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Letter to the editor

Neighbors come through with home help

September 14, 2011 - Dear Editor,

When it comes to finding folks to help with a project, helping hands scatter. It's difficult when you are a single woman with little to no budget working two jobs seven days a week to get much accomplished, let alone when assistance is needed.

I am fortunate to be friends with another single woman, Marti Waltz, who "gets" the challenges of being single and not having the luxury of hiring help.

Marti had a deck on an empty lot out of town she was no longer using and asked if I wanted it. I was beyond thrilled! This was my chance at making my yard my own, having inherited my father's house after taking care of him prior to his death. Fixing it up has been rather piecemeal to say the least. And making it "my own" has been slow in coming. So this was a really big deal to me.

But then karma woke up from her nap.

I live in a neighborhood where not only do I now own the house I grew up in, but several of my neighbors do also! We've known each other our entire lives, dirt under the nails and all.

So when I was in my yard heartbroken and crying because I was so disappointed this had fallen through for the third time simply because I couldn't find enough people to help, Blair Whittenton from next door and his sons Zack and Daniel, along with Blair's buddy Jeff Roland stepped up to the plate to offer help.

About the same time, I got a message from Cory Johnston that he and his wife Robin would be willing to help, A friend that lives up by where the deck was at, volunteered her fiancé Tory Hazel, to assist on that end, and a plan was launched.

I know it's just a deck, but it represents so much more. It represents a sense of place when I have felt so out of place and not belonging living here. It represents the act of putting down roots when I had always thought my roots would be on the other side of the Mississippi. It represents a sense of community, and support, when so often I have felt alone. Its just a deck, but its something solid under my feet, when so often in the past few years here, there's been nothing close to solid under my feet.

I was able to provide Rudy's Pizza in thanks, which is excellent! But "thanks" just doesn't really cover it. I am deeply touched by the time, sacrifice and energy that was given to me for this deck, and for the generosity that it represents.

It is not just a deck for my front yard. I will be reminded with every step I take upon it of the kindness and efforts of others. That, after all, is what makes a house a home, and builds a sense of community and belonging. Eternal thanks to Cory, Robin, Blair, Zack, Daniel, Jeff ,Troy.and Marti. Namaste, I bow in graciousness to each of you.

Tammie Heazlit


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