Thursday, June 22, 2006

Meet Kim and Her Family

In the yard of a house located off a small highway I notice a large group of people playing croquet, throwing baseballs and having, what appeared to me to be a really great time.

Kim Vittitow and her husband Bernie are hosting a birthday party at their home in Trimble County, Kentucky for family members born in February, March, April and May. Inside the house is a large birthday cake with over thirty-two names on it. Kim purchased the cake at Sam's Club and decorated it herself. She says it wasn’t much fun, yet smiles and laughs while showing it to me.

The guest are all outside playing croquet and enjoying the yard, which has an above ground pool, covered deck, and small quarry stoned pond filled with lotuses. Bernie and Kim are proud of their yard and have been working on it together little by little since 1999. They have two grown children, a daughter who is in the house getting ready for a friend's wedding and a son who is outside with his wife and newborn son. Bernie and Kim have lived in this house for ten years but raised their children mostly at her parents house in another part of the county. Kim says she loves her entire family and is expecting over fifty people to show up throughout the day. “There were six in mom’s family, three of them are here right know and three of them that are expecting. They all live in this two county area, Pendleton and Trimble." Kim says she can't help but think how lucky she is to have such a close family and today’s celebration is only her mother's side.

In addition to celebrating birthdays, today also marks the beginning of Kim's weeklong summer vacation from her job at the Trimble County Prosecutor’s Office. She is the Child Support Coordinator for the entire county. For vacation Kim is going camping with her brother and mother, a family tradition since they were kids. Now that their mother, who is sixty eight, is less mobile they stay close to home, pitching a tent in Kim's backyard. “I want her close to the house, so if she get’s hot, she can go cool off in the house”. Bernie says he won't be joining them, "I like camping, like at the Holiday Inn", he laughs.

Kim has seen many changes throughout the years in Trimble and Pendleton County. When Interstate 71 was built in the late 60's and the Pendleton Drive-In shutdown the town completely died. "We had a skating ring at one time, several big restaurants, stores and it just died", Kim explains. She says however that in the past four years the area has started coming back to life, which is good for the community. In her opinion it is because property in the area has become the new and only cash crop now that the Tobacco buy out has started. "There is not enough money to pay taxes on big farms so our farmers have no choice but to sell." She says Trimble County is a very beautiful and friendly place to live and new subdivisions go up every month. Personally Kim is enjoying taking classes at new art studio that a retired schoolteacher opened down the street. She has become a natural painter and is currently working on a portrait of her son when he was a kid.

I let Kim get back to her game of croquet and we exchange emails.

The Cake

Bernie with his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson

The tent

Kim's mothers dog, who will also be camping with them this week.

Kim shows me the painting she is currently working on.

Bernie playing Croquet

The pond

View from accross the street

The family

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