Family lured Jerrianne and her husband to South Milwaukee in 2002 from Southern California where she worked as, first, a journalist, then, as a court information officer. She now stays busy with media-relations consulting, playing with her three grandchildren (part of the lure), writing, discovering her new environs, and hoping her garden will produce before the first fall frost.
As Christmas approached, things looked pretty grim for some of the neighbors around here. The passing of one and hospitalization of his wife, surgery and a disturbing diagnosis for another, another also with a medical problem. The snow piling up, phone calls and emails keeping us in touch with each other, all worrying, feeling a little less merry than on Christmases past.
"Our neighborhood is falling apart," lamented one.
On the other hand, we seemed more in touch, more in tune with each other. The snow piled up and we found ourselves doing a few more neighborly deeds for each other. Taking dinner to one, buying flowers for another. Becoming a little more conscious about digging each others' driveways out.
Christmas came and went. Then New Year's. The recently widowed neighbor came home from the hospital, recovering, sounding better. The post-surgery prognosis of another sounding more optimistic. The medical problem the third easing, a bullet dodged. The snow accumulations slowed. We're all feeling a lifting of some of the grayness of winter, hope returning, more aware of each other and how much we all mean to each other, feeling good about being here for each other.