Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Best Neighborhood in the World

I was lucky to be able to grow up in the best neighborhood in the world. The neighborhod that I grew up in did not boast large prestigious houses with perfectly manicured lawns, high HOA dues, a gated entrance, tennis courts, or even a community pool.

 This neighborhood did however understand the true meaning of the word neighborhood. My neighborhood realized that a neighborhood was a community of citizens who weren't so much worried about keeping up with the Joneses as they were concerned about helping the Joneses. When times were hard the neighborhood banded together and helped eachother out. When times were easy they would kick back on the deck and drink a cold beer together and enjoy the beautiful scenery. In my neighborhood my Mom never baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies without sending a plate over for the neighbors and the neighbors never returned the plate back without making sure it was filled with delicious banana chocolate chip muffins. My mom never had to worry about me being in my house by dark because our neighborhood was safe and there was always someone looking out for me. One neighbor who was concerned with cars driving too fast took matters into her own hands. She would go so far as to jump out and scare cars into slowing down to ensure our neighborhood was a safe place for kids and pets to play. When my dog escaped the fence(which was a weekly,sometimes daily occurrence) there was always someone standing outside of our door smiling patiently to return her. My neighborhood even had its own Posse which consisted of all the neighborhood boys. Us girls of the neighborhood would like to think that we were "unofficial" members of the Posse since the boys never hestitated to call us whenever they needed extra players for a game of kickball or football. Every season in my neighborhood was a new adventure. Spring consisted of fishing the banks of the creek. Summer meant swimming in the creek and late night games of capture the flag. With Autumn came trick or treating and every neighbor knew my name. I can still to this day remember which house gave out which candy. One house in particular handed out healthy apples and as hard as we tried to avoid that house our Moms always made us stop by so they could see our costume and give us a healthy treat. Winter brought sleighriding and once we got too cold we always ended up at someone's house to warm up with hot cocoa and watch movies. Our neighborhood was perfect because we were close enough to town that we could walk to the Fair, but not too close that fairgoers tried to park in our driveways.

Most people who haven't had the privilege to live in this neighborhood have a negative feeling towards it. Whenever they hear the name mentioned they automatically associate it with a bunch of crazy nature lovers who refuse to move to higher ground. When I hear Fernville I think home. The one thing that turns so many outsiders away is the one thing that draws the members of this community in...the water. What the outsiders do not realize is that there is something so serene and peaceful about the smell of the creek in Spring and the sound of the geese in Summer. 
Man is not an aquatic animal, but from the time we stand in youthful wonder beside a Spring brook till we sit in old age and watch the endless roll of the sea, we feel a strong kinship with the waters of this world.   -Hal Borland
So to those who think it would be so easy for the residents of such a beautiful and peaceful community to leave...think again. How easy would it be for you to leave the best neighborhood in the world?

Monday, September 12, 2011


Normally the main focus of my writing is on all of the "unlucky" situations that I happen to find myself in. Today I am shifting my focusing to how lucky I am.

What a week this has been. So much flooding throughout the northeast. My heart goes out to all of those who have lost everything in this flood. Seeing so many who are without homes makes me realize how lucky I really am. Yesterday marks the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I think about all of the people who lost their loved ones on that fateful day in September. So many innocent lives lost in that act of terror and so many innocent lives given to help save the innocent. With my husband being a police officer I automatically think of all of the families of  the emergency response teams involved that day. I have had many times that I have been waiting anxiously for a phone call to know that my husband is safe. I cannot even begin to understand the fear and sadness when they waited and waited for the phone call that never came. I am so thankful for this country and those who have given their lives or will give their lives if needed to protect it.

So many things to be thankful for today...

My family- I am so thankful for my wonderful family. I have been so blessed to be part of such an amazing family! They have always been there for me. There is no such thing as a perfect family, but thank God for that because how boring would life be if every family was perfect?! 

I think this is Joe giving me payback for all those years I tortured him..I think he might still be bitter from the time I sprayed Clorox in his eyes..

My husband- I truly believe in the word "soul mate". Those who do not believe this have grown impatient and settled for less than love. They have never found that one person who literally turned their whole life upside down. So thankful that God has given me an amazing husband who loves me the way I am..quirks and all!!  Our last 3 and a half years together have been amazing! We have had our share of ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade those years for ANYTHING! I am so proud and lucky to be his wife!

My bestest friends- I am so grateful to have some of the best friends a girl could ask for! Friends that have been there for me through thick and thin. We have had some great times together!! And I apologize for all of the "unlucky" situations you had to suffer through as a result of being my friend!!

Janice- All of the numerous back up incidents we had together..of course I was always driving!! I will never forget the time I backed up into your Dad's truck and thought I put a huge dent in it! I was so nervous to tell him what happened and when I finally got up the courage he told me there was already a dent there before I hit it(of course he waited to tell me until after I had worked up a sweat).

P.S. So sorry for body slamming you for stealing my ice cream! Well, not did deserve that one!

Laura- I am really sorry about the "confederate" 50 bill that I accepted and misinformed you that it was a 100 bill! Thanks to me you almost sent the wrong person to jail that da!! Not funny at the time but can't stop laughing today! Also, thank you so much for not firing me for accidentally writing Unita "Bath" on Unita Scott's receipt!

Nora- all of the "food-related incidents" we experienced together. The time I almost choked to death on baked beans and the time I almost drowned in sweet tea that came out of my nose! Thank you for always being there to lend a helping hand and to remind me "how embarassing" I was to you!

Stef- I know you will NEVER forget my last day in North Carolina!! Almost went back to Pennsylvania without my car!  We will just add that incident to my long list of "back up incidents".

Sarah- So sorry for the time I got you sent up to the Dean's office! Also sorry for being instrumental in the notorious April Fool's joke heard around the world that almost cost you your husband! Just think..that will be a great example of "pranking what not to do" to tell your kids someday! I can just hear it now..."telling your boyfriend that your Dad had a heart attack is NOT a good idea!

Mimi- I will never forget the day you came back to our dorm room at college and saw me sitting there smiling ear to ear. Your first response was,"You ate all the Christmas candy from our stockings, didn't you?!" To which I replied,"yes, but that was sooo LAST week..Daniel just asked me on a date!"

Sonya- Sorry that because of my bad luck you were also stuck at the top of the Nitro rollercoaster for over 30 minutes! Also, sorry for the time that I spilled spaghetti on that man at the spaghetti supper and you ended up having to clean him up since I was too afraid to show my face!

Katie- Thanks for all of the wonderful nights spent at El Cerro eating our weight in Mexcian food! Sorry for the time I almost killed you on the way to Victoria's Secret semi-annual sale because I ran a red light turning left!

My dogs- I love my 3 little dogs to death! I am so grateful for the lessons that each of these little guys have taught me.


Templeton is my perpetual puppy. He has taught me that no matter how old you get you can still be a kid (or in his case a puppy) at heart. He has never stopped wagging his tail since the first time I saw him when he was 4 months old. He is now 4 years old and he is still wagging his tail.


Jeter is my little rescue dog. He is such a tiny little thing and he has been through so much. He was abused by his previous owner and when we adopted him he was scared to death of us. Jeter has taught me that it is never too late in life to give your heart away and to trust. Today Jeter trusts me with his life. He would follow me through fire and not blink an eye. He has followed me into the ocean and even ridden a surfboard! He has taught me that it is never too late to trust someone who loves you!

Mephibosheth is such a quirky little dog. He is the most like me. His moods change daily, but he will always make you laugh with his antics! Last year he was really sick and almost died. When the emergency vet came to let me know that he had miraculously made it through the night she told me, " He's a little fighter. He battled hard all night to stay alive." I know he fought so hard to stay alive because he wanted to come back home with me. Mephibosheth has taught me perserverance. He has taught me that sometimes you have to fight tooth and nail to be with the ones that you love.

My Savior- I am so humbled, happy, and thankful that the Creator of the Universe sent His only Son to die for ME! Because of HIM I can enjoy this wonderful life He has given me and know that I have eternal life in Heaven with Him some day! What more could I want or need?!

 I have so much to be thankful for. I feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world!!!