I was in awe to finally find myself inside St. Andrews of Roanoke. It ranked higher than the Mill Mountain Star…and even above the larger than life-sized display of “me” in the Museum of Transportation…which I have not yet seen!
I must have really looked like “the visitor”, because as I stood agape after Mass admiring the historic sanctuary, I received two separate invitations to dinner with the local division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. In all of my experiences in Roanoke I’ve found nothing but warm reception from the people. Realizing that dinner (alone…on this business trip) was next on my agenda, I opened myself to adventure and accepted the second invitation presented by a gentleman who introduced himself as “David Bowers”.
I followed my host into town to the restaurant where we enjoyed a fine meal garnished with better conversation, and I felt nothing like a stranger as this group had so openly welcomed me at their table. That morning, I didn’t expect to end the day having experienced an earthquake, or to find myself at the dinner table with Mr. Bowers and his female companion, Mr. Bowers’ mother, two priests (including the Monsignor of St. Andrews), the principal of Roanoke Catholic School and his wife, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Imagine my surprise to read Mr. Bowers’ business card (exchanged after the invitation)…“City of Roanoke….Mayor”.
I tell you this story because the friendly experience reminds me of what I’ve found consistently in Suburban Acres throughout my five year tenure. Folks here are open and ready to share life with one another. This is a strong neighborhood made of people who care about people…folks who look for opportunities to lend a hand and share a laugh. Even in this modern-day culture, we still borrow sugar from next-door and readily welcome each other to the table. I love it!
The kindness of strangers is a reminder that we are all neighbors. The kindness of neighbors is something to be celebrated joyously!
Continue to be kind to each other. See you soon!
Please, enjoy the September newsletter!