"We Cherish Our Great Friendships"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, May 16, 2014

What’s the difference between: A community, a town, or neighborhood?

I live in and around all of the above and just do not see a difference.

My winter home is in a gated community and it’s full of friends. They travel here from Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and just about every other state including Alaska and Hawaii. We also have a large number of friends who travel from Canada to spend winters here.

My friends also are my neighbors, helpers when needed and very often dinner companions. The great opportunity to enjoy and spend time with so many friends is why we are in our community in the Florida Keys. We like to participate in sports activities, (playing cards) swimming, day trips through the connecting islands by boat or car or just plain relaxing.

Actually, winter friends are not any different from our summer friends. It just seems we all have more time in the winter to spend together. At this time, we are beginning to really miss our summer friends and neighbors so we are going to head north.

We miss friends like the Wileys in Kinde whom we have known since they were kids. We so admire the community projects they undertake and promote for just about every group in the Thumb. They truly represent “small town togetherness.” The guys at Thumb Auto have not only taken good care of my vehicles, they have become friends.

Our Bad Axe friends, the Millers, are very dear to us. We take great getaways with them and all their kids treat us like family. As if that family needs more members. Other good friends, the Carriveaus from Caseville keep us informed of major changes in their area and with their family. They even joined our community of friends in Florida one year.

We enjoy our Port Austin neighbors who are all good friends as well. The Williams family is hard to keep up with because they have two businesses and three kids and we lost count of the dogs. Our next door neighbor, Todd, also has two businesses but only one youngster so far. He also is a civic leader so time with him is limited. Kevin, Bonnie and crew keep us and the entire town well fed and take care of our town’s treasure, Gernith.

Our neighbors across the street, Helen and Bob, have been on our minds all winter as Bob fights to regain good health. They also have two businesses; antiques and tax services which have kept them busy for years.

We look forward to seeing all our family, friends and neighbors in the “warming up” North Country. We also have friends we only get to see once in a while: Kelly, Sarah, Judy, Penny, Jerry and Chris and many more. We just don’t have enough space to tell them all how much we value their friendship.

So there is really little difference between a community, neighborhood or town especially in our lives. We are able to read the Daily Tribune to keep up with activities in the summer months. We also have a weekly paper, the Free Press for keeping up in the winter months with the Keys’ events.

No matter where we are, we are always thinking of those friends we left behind.

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