Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

April 30, 2014

The Whistle Doesn’t Blow Anymore!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

There are some things that order our lives . . . then times change and we realize how accustomed we had become to that fact of life.

For example . . . remember the days when churches rang the bells on Sunday morning?  I recall how both the Methodist and Baptist churches rang a bell on Sunday morning.  We were expecting it every Sunday morning.  It was part of our culture.  The two churches rang the bell, mounted in the steeples, at different times . . . and we knew the difference!

In past years, our city had one of Florida’s largest orange processing plants.  The plant had a very loud whistle that would signal certain hours. I remember so well that the whistle sounded to mark lunch time!  It could be heard for a great distance.  It was not disturbing . . . and you so expected it that it did not distract you . . . and yet you were very conscious of it!

But the whistle doesn’t blow anymore!  The processing plant moved south years ago.  So many of our orange groves were moved south because of the colder temperatures, and it was not profitable to truck the oranges back to the plant here.

I remember my argument.  If we are experiencing global warming, why are orange groves having to be planted further south?  Think about that!

Yet we have continued to have orange groves all about us . . . even surrounding our homes within the city limits . . . until just recently!  Now you can see hillsides with nothing growing.  Orange trees have been removed . . . burned . . . and we have so few groves now compared to just a few years ago.  We can see from our yard empty fields.  It is truly sad.

What has happened?  A disease has struck!  Trees are being destroyed by it.  And it is contagious . . . it spreads rapidly.  The federal government has made millions of dollars available to study the disease and find a cure.  The study grant assumes that within five years a cure can be found.  However, in five years there will not be any orange groves left!

We love citrus trees . . . and all fruit trees.  We fear what the future holds for these trees.  Will other fruit trees soon become extinct in this area?  We are blessed with a multitude of fruit trees.  In our yard we have many.  We have orange, lemon, loquat, cumquat, banana, and fig.  Hopefully, we can protect them from diseases.

Realizing that the “whistle doesn’t blow anymore” reminds me of how our environment has changed!  But for now, we will enjoy the blessings of the fruit trees that surround our home.  I miss the whistle . . . but even more, I miss the sight of citrus trees as I ride down the road!

Lawson

 

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1 Comment »

  1. Mr. Jolly, My name is Nancy Hanshew. My husband, Lonnie and I live around the corner from where Flag Branch Baptist Church was once located north of Iredell, Tx. Lonnie does not remember his parents mentioning your name.. He was wondering what year/years you were here. He was wondering what families you might have had Sunday dinners with. His parents were Ivis and Mozell Hanshew and another family that lived in this area and attended church there were Margaret and Tyn Davis. If you have time, we would appreciate you responding with the years you were there.

    Thank you

    Comment by Nancy Hanshew — July 29, 2014 @ 6:02 pm | Reply


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