Community Saga & Jayce


*Our Wanderer*

Our *Wandering* Pooch

(Jan 2018)  A large stray dog took up residence in the Five Oaks Community.  This stray found shelter under a porch or two, as well as in the old water treatment shed across the Lake.  This pooch appeared calm, confident and certainly *street smart*. Many of our neighbors, while walking their dogs, encountered him just standing and staring ~ not at them, but their dogs (friendly but kept his distance).  Not to be too anthropomorphic, he was wary of people, but it was apparent he yearned for canine companionship.  Through the many weeks he wandered loose around our neighborhood, and he met and made many friends/admirers.  One of his regular hangouts, with the guidance of Independent Animal Rescue (IAR), was his *feeding station*,  with many neighbors contributing kibble.  IAR was an extremely important player in this saga – providing and assisting with setting up a humane trap at the location of the feeding station. Through these weeks, he was also spotted on Farrington Rd, Durham Chapel Hill Rd, Prescott Pl, with eighty (80) responses flooding the NextDoor site

(Feb 2018) This marked the beginning of a fight to save our *wandering* pooch.  And again, Gina and Emily (IAR volunteers) offered to help, and came up with a plan: (1) we need to get him to come to the same location; (2) two Five Oaks neighbors (Barbara) will feed him at specific times twice  day; (3) other than these two Neighbors, all others will stop feeding him; (4) he must be enticed to come to the same place and at the same time for food; (5) donations of food was welcomed; (6) thanked everyone for the outpouring of concerns for our Wanderer; (7) searching for a loving forever home.  By law, all stray dogs must be surrendered to Animal Control for rabies testing, but with IAR’s involvement, he could be fostered from Animal Control as soon as he was approved for release.  One problem!  He had to be trapped first!  He, indeed, started to come to the feeding area (loved hot dogs, but rather picky about his kibble).  Now, a perfect trap was necessary!  After jumping through hoops, a Missy Trap, although labor intensive to install, was finally in place at the feeding location.
(Mar 2018)  One morning, our Wanderer was trapped, but only for fifteen (15) minutes.  He actually dug his way out, and trotted off once again to wander.  He did, however, return on several occasions ~~ no doubt looking for his turkey, and especially his hot dogs.  It was decided a more traditional larger trap was necessary.  And again, jumping through even more hoops, there was success with Orange County delivering a new trap.  An alert was put out to avoid leashing him; he had to feel comfortable around people; he must maintain low stress levels (it was learned through these many weeks, that he certainly did not like being confined or touched).  The food dish was placed half way into the new trap (the trap is triggered when he noses around the bowl to eat).  But when he returned to the area to have his daily meal, this smart pooch actually pulled the dish completely out of the trap, before the trap could engage.  He was again off to wander!  The dish was then shoved to the back. We had the help of a Neighbor (who had an excellent view of the area where the trap was located); and she would report all the sightings of our pooch.  There were also two ‘dead dog on the highway’ scares; one was a coyote and one was a deer.  But each scare heightened the reminder of what was at stake ~ anxious time for the people manning the front line, as well as the Five Oaks Community and her sister Communities.   It’s also to be noted here that every avenue possible was exhausted through these many weeks to find this guy’s owner, but sadly to no avail. Also, sadly, he was not micro-chipped!
(Mar 18, 2018) Volunteers, over several hours, attempted to get a leash on our Wanderer, but each time, although friendly (especially if they were accompanied by a dog), as soon as he spotted the leash, he would quietly back away, and trot off.  He was a master of evasion. After a month and a half, all it took was Roxie (Wonder Dog), and Ron (Dog Whisperer).  For some mysterious canine reason, he acted like a puppy around Ron ~~ his new favorite people. Ron was able to pet him, hold him, and ultimately simply pick him up and quietly place him in the crate. Ron had developed a good relationship with our Wanderer, saying he is a normal, affectionate pooch, who absolutely loves Roxie.   With the help of Gina (IAR volunteer) and Barbara (Five Oaks), he was then delivered to the Orange County Animal Control.  Our Wanderer was concerned, but calm and gentlemanly throughout.
(Mar 24, 2018)  Barbara (Five Oaks) and Gina (IAR) delivered him to his foster home, with a huge fenced in yard (reinforced to thwart digging).  Although through these many weeks, our Wanderer was referred to Skippy/Spotty, it was decided, Gina (IAR) had earned naming rights, and our Five Oaks Skippy/Spotty is certainly a *Trooper*.   Trooper continues to thrive with his loving foster parents and many friends, where he continues to work on his social skills.
(May 2018) Trooper is now in his forever home.  Ethan (a tall, slow moving  quiet guy) and Erika (who has been working with Trooper at a Doggie Care Center) have officially adopted Trooper – and he is now known as Jayce.   Similar to his relationship with Ron, he acts like a smitten puppy around Ethan.  He has become a shameless lapdog ~~ dignity surrendered.  He’s a happy boy, with two female doggie friends; and he also trots (or wanders) off daily to the Day Care Center with Erika.  #HappyBoyHappyEnding!
A Wanderer no more, and lovin’ it!
So many to thank:  The team of IAR, Mary, Gina, Barbara, Sally, Dana, Tom, Pattie, Veronica, Emily, Andy, folks of the Five Oaks Community, folks of our surrounding Communities, and our thanks to Barbara, for her diligence and dedication, and to Barbara & Sally for providing the contents of this Saga ~ with a wee bit of poetic license by Ellen.  And, of course, a huge thank you to Erika and Ethan ~~ for giving our infamous wandering pooch a loving forever home!.




