The story by a local writer that was originally published in County magazine in 2007 has been selected to appear in the magazine's commemorative 25th anniversary book.
"I am so humbled. This is just the Lord's doing. That's where the credit is due," said Dawson County native Larry Pirkle.
A celebration of the magazines first 25 years, the hardcover keepsake pairs the best stories written by readers and features photographs never before seen in the magazine.
"I was honestly stunned, if you think of the huge number of great stories sent in to the editors each year and all the ones that are lucky enough to make it to print ... then out of all of those, to learn that something you penned was chosen for the anniversary book, it's just hard to believe," Pirkle said.
Initially titled "Memories of a farmhouse and soft grass," "My neighbor's house" appeared in the November 2007 issue of Country Extra and was written after Pirkle discovered the local landmark was set to be demolished.
"Mrs. Belle Bruce was my Granny Pirkle's first cousin. The story tells how I remembered the way her place looked and felt ... even smelt in those good ol' days, about the kindness and generosity she showed to my mama, and the affection she showered upon us kids," Pirkle said. "I know that writing this story was God's way of reminding me of the blessings of my childhood, especially ... the blessings of honestly knowing your neighbor."
Country magazine has published five of Pirkle's short stories. The magazine features breathtaking beauty, engaging people, enduring values and spiritually rewarding lifestyle of the American countryside.
"When God gave me that story, I never in a million years thought about publishing it. It was just for me a way of simply putting my memories down on paper. Now just look what the good Lord has gone and done with it," Pirkle said.
"A farmhouse and soft grass" also appears in Pirkle's "Of the seeds they've sown. A collection" published by Xliberis Publishing Company and can be ordered at most major online bookstores, as well as purchased locally at Dawsonville Florist.