Prologue: A Grateful Heart

I ran out of time.

I’ve been looking forward to this cooler weather for quite some time, especially on those days when push mowing the yard became almost unbearable.

As I prepared for the coming days of fall, I bought a power washer and stripped the deck down to reapply water sealant to it. This was during the September days of no rain.

The next week I was planning to finish my project. And it rained. And it has rained on a regular basis since then, which keeps the wood from drying out enough to finish the work.

I was a day late and a dollar short. I’m still hoping there is a chance, but only time and Mother Nature will tell.

As someone who can’t fathom buying pinestraw to put in my flowerbeds, I’ve become the pinestraw stalker in my neighborhood. If someone has raked it to the curb I consider it fair game. You won’t believe how much pinestraw you can stuff in the trunk of a Maxima at one time.

At several of the houses, they told me to take all I wanted. And one nice lady told me anytime I wanted to get any out of her yard, just come knock on the door; she had plenty.

I’m even willing to rake it for them if they’ll let me know when it needs it.

I’ve almost got the flowerbeds complete and still have a wheelbarrow full, but I’ll continue to keep my eye peeled when I leave out in the mornings headed to work.

It’s hard to believe that this month we will celebrate Thanksgiving and next month is Christmas.

In this month’s “gratitude” issue, we introduce you to the America Reads Mississippi tutoring program that was a project of Ekklesia Church that funded tutoring in the Hattiesburg Public School District. The Pinebelt Foundation now oversees the program that has placed tutors in four HPSD schools.

On this Veteran’s Day we remember the sacrifices of many men and women across the Pine Belt who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Several observances will take place around the area. During a Hattiesburg program on Nov. 11, the Hub City’s Veteran of the Year will be recognized.

Another recognition will take place on Nov. 12 as the Hub Award is presented to two Hattiesburg men for their dedication to the community.

And then there’s Kim Townsend, who serves as homeless coordinator for the Hattiesburg Planning and Development Office. Many of her days are spent in the woods alongside volunteers trying to offer assistance to those who have fallen on hard times.

Daniel Cloud accompanied her on several trips and writes about the experience.

And speaking of gratitude, we’re thankful for the many contributors who worked with us throughout the past year – including photographer Chad Edwards, who we incorrectly identified – twice – as Chris Edwards in the October issue. We apologize for flubbing his name.

During this time of Thanksgiving, please remember how very blessed so many of us are, but don’t forget those who might need a hand up. There’s plenty of work we can all do to make lives easier for our neighbors.

Thanksgiving Blessings!


Beth Bunch
Managing Editor