This time of year, I usually write about things and people for which I'm grateful. This will be similar, but more widespread.
I was thinking the other day about how lucky I am to live in Columbia County. We have been here since 1975, in the same house in the same subdivision, even some of the same neighbors.
I have watched Columbia Road go from a two-lane street to a four lane highway, really five if you count the turn lane in the middle. We have all also watched the front property of our neighborhood turned into office buildings, even though we all went as a group to the county meeting to protest. Guess we're used to it now, even though we were promised at the time the land would stay zoned residential.
I do miss the deer and raccoons wandering around in the back yard. Don't miss the possums, though. Nasty creatures.
I started writing for The News-Times early in the 1980s. Please don't ask for an exact date; I would have to go through years of papers to find that out. My main subjects at first were my son, Tommy, and my husband, Jay. Tommy was always getting into something, and he also played a lot of sports, so there was never a problem coming up with the words to write. The only real problem was embarrassing him and having him come home from school to tell me his teacher had read my column.
Jay was also an easy mark. I remember writing about the time he put a car jack under the kitchen sink to hold the pipes up so he wouldn't have to call a plumber. When we finally had no choice, the guy who came spent at least 10 minutes laughing before he started to work.
The first week we spent at our condo at the beach, he had a pickup truck and put his recliner in the back.
Then there was the time a bat flew into our house. Jay always liked to sit in the den with the door open, even though we had no screen. One night, I was on the computer and heard, "Oh, come on! Don't fly in here!"
By the time I got to the den, he was already heading down the hallway with a towel, apparently to throw over the bat and catch him. The only problem was, the little guy flew into Tommy's room and the ceiling fan was on and he had decided to fly around above it.
After oh, I don't know, maybe 50 tries, he finally traps it. But does he immediately take it outside to set it free? Of course not. He had never seen a bat close up and wanted to study one. The bat bit not once, but twice, before Jay decided to let him go. Afterward he received a lecture on rabies from me and how he should get checked out. His response? "Come on! He was just a little guy. Couldn't have rabies."
I sure do miss him.
Yes, there are a lot of memories for me coming out of Columbia County. The people are warm, the streets seem to be safe for the most part, I trust our sheriff's department and I trust our EMTs who save lives every day. I should know; I've called on them enough. This is a great place to live. A great place to grow memories.
Even though I now have office buildings in my back yard, I do have a nice fence and have gotten used to it. Progress; everybody needs it, and Columbia County is certainly good at obtaining it. Thank you to all the folks who run this county. I love you all, and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.