Sunday, August 14, 2011

Don't Forget Your Roots

Good evening and come on in for a visit on an early Sunday evening. It has been a wonderful day of Sunday School, worship and a long afternoon nap to re-create for the coming week. I so enjoy going to church and worship, fellowship and renew for the coming days but the greatest joy is worshipping the Alpha and Omega - God of the beginning and the end and everything in between. So ya'll just come on in to help me complete my day with good fellowship.

The picture above is taken beside the door into the home where we grew up in Camden, AL. Our home was in a smaller community named Canton Bend about 5 miles from Camden which made us country folk. Daddy worked in town as a Soil Conservationist but planted huge gardens, raised cows, chickens, once some rabbits, and 3 children. Mama was a stay at home mother and worked part time in several places but mostly she mothered us wonderfully and was a beloved and respected wife.

It was a warm, loving and Godly family but we were not a unit until ourselves. We were an integral part of our town - Camden for that is where daddy worked, we attended church and school, and it was where we spent our early lives. The people in this small town helped raise us and we carry bits and pieces of these people in our lives today for they taught us in school, at church, and by they way they lived in front of us. Their examples were mostly positive but if it was not acceptable we loved them anyway for we were taught that everyone has value and we were to respect them and accept them as they were and just shake our heads and say, "Bless their hearts."

On Facebook someone from Camden started a group called You Know You Are From Camden, Al if.... and people from that area are posting their memories of our home town. It is wonderful for I have been reunited with old friends, made new friends, met children of old friends and scratched my memory to remember some of those who are posting and what they are talking about. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I'm not, then I ask my brother but he doesn't always remember either so we just shake our heads and keep reading.

We moved from Camden about 40 years ago and in that time much has happened - many have left, many have come and there have been many changes. We would visit at least once a year or more often but we always spent most of our precious time at our home out in the country with our parents for they were the reason we were there but we were somewhat aware of the changes. However, most of our memories are from the years past and it has been good, through this group, to become aware of how our hometown has changed through the years and how many of the children we knew have grown up.

I have made several observations about the postings of this group which is composed of about 4 decades of ages. It ranges from 70's down to the 30's and occasionally a few younger ones which makes it multi-generational and quite interesting for we get memories from many years. This gives we older ones the opportunity to share early memories with the younger ones about their parents and grandparents which is wonderful for them. For the older ones, we can follow the progression of the years through those children we taught and helped raise as they grew up and learn some things maybe we don't need to know but are enjoying. My children are saying, "Mama, you didn't really do that did you?" Well, yeah, I was a teenager once.

It is also an opportunity to help the younger ones to know the history of their families, why we have certain customs, what happened to change Camden, and most of all, who were the people who helped shape that area and the people who live there. Hopefully they will appreciate the lives who built and shaped Camden through the years. It is an opportunity for all of us to appreciate the love and hard work that made Camden and us what and who we are.

One of the observations I have made which is exciting for me are the people who have been named as those who are most remembered and respected. It seems that school teachers top the list and what a statement that is about the wonderful people who have taught through the years at the schools in Camden and Wilcox county. It is interesting that many of them were the teachers who were the strictest, the hardest, and the best. They were our friends but not our pals and taught not only a subject but how to live as a responsible adult and contribute positively to society. They taught us discipline, hard work and how to enjoy life. They were and are great examples for us to follow.

Two other groups which are well represented are the preachers, Sunday School teachers, Scout leaders, and law enforcement officers. Does this make a statement about the quality of these people? You bet it does for they have been remembered with fondness and respect. It also says something about how successfully they helped raise us that we can now recognize how much they impacted our lives in a positive way.

There are stories I could tell, people I could name, memories I could share but I have the link above and you can go and read some of these memories. I hope you were raised by a whole town like we were for it leaves wonderful memories, some sad but mostly happy, about who and what made us who we are and I am proud of where I came from. I still have my roots firmly planted there even if I am far away.

Ya'll be careful going home and I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane.

Nuff said,
The Georgia Peach, transplanted from Alabama


The Front of the Andrews House across from the Camden National Bank


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