If you see anything amiss on this page or any page of the website; or have any suggestions, or just have something nice to say, please feel free to leave a Comment  (scroll way down below). 

Can’t guarantee anything, but sure will try. 




FIVE OAKS CREATURES (work in progress)


(always a work in progress)
Judy: Long time artistic resident has provided us with 95% of these awesome photographs. Thank you Judy!





Mr. BlueJay: Dinner Time!


Dropping in for Lunch!
Stairs to *Eats*!
Enjoying breakfast!


If you see anything amiss on this page or any page of the website; or have any suggestions, a photo you would enjoy seeing here, (or maybe even say something nice), please feel free to leave a Comment  (scroll way down below). This can be a tricky page ~ so bear with me!

Can’t guarantee anything, but sure will try.


Handsome guy just hanging around!


“Red is the ultimate cure for sadness” quote b/Bill Blass
Meet *Nancy Reagan* (Nov 2013)


*Happy Feet*



A full belly!


A visiting Turtle ~ lots n’lots of  ’em in our Lake.








Hi there pretty one!


Gosling Sightings:
(May 6, 2018) This is a first for me ~~ seeing *one* gosling family!  There has to have been others that just didn’t survive for one reason or another (sad).  I sure hope this little guy can make it;  (May 7, 2018) Family of six goslings (and a few ducks) sighted today;  (May 18, 2018) Another first for me ~ these two families are traveling together.  So cute cause there are six little bitty ones and one somewhat larger (who has survived alone) actually hanging out together.  I’ll keep trying to get a photo ~ stay tuned. Have you spotted any other families, or have a photo?.  If so, please leave a Comment below, and I’ll for sure post it (Ellen).

*Hey ~ don’t leave*
Company for Lunch!
*Hello ~ Welcome*

Our Neighborhood Watch



Throughout our neighborhood!

Our Neighborhood Watch

In 2012 our Community was enjoying a rather safe and peaceful harbor, ~~   but then it started  ~~ a rash  of break-ins (both homes and cars).  We had seven break-ins on Beechnut Lane alone, as well as, a string of break-ins in the Hickory Downs, 4100 and Farrington Communities. We were SHAKEN!  It was a tough period of time for all of us.  There had been a previous attempt to get Community involvement, but to no avail.  THIS HAD TO STOP!

I called a Five Oaks Community meeting, and invited the Durham Police Department to speak to us.  Sixty concerned residents came to that first meeting – an incredible turn out.  Because of that turn out and a huge interest in our safety, we were on our way to forming the Five Oaks Neighborhood Watch program.  The Police shared with us many safety tips, and informed us about issues that put our Communities at risk, i.e. bad lighting, overgrown bushes, and much more. They worked with us to bring Five Oaks to a knowledge of safety.  New concepts were locked doors, porch lights on (criminals hate light!), security systems, window safety alarms, safety devices,  and much more!

Block Captains signed up at that meeting to watch sections of homes within the four Five Oaks Communities.  Block Captains reported several incidences that resulted in apprehending criminals – one actually carrying a Safe down one of our streets. A resident had installed a camera, and through ignorance,  the intruder looked straight into it.  It was shown on WRAL News – very effective to catch this culprit. Safety has increased significantly. since that first meeting in 2012.  Although we can still improve in areas, such as leaving car doors unlocked with valuables in sight, we’ve come a long way with locking doors, keeping Pin Oaks garages closed,  trimming bushes, porch lights on,  and internal and outdoor camera monitors.

I have been involved in PAC3 (Partners Against Crime for District 3 (our Police District with offices off MLK by Harris Teeter). Check out the DPD website at to learn more about the support District 3 can provide.  Over the five (5) year period, I have developed good relationships with Durham Police,  Investigators, et al,  and have learned about crime statistics, criminal justice systems and so much while attending many Police meetings.   I’m now on the Executive Leadership Team, providing even more impact for District 3 involvement and greater visibility for Five Oaks.

And to further promote our neighborhood’s safety:    National Night Out (a national event), has been a huge success here in Five Oaks, drawing over 100 residents to learn more about our  safety, as well as an opportunity to meet our super great District 3 Police. It’s also a great opportunity to socialize and meet other neighbors, and all for a good cause.  This event is usually held the first Tuesday in August, and this year it’s scheduled for August 7, 2018.  We expect  to draw huge crowds once again. There are many give aways (restaurant certificates, gift cards, Five Oaks Neighborhood Watch branded materials, such as pens and jar openers. In previous years, we’ve had food trucks, sheet cakes, and as mentioned above, lots of goodies, and should be repeated this year. This is an event you’ll want to attend or maybe even help organize. We encourage all the Five Oaks Communities to join in this once a year event. Community involvement is the best way to keep our Community safe!  We need your support to make this event, as well as our Neighborhood Watch program,  a success. We are also calling upon our Block Captains to once again get involved….we need you

Nat’l Night Out (Huge Success)

Neighborhood Watch Calendar:
June 4th:           First kick off meeting for National Night Out;
July 23th:          Second kick off meeting for National Night Out;
August 7th:        National Night Out event;
October 6th:      CPR Training Night;
December 10th: Neighborhood Watch Appreciation Night.

Neighborhood Watch Schedule & Full Five Oaks Calendar of Events

We look forward to your participation.  For any questions, please contact Rita.
Tel# 919-768-3696.  (posted by Rita Vanags, Five Oaks Neighborhood Watch Coordinator) 5/2/2018
Since Rita posted the above, we have received some exciting news: She has been selected by the City of Durham, to be awarded Durham’s *Neighbor Spotlight*.   The purpose of this Durham program is to recognize residents who have gone above and beyond (1) the normal responsibilities to improve our Five Oaks Community; (2) increases involvement of other Five Oaks neighbors; (3) work to improve the safety and security of our Community; and (4) improve the quality of life within our Community.  Rita will be presented with the Neighbor Spotlight Certificate by the Mayor of Durham during a City Council meeting.  She will receive a sign that will display her Neighbor Spotlight selection; and she will be highlighted on the Durham Neighbor Spotlight website.  Congratulations Rita for a job well done ~ the Five Oaks Community is appreciative of all you do, and we are so very proud of you!  (posted by Ellen 9/1/2018)
She done did it ~ how wonderful!  Our Community is so proud of Rita, her Team,  and our Neighborhood Watch program.  Here is a photo of Rita with the Mayor accepting her Award (posted by Ellen 9/18/2018):

More on Rita HERE!

Neighborhood Watch Meeting (w/Coordinator on far left)
Our District 3 Durham Police




My Captain! My Captain!

Elma Thompson Dog Park Story

Five Oaks Guys (from left to right: Logan, Binky, Mikey & Toby)

Elma Thompson Dog Park Story

It is no longer necessary to register for the Elma Thompson Dog Park:

In August (2018), the Five Oaks Elma Thompson Dog Park celebrates a fourteen (14) year Anniversary. The August 22, 2004 edition of the Durham Herald Sun, published a five (5) column spread (with photos) about our Dog Park.  We had a beautiful opening ceremony that day in memory of Elma, with her granddaughter, Mary, cutting the ribbon.  Elma  was a lovely, gentle, interesting lady. and we had many conversations before her death about her wishes to have a Dog Park where she and her Pooch, Minnie,  could sit, relax, and enjoy our Community. She would have been so proud of her Elma Thompson Dog Park.  No – my mistake: she IS proud of her Dog Park.

8/22/2004 Durham Herald Sun
Through kindness of a Neighbor ~ bench donated by Jordan Dealership

The Puppy Play dates brings me back in time with such joyous memories. Years ago, a few neighbors would make arrangements to meet in the Dog Park. We would bring our lunch, sometimes dessert ~ and just enjoy our beloved pets. We even had a Neighbor bring her *make believe* pooch.   Most of the pets, including mine, have since passed; and they are dearly missed. If you take a look at the front gate, there is a beautiful red bush blooming right now (Spring 2018) to the left of the sign in memory of one of our Beechnut Ln pets. His name was Chester! There were four other bushes planted on the other side of the gate, in memory of our other deceased pets – we tried, but sadly those bushes didn’t survive.

Have fun at your Pet Play date ladies – and please, while you’re there, think of Elma, Minnie and Chester – and oh yes ~~~ don’t forget my Logan!

I also would like to thank the Five Oaks neighbors, as well as Elma’s family, and her many friends, who so generosly donated to Elma’s Park, and who helped me in so many ways to get the Dog Pak going.  It took awhile Elma, but we did it!


