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Thanks for the Memories

Four years ago, we moved across the country to live closer to our children. Below is the last "Across My Kitchen Table" column that I wrote for our local newspaper in Missouri.

Change is inevitable. No matter how much we wish life could stay the same, it has a way of throwing us curves.

I’m reminding myself of that as we prepare to move across the country.

Our children think we should live closer to them. You’d think we were old or something. Living on a gravel road in the boonies is peaceful. We love it. Why change? we thought.

But our children were adamant. They descended on our place last spring, rented a dumpster and threw away years of clutter from our garage. They were serious about activating us.

So, I’ve been thinking about our thirteen happy years living in this community. We have gleaned a lot from the good folks here.

You taught us there still exists in this nation, many down-to-earth folks with common-sense values. And you strive to pass them on to your children.

You reminded us that though corruption still exists, kindness and generosity overcome them in a quiet way.

When a stranger in the Walmart parking lot approached and said she enjoyed reading my column in the newspaper, I knew why I enjoyed living here. You gave us a sense of family.

When people we didn’t even know waved as they passed on the road, we felt welcomed.

When the Lord plopped us down in the horse-and-buggy community as taxi drivers, it was the beginning of an adventure. Reading about the plain people is a whole lot different than living among them.

We learned to appreciate their neighborliness that extends far beyond greeting one another at church on Sunday.

There was the neighbor who showed me the best way to plant tomatoes. She came over and picked my green beans while I was away at camp. She showed us a way to treat our daughter’s severe sunburn.

There was the passenger who told me where to buy an inexpensive freezer. And where to pick blueberries. And when the mom and pop grocery store was having an unadvertised sale on strawberries.

We watched as they responded when one of their members broke a bone. Children came over and weeded their flower beds; adults did other chores.

We watched as they cared for a sick friend’s garden and got together to can her produce. If someone were building a house, they got together and helped. They enjoyed quilting bees in winter and canning together in summer.

We visited their schools and shops and were treated with respect and kindness. It was rewarding when their small children smiled and waved as they saw us driving by.

Yes, we will miss this community greatly. We have lived in no other place like this one. You have taught us that life is better in the slow lane.

Thank you to your kind editor for the opportunity to write about life in this area.

So this, my last column, is a way of saying, “Thanks for the memories.” You have given us a lot to carry with us.

How about you? Any bittersweet moments when you left a place you loved? Please comment below.


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