The Heart of Kernersville

By NJ Clausen

Hello and Happy Spring to All, as of March 20 and the Vernal Equinox! This month I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of the dynamic daughters of a dear, departed friend…please enjoy getting to know Laura Harvey.

Born in Winston-Salem, Laura was not in the area long as shortly after her birth, her father, who worked for Reynolds, was transferred to New York. Every two years this family of nine would relocate until 1973 when they settled in Kernersville. The middle child out of six girls and one boy, Laura loved being part of a large family. Laura’s favorite childhood memory involved traveling to the home of her maternal grandparents in West Virginia where her mother Pat and the siblings would stay with them for 6-8 weeks each summer, a welcome constant amidst all the relocating. There were horses and her grandfather would ring a big bell and the horses would run up to be fed. When the family arrived, the bell would be rung, the horses would run up…and would be with the kids all day. The horses would be ridden, have their teeth brushed, would be brought down to the river…by the third day, the horses were no longer running to the bell. When it was time to leave, Laura and her sisters would rub their jeans all over the horses so they would have the horse smell with them all the way home.

When asked about the advantages of being part of a large family, Laura responded that they were friends. They played ‘Lost in Space’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and had fun wherever they were because there were so many of them! As for disadvantages, Laura could not think of one. She always felt loved, and because Pat was able to be a stay-at-home Mom, holidays were especially wonderful. Laura just loves that she has such a big family and as most of the siblings have had 3 or more children, and in turn they have had multiple children, it continues to create gatherings that are loving and fun. Her family means the world to her, and technology helps keep them all connected.

Around Christmastime, Laura recalled how her mother would put out the manger without Baby Jesus. Next to the manger would be pieces of straw cut from a broom, and anytime one of the siblings would do something nice, they got to put a piece of straw in the manger. Laura laughed as she remembered how all 7 of them were so wonderful in the month of December! She also shared how the first thing any of the kids did Christmas morning was not going for presents but looking to see if Baby Jesus was in the manger. Another Christmas tradition the family all embrace is to gather in person, by phone, or Zoom and at 8PM on Christmas Eve, they all sing ‘Silent Night’ together.

Another tradition that Laura remembers was the New Years Day meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage with a shiny clean dime hidden somewhere in the dish. This tradition came from her father Charlie’s side of the family, and the one who found it would have good luck for the year.

One of Laura’s favorite adventures was taking her mom to Ireland on her 85th birthday, where Laura’s husband Jim still has family. Laura and Jim love to travel and have enjoyed trips to the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and other destinations to relax and enjoy the quiet.

Laura always wanted to help people and started a career in nursing school. Laura took a detour by marrying and starting a family that included 3 children, then went back to nursing school. She describes the detour as a time where she was not really sure what she wanted to do, but when she committed to the field of nursing she went back and earned her degree. Laura spent over 20 years in the ER and ICU units of the hospital, and still loves nursing to this day. Laura has transitioned into home infusion nursing which includes going into the hospital. No longer on the front line herself, Laura blesses those who are in the ER and ICU every single day. Some of the best things people can do to live a healthy life is to take in the nutrients your body needs, get out and walk in the fresh air, limit gaming time, and social distance when in a closed space. Laura strongly encourages bringing back God and family mealtime to help navigate these challenging times successfully.

Laura feels truly blessed to be born into the family that she loves, and to have all the wonderful friends she has met along the way that makes life worth living.

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