a reply to: Jennyfrenzy
The neighbors I am going to describe were certainly "odd" to us when we first met them but, they turned out to be some of the bestest folks I have
ever met in my entire life...
We had moved from TN back to Florida and had purchased (with my parents) a home near the Lake/Polk County lines.
Well, little did we know, we had moved into the center of a family community. Everyone around us was kinfolk.
They were, to us, a little backward. I don't think any had finished high school.
They had some "odd" habits like, never wearing shoes, putting cigarettes out on the bottom of their feet, they "ran" dogs for hunting so, they trained
often sometimes up into the night in the fields around us. This particular activity bothered me immensely (won't get into the whys here).
They worked in the swamps, barefoot. They used to always carry a pair of shoes with them for, as they put it, if they ever had to go to the hospital
to visit someone or if they ever had to go to court!
They drank A LOT! They fought A LOT!
BUT, when we got to know them (after several months) they turned out to be some of the most helpful, nicest, loyal people I had ever met.
Once, our well had gone down and they took turns, with us, hammering the new one. The older "patriarch" of the family had told us where to dig by
means of dowsing. If anyone has ever "hand dug" a well, they know what hard work that is.
In the meantime, they had water hoses strung across the driveways to provide us with water...
There was a forest fire one year and we had all been evacuated. We all met at the corner store. I had left behind some important things (to my
children) as it happened so fast. The patriarch said to my old man, come on, we'll sneak back and get some stuff. We were like no it's okay...let's
not...he says look, if it wasn't safe, I wouldn't go and besides, I know the backs of the swamps. We'll be fine! They went, against my protests, and
they were fine. They took the backs of the swamps and were "foolish" heroes...LOL
They also would share their bounty from hunting. Hogs and Deer. They would even cook it and bring it to us!
This woman (I guess the matriarch) could cook alligator like nobody's business, melt in your mouth!
Many years have passed, we're no longer in the same state but, we still communicate and I know if I ever needed somewhere to go, that I would be
welcome AND taken care of...