According to Webster: “co·he·sion,” (in context) The act of cohering: exhibited strong cohesion in the family unit.
According to Webster: “neigh·bor,” (in context) A fellow human being.
On June 19, 1995, my wife Linda, my daughter Crystal, my brother Cliff, his daughter Frydra, our dog Skeeter, our cat Beauty and myself crossed the border from Wyoming into Western South Dakota to set up housekeeping in a home that we purchased to set forth and explore our retirement years.
We spent our first night in South Dakota at a lovely KOA campground owned by a couple that would soon become very good friends.
Sunrise on June 20, 1995 was a magnificent panorama of Golden spires illuminating and warming the atmosphere to a pleasant and temperate 75° by midday.
Linda and I signed and finalized the purchase contracts by one o’clock and by 5 o’clock our furniture was offloaded and set up well enough to make our first night in our new home a comfortable one, albeit without electricity. Although June 20, fell on a Tuesday, the local power company required twenty-four hours to provide service, accordingly, had it not been for the thunderclouds that rolled in suddenly while my brother and I were at the local grocery buying bread, lunchmeat and condiments for dinner, we would have spent the evening lit by lanterns, candles and flashlights.
As it was, by the time Cliff and I got back to our new house, a great portion of my roof tiles were on their way to Kansas and the thirty-five foot cottonwood on my side yard had been reduced to fifteen feet.
The hail that pass through town between five-thirty and six that evening sent approximately eighty percent of the roof tiles in town along with mine to Nebraska and Kansas, not a promising start in a new home to know that you’re on the hook for a new roof.
It was a long night without electricity, nonetheless everyone finally took part in visiting the land of nod, to be awakened at sunrise by the sound of chainsaws and pickup trucks.
Twenty-four hours in town, we didn’t know a soul, yet when I wiped the sleep from my eyes and peered out the big picture window in our living room, my view was filled with neighbors wielding chainsaws and throwing chunks of my once grand cottonwood into the back of their pickup trucks.
By noon, the only evidence that there had been a storm the night before were a few twigs and leaves and not one of the men busting their butts would accept a dime for their labor.
My family and I had found a home..
..and although I am not actually a Norman Rockwell kind of guy, the friends I’ve met in our (now) new community are…
Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow