in your joys (Oh, come look at my gorgeous blooming autumn clematis!) and your conundrums, your emergencies and sorrows. We have done it all, and I thought I’d blog about it, and show that the American neighborhood still exists. Come join me and we’ll see where this leads.
Of course, there are a lot of other things that go on here other than gardening that bring joy, sorrow and closeness to our neighborhood. Much I don’t know for sure! But it never ceases to amaze me how caring most people are, and how helpful.