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franklin county times

Flynn: A life filled with blessings

By Staff
A TINY LIFE Virginia Flynn checks on Tweety Bird, the baby bird living in her front porch wreath. "The Lord's blessed my socks off," Flynn says about her life. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 22, 2002
Virginia Clair Flynn has had house guests for more than a month at her home in Collinsville. They weren't invited, but she has welcomed them with open arms.
Birds built a nest on the wreath that hangs beside her front door.
Virginia said she noticed two birds flying in and out from under her porch for several days before she realized they were turning an imitation evergreen decoration into a home. After a while she found two, tiny blue eggs had been laid in the nest. One of them hatched.
The bird Virginia named "Tweety" has now grown feathers and is almost too big for the nest. The nest builders flutter and chirp around the porch. Virginia believes the parents are trying to get their offspring to test its wings.
Testing her own wings
Virginia said she has seen a lot of beauty in her 79 years.
She lives about 2 miles from where she started, born and raised in the Martin community in 1922. She went to Martin School, where she played basketball on a dirt court.
After high school, she tested her own wings.
These were the days before nylon and Virginia worked as a waitress in the downtown restaurant, buying lots of silk stockings because it was the dress code and the women were not allowed to come to work with a run showing.
Virginia changed jobs, working in a local department store, then in a shirt factory. By 1943 she had found the job of her dreams, waiting tables again at the Davis Grill on the corner of Eighth Street and 23rd Avenue.
Shortly before the end of World War II, one of Virginia's sisters married a pilot in training in the chapel at Key Field. The couple moved to Massachusetts. A year later they were expecting their first child.
A nest of her own
Virginia stayed in Great Barrington, Mass.
In February 1947, Virginia went looking for a job at a department store in the small town without much hope of success. She was hired immediately and after about six weeks, she went to work for the New England Bell telephone company.
That summer Virginia met her future husband, Daniel James Flynn Jr.
The final straw for Virginia was when the diapers she washed in her new Maytag ringer/washer froze in her hands before she could peg them on the clothes line. After hauling frozen diapers like cord wood from the clothes line back to the house a few times, Virginia told Daniel it was time to move.
The Flynns went to the opposite corner of the United States, to Southern California. They bought a newly built home and had their third child there, another son.
They lived on the edge of the Mojave Desert near grape vineyards and orange groves.
There were drawbacks there, too, though. The relentless Santa Ana Winds rolled off of the desert into their town, blowing dust and sand everywhere.
Daniel died in 1975 of a heart attack. Virginia stayed in their Fontana, Calif., home for 18 more years.
Virginia has three sons, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She said she is happy to be back home and that she is certain God has had a hand in her life and she knows she didn't make any mistakes along the way, because she would have been unhappy if she had.
A few days ago, toward the back of her house around the corner of her L-shaped front porch, behind the white porch swing, one of her sons discovered a freshly built bird nest in a hanging plant. Inside of it there are three, tiny blue eggs. More beauty for Virginia.