Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | December 26, 2010


I have never been much of  a “joiner”.

My first home as a married woman was located in a cozy neighborhood of mature couples who kept to themselves, so that I would not be “bothered” by women my age who might want to have coffee and chat.

From that neighborhood I moved to a tiny house in the country, with just enough land surrounding the place to keep the neighbors at bay.

Although there was a small town just two miles away, I never became a part of the community, though I lived there for 18 years.

It is interesting that I now find myself enjoying life in a small “community” at this campground.

Our “houses” are so close that we can hear one another sneeze, and there is no hiding your comings and goings ~  most people are retired or unemployed, so they are always around…either sitting outside or peering through windows, just waiting for something to happen.

As a result, you are acquainted with everyone, and if someone has a problem with their camper, vehicle or life, you know about it and are there to help if you can, and you learn to make the best of being thrust together by the tides of life.

Christmas Day, 2010, is a perfect example.

Although most of the campground residents have friends and family elsewhere in the country, they remained here in Florida for the holidays ~ go figure!

And, although we were unable to partake of our family traditions over the holidays,  several wonderful women took it upon themselves to plan – and cook – Christmas dinner.

It was our good fortune to receive invitations to two absolutely delightful meals spaced far enough apart that we could indulge in the first, rest up, and indulge again at the second.  (photos below…I am invisible – the photographer).

Dinner at Noon

Dinner at Noon

Dinner at Four

It was during those meals that the value and meaning of “community” came to me…sort of a grinch-type of revelation.

Perhaps my heart grew two sizes that day, or maybe it was the emotional nature of the season, (or the dandelion wine), but I truly enjoyed these gatherings with my fellow campers much more than I had anticipated.

Some I have known for the six or seven weeks since we arrived, while others have just arrived themselves and we met for the first time the other day.

And yet, we were all there together, celebrating the day, with all the traditional dishes and trimmings…turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, yams, corn, cranberry sauce, relishes, hot rolls, pumpkin pie, and German chocolate cake.

We feasted and gabbed in a leisurely fashion…the day was warm, ending in much-needed rain…and today dawned windy, overcast and cool ~ a good one to stay indoors and muse about the people and places in our lives…what they mean to us and what they can become.


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