Archive for the ‘new home’ Category

Have wheels, will travel in the neighborhood.

August 17, 2009

There are lots and lots of kids on bicycles in this neighborhood. I can remember those days, when a bike was your ticket to freedom, your vehicle for travel. Under age 14, it is very cool to have a cool bike and be able to ride “no hands”. At around 13, that isn’t so cool anymore, but you still can’t drive, so you still ride a bike.

There are small groups of boys who ride bikes on the streets of the neighborhood. Ages 8 to about 12. They ride around on the trails, stop at the pond and try to fish, go to someone else’s house, ride to a recreation area park, and just travel the area. It seems like a step back in time, to live here. I cannot imagine being a child and growing up here, with no fear, able to hang out with your buddies by the pond and just talk at the picnic tables, have friends all around you, go swimming at the community neighborhood pool, maybe catch a few frogs or toads, a turtle, or try to fish with a little string and bait. What a relaxed atmosphere.

I don’t see many girls hanging out, and I don’t see teenagers. I don’t know where the teenagers go in Chapin, to hang out. One young group of girls the other day, had made bracelets and were walking around the neighborhood, giving them away. Very small children are usually with their parents. Oftentimes a parent will be jogging beside a child in a motorized car or bike. Another form of “wheels” is motorized scooters. They are really funny to me, because we didn’t have those when I was a kid.

It just seems to be an amazingly safe and relaxed place for kids to grow up.

You wonder, though, whether kids growing up here will have a sense of the suffering in the world. Like some of my college students, it never touched them so they don’t really have a concept of world poverty, can’t really get their heads wrapped around the idea. We talk about how so many billion people live on what would  equal to $1.00 a day in the US. But it’s hard to believe something exists when you feel the world is basically open and fair, and safe. You tend to think all people can have those things.

‘Abdu’l-Baha once said, accustom children to hardship. Most parents cannot get that job done, in a conscious way. For us, it happened, but just due to accident and circumstance. Hard times we went through with our kids taught them the meaning of scrimping and poverty, like no textbook ever could. They know the feeling of being the kids on “free lunch” and being treated differently in school because they didn’t have the latest designer clothes, shoes, make-up or bookbag. They lived in hardship. For quite a few years. And I think they are better for it. It was hard on them, but when they look poverty in the eye, when they see someone else suffering, they may tend NOT to blame the individual. They may rather see “there, but for the grace of God, goes I.” They have LIVED it, they KNOW.  Many of our friends’ kids have no concept of that, no understanding. For us, it just happened.

“While the children are yet in their infancy feed them from the breast of heavenly grace, foster them in the cradle of all excellence, rear them in the embrace of bounty. Give them the advantage of every useful kind of knowledge. Let them share in every new and rare and wondrous craft and art. Bring them up to work and strive, and accustom them to hardship. Teach them to dedicate their lives to matters of great import, and inspire them to undertake studies that will benefit mankind.”

 (Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 129)


SC lake culture 2

August 11, 2009

A storm rolled across the lake and into our neighborhood late this afternoon. It was nice to watch the rain roll across the pond in sheets, out back. A little reddish-orange toad got stranded on our front porch and didn’t quite know where to go, in order not to drown.

This morning while doing my 4 laps around the pond, a large red-tailed hawk swooped past me. As he passed just beside me, he let out his high pitched call. I think it was just for me.  🙂    This pond does not have geese or ducks. The life in this pond is large fish and numerous frogs, with toads up in the grass. Mockingbirds occupy the trees, as well as some large hawks at times. People are allowed to fish, but put the fish back in. Some people drive around in the little golf carts and throw DOG FOOD to the fish, feeding them! Al has seen a beaver and a muskrat also.

“Strive then, O My brother, to apprehend this matter, that the veils may be lifted from the face of thy heart and that thou mayest be reckoned among them whom God hath graced with such penetrating vision as to behold the most subtle realities of His dominion, to fathom the mysteries of His kingdom, to perceive the signs of His transcendent Essence in this mortal world, and to attain a station wherein one seeth no distinction amongst His creatures and findeth no flaw in the creation of the heavens and the earth.”

 (Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 11)

South Carolina lake culture

August 9, 2009

stoneyI can’t really believe where I live now. It is quite the privileged life.

In South Carolina by the lake, people have garages but never park their cars in them. I never thought about it before, but all my life in the north, it is assumed you should really clear the clutter out of your garage, so you can park your CAR in it, in Winter. Why? It is quite the advantage to not have to clear the ice and snow off your windshield before you leave. Also, the car doesn’t get quite as cold as it does when sitting outside, so there is less chance your engine will FREEZE, or at the very least, your car door locks freeze, necessitating getting out the old reliable can of WD-40, something you always have on hand (in your garage or trunk of the car), and spraying the car door locks with it to unfreeze them. Most people also carry extra blankets in their trunk and perhaps a candy bar or two, just in case you get stranded on a wintry highway sometime.

In South Carolina (by the lake), houses do not have basements, due to swampy land and flooding. People use their garages for storage. There is no need to ever park the car in the garage. They also may set up a BAR in their garage and open the garage door to the neighbors in the evenings, playing music. The funniest thing about SC culture by the lake is that people use their cars when they are leaving the neighborhood. WITHIN the neighborhood, they troll around in their golf carts. They seem to do this for an evening activity, sometimes with their dogs or their kids taking a ride. They then drive right up to their neighbors open garage bar, sit down and shoot the breeze. I find it hilarious.

Our neighborhood is a community within itself. People are out all hours of the night up to about midnight. It seems to be a very safe and friendly place.

waiting to move

July 20, 2009

Everything packed that I can pack, sitting around waiting for moving day. All has to wait until Friday, at which time it will then be rush, rush and pick up Zakiah the next day, for 5 days.


June 20, 2009

If this house in Chapin works out for us, I am so excited to think of having a real home, one that we can settle in for years to come. I didn’t want to move to Chapin. On the census, it is nearly all white. However, there are many good things about it. It is right on the lake (the big lake, Lake Murray). Some houses in the edition have lakefront property and are worth $350,000 or more. I have had a personal dream to own a pontoon or some type of boat and be able to go out on the water! It is NEW, the whole neighborhood wasn’t built whenever google did their satellite picture thing! (Only the streets show up as dirt roads.) The house inside is spic and span new. Walls and carpet are gorgeous. The main bedroom is downstairs, which we will need in years to come. It is large, closets are large. There are 2 full bathrooms and another 1/2 off the kitchen. There are quite a lot of cabinets in the kitchen. — Still not like the Indy house, nothing could match that! I couldn’t even fill those cabinets.

The pond in back right off our backyard is larger than the one in Indy. I haven’t seen ducks or life on it yet, but there should be something?? It has a walkway around it. Then the clubhouse meeting room, swimming pool and large playground make it a wonderful place for grandkids to visit, and possible meetings or children’s virtue classes. All in all, lots of great things about it.

The people there come to the lake from various places so it has more openness and diversity that way than Newberry. My husband is ancy to get our showers taken and go to Columbia to catch a matinee when movies are cheaper. So I need to go now…