Thoughts from the Treadmill: Community
Exciting news! Got a great review from The Book Maven today. Hope you’ll check it out at http://bit.ly/1cGZFY8.
I’m making guest appearances on several blogs in the next two weeks to promote the “free” days for Driven to Matrimony on Amazon for Kindle, November 12 – 16. Check out the locations in the sidebar to the right, especially Melissa Snark’s review. She was really kind!
This coming weekend is Founders’ Day in my town. Seventeen years. Young by some standards, but actually, we’ve become quite settled. I wasn’t here in the early years, when the first village was built. All I know about that period is from the photos that remain. Almost all the home sites now have homes on them, some with second or third owners. All the streets are in. The trees and other foliage are fairly mature, although in this Florida weather, some have to be replaced periodically.
The town has its own logo: a tree surrounded by a picket fence and a rider on a bicycle with a small dog in pursuit. Every street sign in town is framed by a wrought iron image of this logo. Every manhole cover carries this image as well.
This weekend’s festivities include a concert, parade, a ceremony honoring our veterans, a town picnic, a dinner featuring the first architect’s reflections on those early days and a town picture. In other words, this town takes its roots seriously.
But this weekend is just a day on the calendar. A very special day each year, to be sure, but during the other three hundred sixty-four days of the year, the spirit of community remains. I didn’t know I was seeking this feeling until I moved here several years ago. Before that, I’d lived in three different towns, all in Iowa. This was my first time living in another state, a state with many transplanted residents, a small microcosm of the rest of this country and the rest of the world. I discovered early on that I couldn’t just sit back and become a part of things. I had to actively reach out, meet my neighbors, join various groups and participate. Once I did, though, I felt like I’d come home. It’s no wonder fellow residents want to celebrate our founding each year; they feel it too.
Sometimes a feeling wraps itself around you like a comfortable sweater, becomes so much a part of you, you hardly know it’s there, until someone or something points it out. Not too long I experienced one of those “a-ha” moments about community. I have been working on a three-part series about the planning, building and settling of an intergenerational community outside Des Moines, Iowa for at least five years, about the same amount of time I’ve been spending my winters in this Florida community. I started the series because I’d become a big fan of Home and Garden TV (HGTV) and wanted to write about building homes and how that affects the private lives of those who build them. It wasn’t until more recently, when I wrote up the overall proposal for the series, that it occurred to me I’d simply transferred that feeling of community to my writing. Never intentional, it just slipped in.
Sometimes writers are advised to “write about what you know.” Isn’t it a hoot when what you inherently know does its writing for you?
Driven to Matrimony
The Sleepover Clause
And He Cooks Too