The entire population of Buchanan Dam is less than two thousand scattered around the shore of Lake Buchanan. Our subdivision consisted of five houses and wonderful neighbors. We took care of each other. We called on each other. We supported each other.
Our last day there, I stayed behind to supervise the movers. After the final box was packed, the neighbors gathered to say goodbye. As we stood on the porch, I looked out over the lake and around at the thick foliage enclosing us in lacy shadows. Then I studied our dear neighbors. One, a young nurse, had terminal cancer but she’d driven down in her electric scooter. Another had lost her husband months earlier and George had conducted the funeral. The couple that lived at the bottom of our driveway and watched over everyone had climbed the steep driveway. I stood in the calm and the beauty of this place, feeling the love of our neighbors and wondered, “Why are we leaving?”
As I began the Tales from Butternut Creek series, I wanted to convey this, how people in a small town care for each other. The feel of a small town is made up of football games and marching bands, of seeing friends and church members at the grocery and the Subway. It’s going to church, volunteering at the food pantry, and providing meals for those who’ve lost a loved one. It’s so many things. How could I capture those?
Gradually, an image formed in my mind of a young minister called to a church in Butternut Creek, being welcomed by church members and neighbors and falling in love with the town. Does this happen in cities and in neighborhoods? Of course, but it seems easier and more likely in a small town.
Please join us in Butternut Creek. Pour yourself a glass of tea, settle down, and sit a spell.
A Missouri native, Jane Myers Perrine earned her B.A. from Kansas State University and her M.Ed. in Spanish from the University of Louisville. She was a finalist in the Regency category of the Golden Heart Awards, and her short pieces have appeared in the Houston Chronicle and Woman’s World magazine. A high-school Spanish teacher as well as an ordained minister, she currently lives in Texas with her husband, who is the minister of a local Christian church. You can find her online at JaneMyersPerrine.com
In addition to the FaithWords blog, Jane will also be appearing at various other blogs around the web this week to celebrate her book’s release. Follow #butternutcreek on Twitter or follow Jane on Twitter or Facebook to see everywhere she visits. If you review the book or have Jane stop by, please leave us the link!