It’s All About Connections

Dear Reader:

Whenever I am affirming my address for a package being sent or even working on this oral and written theft affidavit (I am completing on the car)…I find myself making the same joke. Some get it…come don’t. I tell the caller my address is 100 Rainbow Road...not to be confused with Rainbow Row.

Anybody who knows anything about Charleston history or geography laughs…while I hear others pause and just move on with the verification questions. But you know what…I wouldn’t trade my life on my little “road” for a famous Charleston “row” address for anything in the world!

We were created to be social creatures and depend on each other for a fulfilling life. The only way to obtain this sense of security and happiness is through connections to people…nothing else.

The neighbors on my small little street consist of only 5 residences on “officially” Rainbow Road. And what wonderful friends they are…the picket fences in the garden were given to me by my neighbor Julie when she moved in…Dan has looked at my car several times with his computer and told me exactly what was wrong with it and how to fix it. Luke and Chelsey nursed “Little Red” through the scary first days of a “cloned” life… and look at him now.!

Luke changes my light bulbs, puts my address number on my porch steps, builds the floor for the new tree house and helps me move large debris or cut down tall limbs…while Chelsea brings me fresh eggs and greens. Luke even put in a deer light stand, following the car theft, so our street will catch anybody now on someone’s property without permission.

Vickie and Jane are always up for a quick lunch out and cart me to appointments when one’s car is being worked on or stolen. Yesterday Vickie drove me to the Charleston Cancer Center to get my prescription and then to Norton-Richardson to drop off the car for the claims assessment.

On Good Morning America yesterday they shared one of the 10 Nicest Places to live and this episode was on Burbank, California. This location wouldn’t pop out immediately in our minds but after watching the video…this community is amazingly close-knit.

A Burbank neighborhood near the airport and the border with North Hollywood may look like any other neighborhood.

But the way neighbors treat each other like family is what has made North Evergreen one of the 10 nicest places in America, according to an ongoing Reader’s Digest survey.

“You have people looking out for each other, coming together, drinking wine with each other, celebrating with each other, walking dogs with each other. You can’t find a nicer block than Evergreen,” said Rachel Diana who lives on N. Evergreen.

Ashley Erikson, who nominated her neighborhood, says it’s unlike any place she’s lived. For birthdays and holidays, residents host huge block parties which has helped build lasting friendships.

Joining North Evergreen on the list are Kalamazoo, Michigan and a free library in Baltimore, Maryland.

“We share produce. We share babysitters. We share events. We love spending time together. There’s 30 kids that live just on this one block so we love trying to find activities for them to do. Crafts,” said Erikson, a mom of two.

According to Reader’s Digest, the finalists are places founded in trust and civility and where everyone is treated with respect.

The residents represent many different nationalities with differing political views, a broad spectrum of socieo-economic levels and ages…but none of that matters. If you need a helping hand…you will get more than one from this neighborhood. They have discovered that by connecting together…no one is lonely or left out…their children have friends, as well as, the adults. They discovered the secret of happiness….staying connected to each other. Examples:

When you get home you might find a bag of freshly picked limes hanging from your doorknob or a dozen eggs from the backyard coop next door. When one woman decided to redo her front yard, the local recycling center held a mulching and composting workshop—then everybody pitched in and helped. Folks wave when you pass by. It’s hundreds of neighborly acts like these, both large and small, that make the street exceptional to its residents and the judges—especially in a region of millions, where, when you step outside this little haven, nobody knows your name unless it’s in lights.

A neighborhood group on Facebook reads like that of 200-person extended family. They post everything from free jalapeños to give away to a stray pig sighting (true story!). In her nomination, Ashley Erikson told us, “One time I was very sick and out of coffee. I posted on the neighborhood page and within minutes three neighbors had walked over coffee for me.”

Barbara Streisand sang it best “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” 

Ashley Erickson, who nominated their neighborhood, said it all started when one woman (alone and at home with a small child) reached out for help…She felt like the world was closing in on her…she needed another adult to talk to and perhaps share a glass of wine. She got up the courage to walk over to a neighbor’s house…introduce herself and tell her she was lonely, insecure, and could sure use some advice on child-raising, some friendship, and a glass of wine.

They then started sending out messages to other young mothers who felt the same way, isolated, and then expanded it to everyone who would like to be more connected with their neighbors….children, teenagers, young people, working people, stay-at-home people, and seniors who wanted to be more active.

The neighborhood all agreed it started because one person had the courage to reach out for help and friendship.

So until tomorrow… “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”
John Lennon

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Amen.

  • A huge shout out to Stephanie Rankin for coming over Monday and helping me fill out the claims affidavit….what an amazing insurance agent….go Horace Mann….go Stephanie…an “extra mile’r”!!!
  • And another big thanks to Gin-g for stopping by yesterday afternoon with pumpkin bread…plan to eat a slice this morning for breakfast before surgery for good luck!

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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One Response to It’s All About Connections

  1. bcparkison says:

    What a wonderful world indeed

    Like

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