Good friends, good neighbors

May 23, 2021

Last Saturday I attended the 70th birthday party for my friend Mark whose friends and family traveled from as far away as Oklahoma, Denver, Chicago, New York and Arizona to mark the occasion. Pun intended.

Of course the question everyone asked each other was “How do you know Mark?” Alesia and her husband Ken flew from Phoenix to celebrate his big day. Found out that Alesia met Mark in 2005 when he was in the hospital being treated for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She was his nurse and he credits her with helping him to heal for those many weeks when he was quite ill.

The next morning I showed up to celebrate the first coffee hour at St. George’s Episcopal Chapel for the first time since COVID. We had a grand time eating cake under the tents outside. Afterwards we gathered at the newly planted labyrinth to celebrate Rogation Sunday.  I learned that in the Episcopal Church, Rogation Days are devoted to asking for God’s blessing on agriculture and industry.

Let’s hear it for agriculture! One Saturday at the Lewes Farmers Market, I purchased spinach, dill, lettuce, mushrooms, strawberries, baked bread and ice cream, all from local farmers who show up every weekend to provide for our community. 

And many of the vendors, like Nice Farm Creamery from Federalsburg, Md., drive a great distance to get to us. You may have sampled their yogurt and butter, but you must try their homemade ice cream. Raz & Chip is raspberry ice cream with dark chocolate chips. Made from their cow’s milk. Can it get any better? 

They show up every Saturday because we show up every Saturday too.

I’ve only ever lived in two states, Maryland and Delaware. For me, Lewes and all the surrounding towns have a sense of community I never experienced in a larger city. They show up for each other, and every time you read the community papers such as the Cape Gazette, you get an appreciation for how much each community does for one another.

Seems like half of my neighborhood is involved in Lewes in Bloom, the organization that beautifies our town. Many neighbors clean up Cape Henlopen State Park. Volunteers have missed volunteering.

Let’s hope we have turned a corner on the COVID crisis.  Time to rejoin our civic organizations by showing up in person. The older I get, the more important it is to value a good friend and a good neighbor.  Happy birthday, Mark!

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