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Girl Talk
No longer my neighbor, always a friend
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

November 11. 2013 7:43AM
The soft knock on my door came last Wednesday evening. It’s one I’ve become accustomed to for more than nine years now. And typically when that knock comes, I know without a doubt who’s on the other side of that door: My across-the-hall neighbor and friend, Janice.

She had some news to tell me that night, and from the quiet tone of her voice, I could sense that it was news that she wasn’t looking forward to sharing. As tears welled up in her eyes, she told me that November would be her final month in her apartment.
Over the last year, her age and health began dictating her move to a Bethany Meadows apartment.

I expected this news was coming someday. I’d been informed earlier in the year by family members that her name had been placed on the waiting list for an apartment at Bethany Meadows.

From the very day I moved in across the hall from Janice – a woman more than three decades my age – we’ve been great friends. We’ve done the things that neighbors and friends do for one another. We’ve helped each other out with simple tasks but yet so meaningful when needed. She’s mended clothes for me, shared plates of freshly baked goods with me, and kept me abreast on the happenings around the apartment complex. She’s shared stories of her upbringing, being a farm wife, raising her two boys and helping out with her grandchildren.

I helped her out with loosening jars, fixing her TV and VCR settings, and in recent weeks taking her garbage out to the Dumpster. I’ve shared bowls of my homemade soups and other goodies, and kept her abreast of the news and happenings around town.

Like Janice, I, too, shared many of my life stories with her: the births of my great-nieces and nephews, family weddings, work, my south-of-the-border getaways and things just about life.

We’ve had many laughs together and were there to comfort one another when needed like when her husband, Bob, passed away, which was followed just weeks later with the loss of my Dad.

Next month, someone new may be moving into the apartment just steps away from mine. I can only hope it’s someone as special as Janice. And though Janice and I will soon no longer be neighbors, I know without hesitation we’ll always be great friends.

Back from a week off

If you haven’t noticed yet, many of the bylines in this week’s paper are that of Alica P. Thiele. That’s because I’m just back from a weeklong vacation. While I didn’t go anywhere, I simply enjoyed the time off around home – cleaning closets and cupboards, a task I rarely get around to doing. I went shopping and found some good deals I couldn’t pass up. I caught up on a plethora of TV shows I had on my DVR, took photos at the football game, cleaned out my filing cabinet, spent some time with friends and took a few naps, too.

So with that said, I’m rejuvenated and ready to blast through the next three weeks.
Three weeks, you ask? That’s when I’m up for another week of vacation. My schedule already filling up. With Thanksgiving in the week, an extended stay at Mom’s will be in order. And once I return, there’s still a closet to tackle and the Christmas decorations will need to go up. I imagine there will be time for a mid-afternoon nap or two as well.
Community organization needs
With the change of seasons comes a change of new needs at the Brandon Area Food Pantry. Among the seasonable requests are hot chocolate mix, bottled juices, baking supplies (flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, chocolate chips, etc.), snack crackers, pizza sauce, Manwich, oatmeal (in canister).

While always appreciated, the Pantry has a large supply of canned goods in stock. Monetary donations are always appreciated.

Before donating, please check the expiration date, as expired food items cannot be distributed.

The BAFP is located at 406 Main Ave., and is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. To donate to the food pantry or for more information, call 582-7001.

The Brandon Lions Club also wants your aluminum cans. Proceeds from the sale of aluminum funds requests to the Club for vision and hearing impairment needs.

The Lions Club collection shed is located in the Sunshine Foods parking lot.

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