Well it is almost the last day of the month....where in the world has time gone? I am looking forward to the challenge of writing the story of the month. I am hoping that this blog has been an ispiration to all that have read it. i hope that some of my reflections have rubbed off on you and that you were able to perhaps identify with some of the stories.
When I was a young girl, we would have dinner together, clear the table, do the dishes and then retire to the rockers on the front porch. In my youth, there was no air conditioner or television and when there finally was television it was very limited. We really did seem to care though. The front porch was entertainment enough. Grandma and Grandpa and I would sit on the porch and talk. Grandma would tell stories about what was going on while we worked on our needlepointing. We would work on needlepointing pillowcases. Then when they were finished, we would crochet the edgings. I learned to crochet when I was 5 years old. I did an entire rug in that year...along with many other projects. Grandma would talk about the ladies in the neighborhood. About dreams, flowers, dresses, hats, places she wanted to go or things she wanted yet to do. I would listen to the stories about when she was young. Oh, they were always so entertaining. I have begun to write some of the stories down for my book. It seems like just yesterday that it all happened. A time when neighbors knew their neighbors, a time when neighbors helped their neighbors.
So today I thought the word for the day would be NEIGHBOR. I wish I could tell you stories about my neighbors in my neighborhood, but the times have changed. At least what I have experienced in my neighborhood, perhaps the North, perhaps the times. When I am in the South I notice that the NEIGHBORS are still what I had remembered. Someone there for you. They bring food over when someone is sick, they take care of the family when a family is born and when a family member passes. Those neighbors watch your house when your not there. They no longer sit on the porches because there seems to be too great of a distance between the houses these days for neighbors to hang over the porch railing and talk, but they are still part of each others lives. I think for me, being a Neighbor means helping those that are in our lives, but what a shame that the children today are so busy with technology that there are no longer stories on the porch or even at the dinner table. Everyone these days are in such a hurry. Too much of a hurry to stop and be neighborly. I love when I spend time with my granddaughters and share the stories. I share the geneology, the family stories, the history. There is so much I want them to know. I want them to understand who I really am.
When I was a young girl...my next door neighbor had 3 sons. One was an especially wonderful young man. I spent many a days talking and laughing on the porch with him and his family. Then one day....Tom went off to war...the Vietnam War. I remember the days on the porch when his parents, our NEIGHBORS would read us his letters outloud. He would send them money to put in the bank for when he returned. He told his father how when he came back that he would open a gas station and his father could retire from Helene Curtis . He worked hard in the factory. He told him that when he got home, his dad could take it easy and work on the books for him. I remember one day a scream coming from the NEIGHBORS house....in those days, you wnet running out to help...you just didn't peek through the curtains. Tom's mom was screaming and his dad was trying to catch her and calm down. We ran over to help. Then she showed us the telegram....Tom had been killed. What a horrible day. Seems like yesterday. All the neighbors rallied to help. Then to top it off...the body that got shipped was the wrong body. I thought she was going to lose it all over again. That day so many people lost so much. The parents lost their cherished son, the boys lost their brother. We lost the best neighbor, I lost a friend. The world lost a wonderful human being. I often go to visit my NEIGHBOR at the cemetary. I remember his smile and laughter. His jolly round pinkened cheeks that was always all aglow. His eyes how they sparkled. Tom was the boy you wanted to spend an afternoon or evening with. He was much older than I, but if I were older....oh my....I think I would have made a play for him. But there were other plans. He was needed in a new NEIGHBORHOOD. For me today, sad to day, the only way I know that someone in the NEIGHBORHOOD dies in when I see the funeral cars pass by the house! For those who never experienced the kindness of a NEIGHBOR, I am sorry. When I visit the Amish community, I feel like I have gone home. Back in time. I watch the NEIGHBORS gather. The children play while the parents talk or stitch. They are there for each other in all aspects of life. The English (US) look at them with sorrow...that they are missing out on so much....no light, no televisiion, no computer. I wonder! I don't think they are missing that much when I see a family riding after dinner in their buggy for an ice cream, when I see the children playing vollyball in the yard. When I see the circles of laughing men and women. Those NEIGHBORS still live in Mr. Rogers NEIGHBORHOOD!! It's a beautiful place....and it makes me yearn for those days gone by.
Quote for the day: