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Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Sunday, May 1

How We Roll

I am sitting on the sofa in my living room, cat curled up beside me, enjoying (as best I can without creamer) my first cup of coffee. Outside the rain is falling, wind is blowing and the yard and street are puddling up with water. Once again, a rainy day. The last 21 days have been rough weather wise. High winds and tornadoes have ravaged much of the southeast. We've been lucky here to get by with wind damage and a bit of flooding, but Mother Nature has been going wild. I've done no research on these facts, but it seems like there have been maybe 5 days in the last 3 weeks that were rain-free.

Yesterday, fortunately, was one of those days. The sunrise was amazing. I should know, I was up and out of the house by 4:45 am. The day was sunny and warm. I should know, I was outside on my feet in a parking lot from 5am until 1:30pm. I have sunburn on the back of my neck and a gash in my toe. I feel like I was hit by a train from standing, lifting, moving, setting up, taking down and everything else in between. I am 43 which means I frequently feel that way for no real reason, but this time there is a reason. A very good and deserving reason.

When I was 17 I left my hometown to attend college in Nashville. Now, our hometown is small. Less than 10,000 people in the city and county back in '85 when I graduated from high school. I think maybe there were 180 people in my graduating class. Nashville is now much bigger than it was then, but it was and is a big city. Now around 1.5 million in the greater Nashville area. After living in a small town, I enjoyed it for a lot of reasons. Not the least of which was the ability to be anonymous. The lack of interest in your business by your neighbors. And the wide availablility of things to do, see, eat and learn.

I have complained from time to time since returning to our small hometown. Mind you, I was so glad to leave Pennsylvania and the "north" in general, I am ecstatic to be here. I have a great group of friends who have welcomed me into their circle like I've been here all my life. I am still learning who everyone is and how they are connected, who they were married to, etc. (Socially, this is very important in a small town. Talk to the wrong person and it's a big deal.)

While it's nice being back near family, with aging parents like we have, sometimes it's just too close. Sometimes I am awakened by a phone call and my parents sitting in the car in the driveway ready to take us out for breakfast. While it's nice having a close group of friends, sometimes I don't need to be called and asked "What are you doing in the McDonald's drive thru right now. Aren't you on a diet?" (I was purchasing an unsweet tea, thanks for asking).  And some days it tires me to no end the "lack" of certain things here in the town. Like a good coffee shop. Or any coffee shop. Or a place to get fresh bagels or sushi.

But sometimes I am overwhelmed by the sweetness and sense of community and just the general  Mayberry-ness of living here. When I walk around the town square I feel so proud. I used to watch Gilmore Girls and tell my husband, "I want to live somewhere like Stars Hollow." "You'd hate it." he always responded. Well, now, I live about as close as you could get. We have community theatre, festivals on the town square, homecoming parades and Christmas parades, car shows, and Friday night music on the square during the summer. Everyone pretty much knows everyone and they all know your business. Or will soon enough.
BFF Amy, Me, & Brownie
(yes, I am wearing a fishing hat get over it)

But days like yesterday, the sense of community is overwhelming. Yesterday we held a benefit yard sale to help out a friend of ours who just went through triple bypass surgery. It was a joint effort between a bunch of her friends who are members of the Franklin Business & Professional Women club and some people from the local paper, The Franklin Favorite, where she works. This friend is one of the most awesome people I know, and is so involved in the community. She grew up here, graduated high school here, lives and works here. She knows everyone and attends almost every play, musical, festival, dance recital, ball game.

We all love our Brownie. Partly because she loves this town. And partly because she is just wonderful fun-loving Brownie, she is who she is. So when she had triple by-pass surgery a little over a month ago, we decided we wanted to help. She works mostly on commission, supports herself, and like everyone else around these days, works hard to make ends meet in the best of times. So a couple of friends came up with this idea. I wasn't sure how it would work, but it all came together.

Yesterday we held the sale and between 7am and noon raised well over $1000. The items donated to the sale exceeded all of our expectations, and we didn't have room for all of it. The local radio station called me to do a live remote to plug the sale (yes, I was just outside their door in the parking lot but still....). The newspaper office donated storage space and their parking lot to hold the sale. People showed up to help without us having to ask. My 75-year old momma showed up and ran the checkout for about 3 hours that morning. Brian, from the radio station stayed until the end and helped us pack things up and get them back in the building.

People bought $6 worth of stuff, handing us a $10 or $20 saying keep the change. One lady who looked  like she had next to nothing (I know I should not judge) gave me $15 for $8 worth of merchandise saying "Honey, we've all been through this medical stuff before, I know how it is, I want to do it." People handed over amounts ranging from $5 to $60 without any purchase, saying "I didn't find anything I need but this is for Brownie." Club members stopped by and purchased items. Those of us who worked bought as much to take home as we donated. I wish for Brownie's sake it had been $10,000. But I think for a 5 hour event we did really, really well. But then, that's how we roll.

These kind of things? Are amazing to me. This is the sort of thing that is so special and wonderful about living in a small town. And today I am so full of love and gratitude. For my friends, for my BPW sisters, and finally? For my community.


  1. Awesome blog, Sista! Love you bunches!

  2. terrific...sooo admirable and touching.

    Hope you caught some big ones in that hat.