Overall our members are pleasant throughout the year. And although the Christmas season awakens a spirit that makes us even more sociable and temporarily suppresses the stress of everyday living, it nevertheless fuels the friendly rivalry of our annual door decorating competition.
Some members attach colorful door foil to their unit door and then embellish it with a wreath, ribbons and bows, or other things festive. For a few years, our co-op held a contest, giving first, second and third place prizes to the residents with the best-decorated door. And although the contest was short-lived, the door decorating didn’t stop.
Each year, the unofficial decorating committee continues to decorate the lobby and the building doors. Traditionally, Hazel and Loretta have done the honors in their building, and LaDora and Bettye are the reluctant volunteers for their place. We all do a pretty good darn job for non-professionals, stringing colorful lights around the glass doors and adorning the handrails with red and green garland or whatever color suits our fancy. Sometimes in keeping with the Christmas theme, we set cute little novelties atop the mailboxes. Betty assumes the responsibility for purchasing the wreaths that hang on the front of each building.
Over the years, our co-op has done our part to “give back.” For a couple of years, at Thanksgiving time, we prepared food baskets and delivered them to disadvantaged families living in other parts of the city. From our benevolent funds, donations are frequently given to bereaved families. And this Christmas, a number of residents, gave generous donations to a mail carrier who previously served FGC, but is no longer on our route. Because she so impressed us with her kindness and thoughtfulness during the time that she was here, leaving an indelible impressions with all, residents sent her a Christmas package containing checks, cash and gift cards.
Many FGC residents have lived in the complex for years. Some long-timers, including yours truly have resided at this place for over four decades, even before FGC became a cooperative. Turnover among the membership is rare, but occasionally people move out and others move in. Senior residents die, leaving behind their grown children. Some of those offspring stay at FGC and raise there own children here. Others move away. The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus wrote, “The only certainty in life is change.”
Over the years some individuals say they have been approached by potential buyers chomping at the bit to interest them in encouraging the sale of the property. And speaking of change. In spite of a rapidly gentrifying city and efforts by some developers to grab what has become an attractive piece of real estate, veteran FGC residents who were instrumental in purchasing the property remain steadfast on keeping it.
Times change. And that’s a fact. The neighborhood. The city. The world is constantly changing. No one can say what the New Year will bring. We can only pray that our co-op family will continue to – as a popular old song says, “keep on holding on.” God willing, we will do that for as long as we can.
From FGC’s Board of Directors to you . . . HAPPY NEW YEAR FLORIAN GARDENS COOPERATIVE.