Author: Angie Harris

Attacking adventures, searching for amazing food, and finding new friends.  Home in Branson, MO, or exploring Disney, I am searching for deals, finding new experiences, and sharing stories along the way.

It Takes a Village

Going Out the Door, It takes a village 5

Going home is about becoming confident and self-reliant adults and how it takes a village to help you find yourself. The old adage “It takes a village to raise a child” rings true.  While our families hold the lead role in the village of our lives, the ‘villagers’ that surround us every day such as friends, neighbors, and teachers also play a significant role in shaping our characters.

Going Out the Door, It takes a village

The Neighborhood Gang

Three streets and over a dozen kids constituted my neighborhood.

The lesson: The importance of play

Each new day was an adventure in our neighborhood! In my generation, there were no video games or cell phones, music was heard exclusively through the radio or a record player, and cartoons were only broadcast on television during Saturday mornings and at 3:00 p.m. for an hour on school days. My friends and I had all the entertainment we needed in our backyards.

We had oodles of fun spending our time playing in the creek behind my house, catching crawdads, covering ourselves with red clay from the creek bank, playing war with the horse apples, catching lightning bugs in a mayonnaise jar, climbing cedar trees that were covered in sap, and riding bikes.

 

Going Out the Door, It takes a village 2

 

My beautiful pink bicycle had a banana seat, a sissy bar, and streamers that flowed from the handlebars as I zoomed around. We rode ‘double’ while hanging onto the sissy bars, stood on our seats and pretended we were in the circus or took turns sitting on each other’s handlebars while someone else did all the work. We would ride ‘all the way’ to Third Street to pick blackberries or have races down the steep hill.  My bike gave me the freedom and confidence to explore, and I felt brave. The only rule that I adhered to was being home before the gas lamp came on in our yard.

Sometimes we were fortunate and found enough soda pop bottles to return and make sufficient money to go to the Bob Burns Theatre on Main Street. It was usually a double feature and the same movies played for months at a time.

 

Going Out the Door, It takes a village 3

Mr. and Mrs. Hunter

A retired couple who lived kitty-corner from me and were kind to everyone.

The lesson:  Take pride in your home; love your neighbors

The Hunter’s home and the yard was small and pretty as a postcard. They also had an extra asphalt driveway in front of their home with a three-foot guard rail which made the perfect meeting place for us kids. We would park our bikes next to the rail, throw one leg over, and spin around until we were dizzy or got too tall and scraped our heads on the blacktop.

Mr. Hunter’s workshop was tiny but everything had a place and if you borrowed something, he expected you to put it back exactly where you found it. Tins cans lined the shelves and neatly held his small items like nails and screws. He taught me how to maintain my bicycle and one of my favorite items in his shop was a little pump oil can – my bicycle chain was always well greased! My fondest memory of Mr. Hunter, however, is his love of gardening; when I was seven, he helped me plant four o’clock flower seeds beside our carport. To this day, I enjoy gardening as much as breathing.

Mrs. Hunter managed her kitchen the same way that Mr. Hunter managed his shop: everything had a place and it was spotless. There was even a special spot for her ‘Tupperware’, better known as Cool Whip containers, and the tin foil that she washed and reused.

 

Going Out the Door, It takes a village 4

Miss Sue

Loved God, her family, music, and me.

The lesson:  Serve God, your family, and your neighbors; music speaks to the soul.
 
Music often wafted through the air because our neighbor, Miss Sue, was the pianist for her church. I spent a lot of time in my yard, and I enjoyed listening to her and her friends sing praises while I played. Miss Sue shaped my life for the better when she created the ‘Good News Club’ and invited all the kids to join. On a weekly basis, she made treats and told us stories and sang songs about Jesus. I knew the stories she shared were true and I can still hear her clear voice testifying, “There is a God and He sent his only begotten Son to die for us,” and singing the song, ‘Good News, Good News’. No doubt, she loved all of the kids in our neighborhood and was willing to share her faith and talents.

