Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It's Thursday....   how do I begin to let my fingers share my heart?

I had planned to share something totally different for Simple Pleasures today.  But, my plans begin changing last night before bedtime.

This is very difficult, I will have to get the box of puffs before I finish tapping out these words.

My family and I, moved to our very close-knit community, 5 years ago.  The school is close, I hear the children playing over the hill at recess, that in itself is a Simple Pleasure.  You just about know where everyone is going when they pass on the road.  So, if a stranger shows up, neighborhood watch goes into full patrol.  All of these things are probably what some people who live in the city long to experience.  To a degree, it is great, but when you are the new kid on the block, trying to make it home, it is about impossible.   But, I have a Maker, who knows me by name, He'll never leave matter where I go. Miracles happened and we moved into small town, USA.  Why did we choose here, you might ask, job first and then school.  Hours were spent on the computer, looking for a school that we felt was the best for our boys, the search landed us here.  But, before I put the period at the end,  it was THE LORD.  He was the One who opened very large doors and we were obedient to go through them. 

One of the hardest things I have dealt with personally, is being accepted in the community.  The people are great.  They love their familes, and family is important to them, just like ours are to us, except ours are miles away. We were not born and raised here!   I had to make the detailed description of our "best in the world community" to help you see the importance of my Simple Pleasure.
I must move on with my story, to the Heart of the Simple Pleasure.

Our home sits within "hollering" distance to the next door neighbor, as you will see in the pictures.   The next door neighbor became our family and we became hers!  By the way, she and my mother share the same name.  (excuse me got to get the puffs....)  
Belly laughs, great stories shared, hugs & kisses, breakfast together, baths given to her, through all those we grew close in four years. If I could cook something and make her smile, it brought me joy.  We have talked flowers, sports, children, and MEN!  You know all that kind of girl talk.

She could talk it all at 90 and tell it all too! 


She did what was best and now has a new address.  She has been in the nursing home now for a year, I still see her, but not as often.  Just not as convenient, as walking up the hill.  She has adjusted well, and now her sister is there with her.  Where you see one ~ you see the other one, inseparable.  What a way to spend your precious time, with your sister. 

She made it easier for me to make the transition away from family and friends.  After 18 years in the same home and church, wow was it ever hard.  It still is, part of our lives are still missing, friends that we have shared happy and sad times together, we just don't get to see as often as we would like.  Church family causes another part of our hearts to ache.... (we served faithful, I was church secretary for many years)
Those precious things have left gaps to be filled.  New relationships are having to be rebuilt.  People learning you and you learning people ~  that takes years and lots of shared experiences. 

My daily routines, along with some other things have changed.  If someone would have told me that I would be sharing on the www, I would have told them they were crazy!  But, I'm listening to what God is wanting me to do with the remainder of my life, because it is happening in a blink and a flash.

I want to give you a glimpse into what I see and what I have seen.  Some of the pictures are older ones.

My view up the hill.  Yes, we do get a little snow in the South.

The place she calls home. 

Flowers were her passion.  This is one she shared with me.
Just this past Friday, she made a comment about her yard and her flowers.

Our youngest son, with her;  this picture was taken two years ago.
She was almost 90 in this picture.

The shade tree we sat under and shared.
This is what made me change my thoughts last night.
If you look closely you will see the old oak split last night.
No storm ~ just decided to give way after 75 years.

Isn't this life, change is inevitable,
 my neighbor had to make a change,
one she had rather not chosen,
 and now another change on the hill.

I really miss her,
 but the shade will
be missed too!

But, I know one who doesn't change!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.
Hebrews 13:8

She was my neighbor and is my SIMPLE PLEASURE

Remember, I link up with Dayle on Thursdays for


Ms.Daisy said...

What beautiful memories you have shared - something no one can take away from either of you. Thank for sharing your Simple Pleasure with us.


Dayle said...

Well, Karen ... that's just about the sweetest post I've ever read and I needed a Kleenex myself. Ah ... let me recover here and tell you how much this meant to me, personally. Just this week my husband and I were talking about how life can change in the blink of any eye and what will we do when the time comes and my parents can no longer care for themselves. It's a subject close to my heart these days. You were blessed to have such a dear neighbor, and she was equally blessed to have you. Amazing how the tree just up and fell over. You said it so well though. The only one who never changes is God. What a comfort.

So glad to see you at the Simple Pleasures party today.

Kathy@ Gone North said...

What a sweet post about your neighbor.
We too left our life-long Church, as God called us out. Oh, the tears I shed over that, BUT He was faithful & showed me how we were needed elsewhere, & has given us a new life, with new friends & a renewed purpose.
(I always enjoy my visits here, I don't often comment, but I am visiting : )

Dianne said...

Oh, Karen, this is a beautiful story but I know your heart must ache for missing this lovely friend. I have always been drawn to older folks (and now I are one--ha). When I was a little girl, we had a next door neighbor--in a tiny town with ten houses) and I would go over to her house every day after school and just sit and talk.

I would give anything to have one of those conversations taped and be able to listen to it.

I love to know what older people think, what toys they played with as a child, what their hopes and dreams were growing up--did those dreams come true--

The old oak tree--that is so sad--it had to give way after all these years but we have one who never changes. Praise the Lord!!

Joan said...

