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Life up north not exactly Hallmark movie material ~ yet

Susan E. Kendrick • Oct 30, 2019 at 10:30 AM

Dear Readers,

A chill is finally in the air! Despite the higher than normal temperatures, fall is starting to sneak in as we recently had one morning registering 34 degrees. The leaves are changing colors, but the vibrant fall hues from northeastern postcards or harvest Hallmark movies with their bright reds, oranges and yellows seem to not be quite as intense as I was expecting. Could that possibly be from the brilliant hue of fake leaves and cameras with filters?

One of the housekeepers popped into my office this week and asked if I had waterproofed my boots yet. “And, you will need to make sure they are tall enough. We will have snow within a few weeks.” After a quick peek at my hunting boots, she directed me to buy taller ones.

Other than the snow, living in Kingsport offered many pleasurable experiences. Membership in and attending the DAR meetings was one. With a love of history, genealogy and patriotism, I became a member in metro-Atlanta after promising my great Aunt Mary who had held a national position that I would join. It was a privilege to transfer my membership to the local chapter. I learned so much about the area and made friends with incredibly interesting women. Many of you may already know the Long Island chapter of the NSDAR (National Society Daughters of the American Revolution) recently celebrated its 90th birthday in MeadowView Convention Center. Accepted into the NSDAR in June 1929, by 15 charter members, the chapter was named after the long island in the middle of the Holston and has been very active ever since.

I was disappointed to miss this well-planned and joyful occasion but had the pleasure to receive many wonderful tidbits and pictures from Long Island Regent Jackie Rhoten, who was a former neighbor when I lived in White City. Her house was one street over. With various members and state officers from across Tennessee in attendance, the very talented Cecile Wimberley, who this past June became the first ever Tennessee State Regent from the Long Island chapter, was the keynote speaker. Vice Mayor Colette George (the real estate agent who facilitated the buying and selling of The Lodge in which I lived) surprised Cecile by presenting a commendation from the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen. It recognizes Cecile’s efforts in promoting patriotism and making a positive impact on so many.

Cecile was installed as the new State Regent for Tennessee during Continental Congress in Franklin. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University and the University of Tennessee College of Law. She is a mother of two and the wife of a fellow attorney. Dedicating more than a decade to pro bono legal work with non-profits, she is currently Advocacy Manager at Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

Congratulations, Cecile ~ I am so proud of you and know that you will do an excellent job representing the great state of Tennessee! May God bless your leadership, and may God continue to bless all the members who do so much for our country in recognizing our patriots who fought to make us a free nation. And, with that, I will share that my column next month will honor four veterans who served our country (albeit not during the American Revolution). As a note of interest, since the government was cash poor, much of this area land where Cornell University and the city of Ithaca, New York, currently thrive was given as payment for their services to soldiers who fought in the American Revolution.

As the colder winter months approach, I feel a sense of harvesting by stocking up on incidentals for the sorority house, girls and myself. Personal toiletries, copier ink and paper, light bulbs, food to freeze for weekends, batteries, hot chocolate and birdseed are among the essentials. This southern-raised belle intends to be prepared and not drive when icy roads and snowfall conditions will challenge my navigating skills. Hopes are to work and write within AXiD’s beautiful house in the village of Cayuga Heights snuggled by radiator warmth in my office while overlooking the scenic view of mountains and Cayuga Lake in the valley below. Plus, online shopping is so convenient now. I am sure that I will be able to order anything needed as the seasoned postman negotiates the local curvy, steep and pot-holed roads. If I need to venture out, the Uber app is on my phone.

I am blessed to have a staff who made it their mission to look out for this southerner. With less than two months ‘til Christmas, the holidays are fast approaching. My “To Do” list, though long, I pray is thorough. Preparations are underway. Over halfway through my Christmas shopping list, intensions are to complete it soon. Wrap and ship all before the winter’s frozen ice-cycled fingers tingle my extremities. Will I endure?

Many have frequently told me over the years that I tend to be an idealistic person ~ that I “look at life through rose-colored glasses” ~ rather than a realist. Like Kingsport where the sense of community and belonging were prevalent, I am sure this upcoming season will be my Hallmark movie. Well, OK, at least with the scenery… unless I have a car accident and some handsome Christian fellow rides up on his white horse. Frankly, I don’t care what color the horse is, but if he appears, at least I will be wearing my cute new boots and “those” glasses!

Meanwhile… Happy Halloween & Happy Veterans Day! Go Dawgs & Go Vols!



Susan E. Kendrick is a Sunday Stories columnist who shares her insights and Southern humor each month in Sincerely, Susan. To correspond with Susan, email her at [email protected]