 

Going Out the Door, It takes a village 5
The Boy Next Door 

He was cute, smart, and had a crush on me.

The lesson:  Everything works out.

I was ten when the boy next door went away for the summer and wrote me a letter declaring his love; the only problem was that he sent it to his mother who then passed it on to my mother, and they both read it. I liked him but nearly died from embarrassment!

He came home at the end of summer and I did my best to pretend nothing had ever happened. He, being a brave soul, however, mentioned the letter one day in front of the neighborhood gang. I glared at him while everyone waited for my response when suddenly, he completely lost his mind and kissed me! Well, when he saw the look on my face, he quickly gathered his wits and ran. Luckily, he ran faster than I or I would have hurt that ten-year-old boy! I was too humiliated to show my face in the neighborhood for the next week and was relieved when someone broke their arm which diverted attention away from the incident.

Today, that cute boy next door and I are genuine friends. I expect we have a special bond and am glad I did not scar my childhood by catching and hurting him that ridiculous day!

Final credits:

I am forever grateful for the villagers in my life that taught me to love playing, home, neighbors, God, family, music, and ultimately, myself. It took a village to raise this child.

Please join us on our Going Home Facebook page.  Thank you!  Angie Roberts Harris

Corpus Christi, Texas: A Quick Getaway

A short getaway was exactly what we needed one cloudy, mid-February Saturday! Our schedules and funds didn’t allow for much time away or heavy spending so we decided to make the 210-mile drive to relax and explore in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Here are 4 points of our awesome ‘get away’ adventure:

Hotel DeVille

A Corpus Christi treasure! Typically, our hotels of choice are national brands with indoor hallways and elevators. The Hotel Deville has no elevators or ground floor rooms (it stands on piers), and seems more like a weekly rental establishment from the outside. Honestly, we second guessed our choice while walking up the stairs; however, once through the doors, we instantly changed our minds. It is a stone’s throw from the North Beach and we had a beautiful view, not to mention that the beds were amazing!

 

Corpus Cristi, Texas Hotel Deville

 

USS Lexington, “The Blue Ghost.”

The US Navy aircraft carrier proudly served our country during World War II and is now an
impressive museum. I must admit, I was moved to tears more than once and felt a spiritual resonance. Wow! I loved it and would definitely visit again. We toured the museum for about an hour and a half and wished we could stay longer.  It’s amazing to find such a historical artifact parked on the beach in Corpus Christi.

 

The USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas, Beach Getaway, Going Out The Door

 

Fajitaville

Fajitavilla with its never-ending party and live music is another Corpus Christi gem. The restaurant shares the same parking lot as the Hotel Deville and is inches from the beach. The quesadilla I ordered left something to be desired, but the rest of the family enjoyed their smoking, sizzling fajitas. Mr. Man said he would surely go back!  The music bands on the deck rocking along with the sounds of crashing waves refresh your soul.
 

Fajitaville, Corpus Christi Texas, Beach Getaway, Going Out The Door

 
 

A large t-shirt and beach junk shop are across the street from the hotel.

Plenty of itsy-bitsy bikinis, towels, t-shirts, and anything you may need for a day at the beach is
available. I am sure they keep very busy during spring break!  All of these activities are within walking distance of the Hotel DeVille. Check-in, take advantage of the free parking, and go play!

We visited the ship, ate fajitas, flew kites, played in the sand, walked on the sidewalk along the beach, and soaked up the sun in just over 24 hours (including the 3 ½  drive each way). Corpus Christi provided a wonderful, inexpensive getaway, and we felt rejuvenated and ready to go back to work!

Going Out the Door, Corpus Cristi Texas, Beach Getaway

 
“A day at the beach is rejuvenating. Add a book and a kite and you will be off on a fantastic adventure!”
Angie Harris, Going Out the Door
 
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