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Greeting guests in the garden and at church

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Gardening is often filled with family and friends. While I do find myself alone when it’s time to pull weeds, most of my other activities include having my children and spouse help. Frequently, a neighbor sees me out and stops over.

It seems to me that wearing masks has also made us wary to talk with our neighbors, and especially strangers. I do believe in common sense and washing your hands, but I also miss the easy way of chit-chatting with people when I’m out in town or out in my garden.

I’m excited and to have North Carolina reducing restrictions under Phase 3 of the economic reopening. I’m excited because I miss going to places that typically have a lot of people. I do think Disney World is a magical place (we were there the last day it was opened in March). I want to go to autumn pumpkin patches and ride hayrides and get lost — I mean, find my way through a corn maze. I want my eighth grade daughter to have in-person interactions with other students and teachers to enrich her education.

My job has lifted restrictions as well, and I’m starting to travel by plane to different states. Flying is a little odd. Because of the mask requirement, it’s really rare to talk to someone you don’t know. There are fewer flights to choose from, but the lines in the airport are shorter, too. I spent an entire day travelling to Cincinnati and back and only talked to people at the counters and one older lady. I’m in a crowd but still isolated.

I’m not saying that mask-wearing is wrong. I’m saying I’ve been missing just being able to fellowship with other people.

The youth group at our church has started in-person meetings. As a mom of a middle school youth, I want to invite all families of all religious denominations to come to youth group. All ages are welcome!

This is an open invitation to come to Free Union Baptist Church. The youth meet on the second, third and fourth Sundays of each month at 5 p.m. You don’t need to be Baptist to come; we just want to keep fellowship with other believers. The address is 3454 Macedonia Road, Spring Hope.

We’ve got a nice area to hang out and play games, and play on the playground. The adults fellowship and chaperone. I have found out that I play a pretty mean game of cornhole, y’all. Dinner is provided and the food is good! The evening ends with a Bible study lesson and whatever dessert is left over.

Being at church or in the garden are both great ways to relieve stress. I invite you to both my garden and my church.

In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

I think Spring Hope is an amazing place for both!

DeeAnn Rivera is a Spring Hope resident who blogs at VictoryGardenGal.com.

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