Around the Neighborhood

Posted on January 9, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Hectic holidays are behind us with programs, socializing, and time with family. Decorations are packed away, and a New Year’s Day tradition is firmly established of hosting Bobbye’s family–sister, three nieces spouses and kids. It has been a delightful week of relaxing, planning, and watching bowl games. Unseasonable temperatures into the 70s have allowed us to get back into morning walks and an exercise routine we resolve to sustain in 2012.

We thought it would be of interest to our far-flung friends and followers to know something about our neighborhood after introducing you to our hometown, local college and prominent landmarks in previous posts. It has been a joy to find ourselves down home in Mississippi after 45 years of roaming the world. We bought my old home place that had been out of the family 25 years and built a new retirement home on Hester Street.

It is on the fringe of Old Town Clinton in the midst of Oakwood Heights subdivision, where post-World War II houses built in the 1940s and 50s still line the oak-shaded streets. The land was a farm that belonged to Mr. Cliff Hester whose house still stands on the hill at the end of our street. My father bought four acres on the edge of the development in 1946 and built the second house in the neighborhood. I never appreciated his conviction that I ought to grow up with a farm work ethic, but he made sure we had enough land for a horse, a milk cow, pigs, chickens, a fish pond and a large garden and orchard.

Although I detested hoeing the garden and weeding flower beds, his efforts must have been somewhat successful as I am finding landscaping and yard work to be among my most enjoyable activities. However, once the “yard hands” left home, the suburban farming was discontinued, the lake was filled in and lots were sold. Our closest neighbors now live behind us on that development–Rankin Cove.

Over the years housing developments have continued to expand and our home town has taken on a more urban characteristic. We have a variety of walking routes, including the three miles of trails in the nearby nature center. But one of our favorites is the neighboring subdivision of Lakeview where is it not unusual to see geese landing on the water in the early morning hours.

Prospects are good that we will finally get some winter weather this week. Weekend mission conferences and speaking engagements commence next week, and teaching a mission course the spring semester at Mississippi College will reduce our travel and enable us to enjoy the neighborhood even more.

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