Banks County Opinions...

April 24, 2002


Editorial

The Banks County News
April 24, 2002

Take time to volunteer
National Volunteer Week is being observed this week across the country.
Schools, hospitals, senior citizen centers and libraries are just a few of the places that can use volunteers. Whether you have a few hours a week or a few hours a month, there is plenty to do to help out.
For those who don’t want a regular schedule, there are many other ways to volunteer. Helping out an elderly neighbor or a busy young mother are just a few sources for those who find they have a few extra hours and want to help out someone.
As we all honor those volunteers who are making the world a better place, let’s also try to find time in our own lives to help out.

Column

By: Shar Porier
T
he Banks County News
April 24, 2002

The art of leave-taking
“Y’all come go with us...”
“We’d better stay on here. What’s your hurry?”
“Oh, we’d better head on. Come go up...”
And so it goes, the art of leave-taking.
It’s among my memories of childhood Sunday evenings, when my father and grandfather would begin the ritual of saying goodbye — one I’m sure they’d heard in practice long before I was ever around.
There is an art to it, a certain tone, a cadence, a certain pacing...the winding down of a visit with the scraping back of chairs and the gradual procession out the door.
My role in this leave-taking was to pick up the heavy silver flashlight, the one with the cracked glass and ridged handle. I’d push up the sliding “on” switch, then lead the way, sort of, down the back porch steps and along the path beside the house, pointing out familiar rocks at our feet, fending off the fig bush.
Really, I just liked to hold the light tight to my palm, feeling its warmth and marveling as, against the bright beam, my hand became glowing and red — almost, almost, almost, I could see the bones. Almost. But I could see a lot of dirt and dust, usually.
My other part in the weekly ritual was the goodbye handshake. My grandfather would close his big hand around my small one as we neared the car. He never forgot.
“Bye, Jana,” in his kind voice. I can still hear it.
What I thought then was that we would be back next week, every week, forever, for our Sunday rituals.
Papa would wave us out the driveway of his Madison County home. There he stood, always wearing a hat — straw for warm weather, darker and heavier for cooler evenings — along with his work boots, overalls and maybe a denim jacket.
Those rituals have gone the way of time, but not too far away. They are still in my memories, those Sunday evenings, and I’m sure in those of my sister, my father, my mother.
It pleases me, and makes me a little sad at the same time, on a rare occasion to hear that nearly lost art of leave-taking still being practiced. When, in the midst of the rush and hurry most of us get caught up in, some people still have time to draw out a visit and linger on.
“Y’all take care...”
Jana Adams is features editor of The Jackson Herald and a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.

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