Karen - this is beautiful. I think of a few older women from my community that have now gone on to be with the Lord. Knowing them was a blessing and each in a small way, helped to shape my life.


Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here bawling because we lost one of the best neighbors ever in a very similar way. I look at Bill's house and still miss him.

I met Bill the crazy day we moved into our home. I thought he worked for the trash company because he was putting trash and recycling cans next to my home. Stressed out from the move, I told him, with attitude, that I wanted clean trash cans, not dirty ones. Turns out he was just my sweet neighbor, helping by putting away cans, they just happened to be from the previous owner, not my cans with new service.

Bill forgave my attitude, we later laughed about our first encounter, and we became fast friends. He took care of all of us in my neighborhood. Less than a year ago he was huffing and puffing, carrying a huge pumpkin to my house for my front porch. Bill's transition wasn't easy for him or for any of us that loved him. My hubby would spend hours with him, taking him out of "the home" and going to breakfast, driving around in the car, sitting by the river. His life changed and he wasn't ready.

Bill's decline was sad to watch because he just wanted to be home, surrounded by all his neighbors that loved him so much. They called from the home that last night and we all went running to him, for him, wanting Bill to pass easily and unafraid. He died that night, arms lifted as he went Home to God and his wife.

God puts people in our paths for so many reasons. Like your friend and neighbor, that you care so much for, God knows what we need and when we need it. You needed someone special to help you transition to a new place. Your friend needed and still needs you now.

This is a beautiful post and I just can't stop crying. It's as if you knew how much I was missing Bill and needed to share about him.

Jennie said...

Oh, dear Karen, I can relate to just about every single part of this beautiful post! What a blessing this precious "old" woman has been in your life, and how wonderful that you recognize every bit of that blessing!

Though my husband and I have lived where we are for four years, we are only just now beginning to grow roots and feel connected. It's not exactly a small town, but there is that born-and-raised-here feel about it. It does make it hard to plug in, and it makes me make a more conscious effort to introduce myself to new neighbors, church visitors, etc. Because I've been in those shoes!

I love what Marla said: God does put these people in our paths to help us. And I have no doubts that you were a blessing to her as well.

I love the picture of her and your son. She is just precious! I want to give you both a hug right now!

Cindy said...

Karen, such a beautiful and touching memories, I have my tissues too. I am all to familiar with moving and trying to be accepted in a new community. But with time, it gets easier, and especially when we lean on the ONE that doesn't change.

Thanks for sharing your simple pleasure and neighbor with us.

Karen said...

Girls, don't get upset if you don't get a e-mail back thanking for comments, I just can't seem to get my e-mail client feature to work. Thank you all for your sweet comments, and I sense that alot of you have been in my shoes and have touched a tender place of your hearts also.

Debbie said...

You touched a place SO TENDER in my heart that I will leave details unspoken.

We had a dear family friend who reached out to my family when we moved into a small town just like the one you describe a thousand miles from home and all that we knew.

She made us her family.
She let us call her "aunt".
I will love her always.
And I will miss her too.

What a beautiful simple pleasure, Karen.

Shilo said...

What a beautiful post. Praying His comfort will be yours. Praising Him with you that HE never changes! XXXXX

scarborough2 said...

Karen, thank you for sharing your "heart of mercy"! Mrs. Opal is one of those people God placed in "your basket" and you took such good care of her. I know she just lights up when you visit her. Praise God for His constant love!

Angel said...

This is a beautiful and very moving post. Thank you for sharing this story which is personal to you but yet is one that we can relate to so well.

A Hopeful Heart said...

This is a beautiful post, Karen. Such a beautiful neighbor/friend, and she has touched your life with love that will last for eternity. I can understand and relate to how much you miss her.

Our family made a cross-country move a few years ago, leaving our precious family and our beloved Florida behind. It has not been a good move for us, and especially as the parents age and are having some health issues, we feel a real need to live close again. So, we are asking THE ONE THAT NEVER CHANGES to relocate us once more.

Blessings to you,

Adelle said...

A lovely tribute! And thank you for the follow!

sarah said...

this is a really beautiful post...written from you heart. I find changes really hard and letting go even harder. I'm glad she was in your life and made a difference. It's also beautiful where you are. Stay strong.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh what a lovely tribute to such a precious lady and friend. I'm sure you have blessed her life as much as she has yours. I do understand how hard it is to make a move and leave all the familar faces and places behind. We did that 5 years ago, and I am still trying to make friends. Very difficult to do. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

Endris Family said...

Oh Karen! What a heartfelt post! I could relate on many levels...especially the moving part. Leaving the people we love is no easy task...making new friends in new places is such a joy though. I know God is using you right where you are. Thanks for sharing your Simple Pleasure with us.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, What a lovely post. God blessed you with each other! Brings fond memories of the special neighbors I've had through the years. Blessings to you this weekend.

mississippi artist said...


mississippi artist said...


Zuni said...

Hi, Karen. When I was a young wife and mother, Mr. Ernest, who was probably close to 90 at the time, lived two doors down. He taught me so much by the stories he would tell me while we visited him when he was out in the yard, or when I would stop by with something I'd cooked for baked for him and his wife. That was 30-some years ago, and sadly, after we moved I lost contact, but I still remember him fondly. I hope we all learn from these lessons, and return the "favor" to younger families, so we can help them to fill their memory banks with good ones. Lovely post; thank you for sharing your heart.