So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu”

The title of my column is a line from a very popular musical, The Sound of Music. Why would I use those lines? Well, I relate to music. If you know me personally or just by reading my columns, you certainly know that I love music. I play a little piano, played the drums in the bugle corps in high school and sang in all the choruses and special groups. I continue to sing to this day and I can share my emotions best through music.

Today, I am using those musical lines to convey my message.

“There´s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall. And the bells in the steeple too. And up in the nursery an absurd little bird Is popping out to say "cuckoo". Cuckoo, cuckoo.” My three cuckoo clocks (I love cuckoos) have been removed from my walls, repaired at a shop and now rehung in a new location.

“Regretfully they tell us Cuckoo, cuckoo. But firmly they compel us Cuckoo, cuckoo. To say goodbye. Cuckoo! To you.” Yes, it has come time for me to say goodbye. We are growing older and decided to make a move. As I have heard from many who move, the taxes and insurance rates in South Florida make it very costly to stay and retire here. The cuckoo clocks have now been hung on our new walls in Land O Lakes, Florida. They have said their final cuckoos to Homestead/Florida City after selling our home to a beautiful young family who cherish it as their “forever home” as we did. Their four boys will no doubt bring loads of friends and laughter into the home as our children did with their friends. Band parties in the pool. Prom couples coming home to lay on the trampoline and gaze at the stars far away from the city. Bonfires in the backyard. Family celebrations and gatherings. Regretfully, the cuckoos have said their last goodbyes and I am now saying mine.

“So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night. I hate to go and leave this pretty sight. Mr. Wonderful and I have lived here since a month after being married in 1975; first in Homestead and then in Florida City, way out west. We have seen both cities grow in leaps and bounds. We have watched new businesses and venues such as the Homestead-Miami Speedway and The Seminole Theatre become major assets to the area. Yes, what a pretty sight we hate to leave.

“So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu. Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.” On Friday, March 29th, I will work my last day at the job that I have loved for the past 20 years. My boss in the law office has offered me so many opportunities over those years as Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper. He often asked my opinion which I knew he valued. A few years ago, we even survived building an addition to the building together. My co-workers in the office are extremely special and will always be in my heart. We have laughed and cried together through all of the ups and downs of life. They are my friends, as is my boss. And then there are the clients, many of whom have become my close friends as well. Breakfast or dinner with them is not uncommon. It is funny how over the years people become close to your heart. It will be so hard to say goodbye to all.

“So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen. I´d like to stay and

taste my first champagne.” Champagne can also represent the goodness in life. Goodness in people like our dear friend Charlotte Schmunk who offered us a home when ours sold before we thought it would. People like former resident Geraldine Champney who just celebrated her 100th birthday and who also offered us a home when our first home sold quickly. Giving hearts…the champagne of life.

Oh don’t get me wrong…I have tasted the spirits when I visited local watering holes on my bucket list such as The Last Chance, the Redland Hotel and Simmons Bar. I’ve enjoyed visiting so many local venues with my stint as a columnist with the paper but now I must say, “So long…”

“So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye. I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye. Goodbye!” Not only a heavy sigh, but with tears as well. I cannot lie. I am excited and very scared at the same time. I am excited to have a new start and praying that all goes well but then fear creeps into my mind. Will we survive on a “fixed income”? Is this the

correct thing to do? Will I be able to become entrenched in the new community and be embraced…truly embraced and valued…as Homestead and Florida City have embraced me? Just last week at lunch, a large group of people were sitting at a table near my husband and myself when one of the gentlemen came over smiling and asked, “Is this Mr. Wonderful? You don’t know us, we are from Ohio, but we read your column every week!” Also, a woman reached out to me through Facebook Messenger and told me that she wanted to meet me before “Homestead lost me.” Just these two little contacts from readers, and there have been many more, made me feel that maybe…. just maybe…I did something right!

“So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.” My job with the News Leader has always been a fun job. Back in the 90’s I did a few stories here and there and then tapered off. Several years ago, I approached the paper about doing a few stories on attending a Boot Camp at the YMCA. Well evidently you, the readers, enjoyed hearing about my physical suffering while I had such angst over the words I wrote. I never thought my writing was any good or interesting. I’ll never forget the first e-mail complaint I received regarding my “incorrect grammar.” I was in tears for days and discussed it with the editor and the publisher. I wanted to give up but somehow, a few stories here and there…even with my grammatical errors… grew into a weekly column. Who me? A columnist? I would never have imagined it! I guess the publisher and editor, Dale and Ann Machesic, had faith in my connection with the readers. I never professed to be a writer and had no education along those lines but putting my feelings down on paper and perhaps speaking for other people in my situation made me feel like I did something right

(not write for those checking my grammar)! Ha…I had to do that.

“Goodbye!” A few years ago, I pulled an April Fool’s joke in my column and said that it was my last column and I quit. Well readers, this is NOT an April Fool’s joke, and this is my final column. Over the past few years you have shared my loves with me. Sewing, Mr. Wonderful (I think he has finally accepted the name), my children and oh yes…my grands. You have shared my tears with me and helped and encouraged me during my late mother’s journey home to our Lord. You have prayed with me when diagnosed with appendix cancer. You have supported me in trying to understand being obese and supported my journey in weight loss and its ups and downs. Truly my heart is filled with the love you have all shown toward me and I am forever grateful for the opportunity that you have given me to once a week come into your homes or businesses and share my life with you. I will never forget you.

So many friends. So many acquaintances. So many readers I do not even know. I am forever grateful to all. Always in my heart…

“Cuckoo….Goodbye!”   Love, Doris

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From Dale Machesic, publisher, SDNL –

Dear Doris. Dear friend. Dear fellow former Pennsyltuckian!

Yes, that’s how we both have often heard our beloved birth-state referenced.

Or ‘Pee-ayy’ as you taught all of your readers.

When we first moved here back in 2010 you were writing occasionally for the News Leader. In your inimitable fashion with tongue sometimes in cheek and always with a smile in your beautiful heart. You have taught us much about this wonderful community.

Remember when I took you to that fish fry and you discovered just how popular your column had become? Remember that dinner we enjoyed in the Keys with your Mom and family members? From the first News Leader Christmas parties when you opened up your home to these ‘new Yankees’ and Mr. Wonderful’s parrot taking that first chunk out of my finger, I have many

cherished memories. You are much more than a valued member of our staff.

You are and will always be my friend.

I love you, you ‘old hen’, and will miss you more than 3rd grade recess!