Several times in the past few weeks I felt a slight chill as I stepped outside in the morning; several times my thermometer registered low to mid 70s. Squirrels scampered across the yards and driveways in search of acorns and other nuts falling on the ground. Just another reminder that fall is just around the corner.
Children run to catch the bus to school, moms bundle their little ones into a heavier sweater. The lines around the local coffee (and doughnut shop) are longer and slower. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year! I feel re-energized with the cooler air and honestly enjoy the shorter days and lighted football fields complete with marching bands and fans in the stands singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and school songs.
These past couple of weeks have been bittersweet ones as friends have dropped their college freshmen off at various dorms, with numerous bins, trunks, suitcases and all manner of study devices. When I think back on my freshman move in day, I remember clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. A stereo and lots of records. I’m sure there were more, but I remember those things in particular. I still think back on the hours spent browsing bookstores and drugstores, buying numerous composition notebooks, clipboards, loose leaf paper, pens, typing paper, white-out and book bags to carry everything.
This past week, a group of us from Junior League of Kingsport got together for our first dinner together since school started to swap news and check out a new restaurant, Mockingbird Cafe, Too. We parked and found our way onto the porch, and looked carefully at the assorted crayons, pencils, stamps, markers, frames and writings on the tables. Usually the tables would be decorated with vases of flowers or small candles and perhaps some shiny scatters, but these table decorations were a bit more practical in that they would be collected from the tables, boxed up and donated to elementary school classrooms for students to use. Such a pretty and practical idea!
Before too long, the seats were all filled, cameras were snapping and the room was bustling with news, suggestions, ideas and a lot of laughter. And yes, as it almost always happens, the topic of projects was raised and the subject of B.B. was mentioned - Bargain Bonanza, our favorite(?) fundraiser of all time. The days of $30,000 and $40,000 fundraising days are probably over, but they were great while they lasted and the fun we had pricing, modeling and selling all those items will remain in our memories forever. And yes, the money we made was great and it paid for so many needed items in the community, but seeing the doors to the Civic Auditorium open at 6:30 a.m. and the crowds stream in to begin their shopping was so overwhelming!
There are so many events happening throughout our community! I attended a wonderful workshop last Wednesday by a member of the Secretary of State’s Office. Then on Friday, we had another meeting on Tax Laws - yes, I know, there’s not much fun about that topic, but it is an extremely vital topic and we received some great information. Both of these meetings were presented by United Way of Greater Kingsport for its agencies and non-profit groups outside Kingsport. Time VERY well spent!! By the time you read this, I will have also attended the United Way Campaign Kick Off at the Toy Reid Employee Center. So, as you can see, it has been a busy few weeks and we’re just getting started!
No doubt there's plenty to choose from if you want to get "out and about."
Katherine Scoggins is a Sunday Stories columnist who highlights local happenings and community organizations twice a month in Out & About with Katherine. To share photos from a community event, add an event to our calendar or invite Katherine to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org.