When David got home that afternoon, I told him about our visitor and Dave, born and raised an Arkie, in true Arkie form, went straight to the freezer and got out a roast of some kind and ran it up the road to our newfound neighbors. So began a beautiful relationship.
We began going to visit them in the evenings. Oh, how I loved to hear them tell stories about when they were young. When they married, Charlsie was 16, almost 17 years old... so young. They never had children, but they had so much love for each other and they love their neighbors.
David especially developed a bond with them. He used to go visit or to help Hardy with yard work... many times I'd drive by and they'd all three be sitting on the porch for story time.
Then when Hardy was diagnosed with a heart problem, Dave started doing as much as he could for them. But, not long after Hardy's diagnosis, he passed away at his home.
Charlsie lost the love of her life. We lost a dear friend.
Charlsie is 89 years young now. She'll be 90 in December. She is sharp as a tack and remembers just about everything from her youth. I love to get her talking!!
She has some health problems of her own now and we value what time we have left with her. David lost his mother 12 years ago and his father 2 years ago, so Charlsie has become like a mother to him... and I think he is like the son she never had. He checks on her nearly every day and they have had a (huge) garden together pretty much every year since Hardy died... Charlsie loves to spend her mornings in her garden. She also has a Rat Terrier dog, Sweetie, that keeps her company.
During the long winters and in the heat of the day during the summer, Charlsie likes to read. She is quite a reader. I bring her books from our church library and it takes her no time at all to get through a book.
Tonight, after church we stopped at Sonic and got her a vanilla ice cream and took it to her. She loves vanilla ice cream. We visited for a while and tested out the self-timer on my camera (a first for me).
I wish we had taken the time to introduce ourselves long before Hardy took the first step with us. They are a part of a precious generation that is leaving us all too soon... and knowing them has truly enriched our lives.