Posted by Ellen
April 2018

Elma Thompson Dog Park Sign.

One of Those!

The Pin Oak snowman originally stood tall ~~ honest!


Pin Oak Ct and the *Island* !

This morning my thoughts went on and on about a Five Oaks neighbor.  There was so much going through my mind, that I had to get a pad and pen,  and make notes ~~ and here’s what I scribbled down:

**  Spearheads our Community’s Neighborhood Watch program;
**. Attends Durham Police meetings;
**  Responsible for our annual National Night Out (a Neighborhood Watch evening);
**  Always volunteers to drive;
**  Visits and assists our older folk, our sick and troubled neighbors;
**  Walks the neighborhood for signatures & donations;
**  Builds our Community snowmen;
**  Helps with shoveling snow;
**  Organizes the Five Oaks Island Garage Sale;
**  Plans for neighborhood baby showers;
**  Takes beautiful Community photos;
**  Always has a smile;
**  Always there to help;
**  Attends all our Community events;
**  Always brings something delicious to share;
**  Has put Five Oaks Island (Pin Oak) on the map
**  We are unofficially voting her in as head of our *Sunshine Committee*.


And with all that, she still finds time to be her adventuress self:
**  Travels the World;
**  The NC Beach & our Community Pool is her happy places;
**  Always the first one up (& down) our Inflatable slide (not just once but many times);
**  Always at the Pool to get her laps in and socialize;
**  Last but certainly not least, don ‘t look for her on Sundays.  She will be in her beloved Church!
I would only hope that all neighborhoods would be blessed with *one of those* ~~ an amazing woman.  You all know who this lovely lady is….right?   Scroll down, leave a *Comment*, and say “hello” to Rita.
Rita (In Her Happy Place), Thank you Rita for being you!

Update b/Ellen 9/18/2018:
Rita accepted an Award from the Mayor of Durham for her tireless effort in creating and keeping our Neighborhood Watch program up and running.  See her photo  HERE!


Five Oaks High Tea (hats n’all)

Five Oaks High Tea
Betty & Beth:
Beautiful Pin Oak Ladies
Linda Lovely Beechnut Lane Gal

On occasion, Five Oaks ladies get together for a High Tea, with hats ‘n all!  Our choice of venue is either the Washington Duke Inn in Durham, or Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.  We are served our tea at a beautiful table with lovely delicate teacups and teapots.    We usually aim for a date in Spring, and we encourage our Five Oaks members to stay tuned. You don’t want to miss this elegant event!


The Five Oaks Crew

Hugh Bailey Memorial Trail in Five Oaks

Hugh Bailey Memorial Trail in Five Oaks

Hugh Bailey

Hugh & Kay Bailey were long time residents of the Five Oaks Community.  Hugh passed away in early 2014, and this devoted couple would have celebrated their 61st Wedding Anniversary on June 27, 2014.  Hugh Bailey will always be remembered as a most delightful gentlemen.  Hugh could often be seen taking walks through the woods and the neighborhood, , stopping to visit neighbors with a flower or two in hand.  He was a daily visitor to the Pool – and an avid swimmer, and he never missed a Saturday Lunch Bunch ~~~ quite often found in the restaurant’s kitchen speaking with the Chef, and on one occasion in the restaurant next door talking to the staff.  He never missed a Five Oaks event, including the gathering of the Triple S Club (sit, seal n’stamp) – a volunteer committee to help with the many mailings out of the Clubhouse Office.

Come Yee Apart and Rest a While!

What better way to honor a terrific guy, but to create The Hugh Bailey Memorial Trail.  With the generosity of his many friends and neighbors, this is a trail behind the Clubhouse, with a lovely resting rustic bench midway, tucked in the woods to the right of our Tennis Courts, and connects with the Glenview Community (on Farrington Rd) for easy access for our Glenview/Farrington Rd Social members to the Five Oaks facilities.

You will always be remembered dear friend and neighbor~~ and certainly missed by all.

(posted b/Ellen)

Spring Cleanup at Five Oaks

Spring Cleanup at Five Oaks
(Stay tuned for our next Cleanup)

We have a large dumpster on-site at the clubhouse for members to use for discarding household refuse this week and through the weekend (or until it is full). It is exclusively for use by Five Oaks members only.

Please do not discard the following items into this dumpster: yard waste, construction debris, chemicals, cleaning products, television, electronics or flammables.

If it’s not trash, don’t toss it! Donate it!

BUT stay tuned! He’ll be back!

(Posted 5/9/2018)  Sorry everyone, our dumpster done did his duty,  He left Five Oaks with a full belly.