By Susan Harper
Down in Jackson, Georgia, there’s a house on Mulberry Street that’s been in my father’s family for well over a century. Dad’s mother grew up in that house, Dad and his sisters spent some of their early childhood years there, and my siblings and cousins and I all have fond memories of the place from our visits to Aunt Jane (actually our great-aunt), who lived there her whole life except for the few years of her brief but happy marriage to a race-car driver.
Aunt Jane had a friend named Jeanette who moved in diagonally across the street about 60 years ago, as a young bride, and has been a friend to our family ever since. When my cousin Douglas became the owner of the old family home, about 15 years ago, he was not well, so Jeanette kept an eye out for him, watching from her post at the window beside her breakfast table. If the grass grew too high in his front yard, she knew it was a bad sign, and would see whether someone in the neighborhood could take care of it. If he was hospitalized, the police let her know so she could feed his cat, take in his mail, and call one of us to give us the news.
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