Our sweet next door neighbor is selling her house. She's 85 and is ready for senior living. She will be dearly missed by our entire family. From over-the-fence talks about gardening and gossip to little gifts for the kids, she has held a treasured spot in our lives since we moved here. She has always had nice things to say and never complained about the noise coming from our general vicinity. Her property is always immaculate which is typically good until we realize that it means it's time to mow our lawn lest we look like slobs. Never could we ask for better neighbors. (except for the Whitlocks who, growing up were like a second family)
The kids have been curious about who our new neighbors will be. Not to mention my apprehension. How can anyone compare to Dorothy? My dream of the kids growing up knowing and remembering someone as sweet as Dorothy are fading into a fear of noisy, messy moochers living way too close for comfort.
This morning, while we were all out waiting for the school bus, Shannon asks "Mommy, are we ever gonna move?"
This answer was fairly easy. "Not for a while, if we do. Why? do you want to live somewhere else?"
"No, I never wanna move, I wanna stay here forever." Dan chimes in "Yeah, let's never go anywhere else, except Grama's"
So refreshing to know that the kids are happy here. For all the work that we would love to do to the house; new roof, siding, windows, driveway, steps, patio... at least none of this matters to the kids and won't hamper the quality of their childhood memories.
If they can have the same kind of experiences I had growing up next to Whitlocks, that's more than I can hope for.
Leah was born less than a month apart from me and was (still is) the best friend anyone could ask for. We did so much together, I couldn't wait to finish dinner so I could go over there and play. I was often left peeking in their dining room window while I waited for her to finish. (theirs were nice, leisurely dinners while ours, to mom's chagrin, usually lasted only minutes.) Driveway chalk drawing, (next door has a great long driveway) playing in the tree house, jumping in the leaves, playing "bloody murder" after dark, (I don't think the folks were too happy with that one) snacking on marshmallows and raisins, oooh! building forts out of boxes from Netzman's. That was a good one. And of course biking up and down the street over and over. Backyard games of S.P.U.D. and freeze tag in the summer. Sledding down the teeny (it seemed huge back then) hill at RAPA and digging snow tunnels near the parking lot in the winter.
I had a fantastic childhood largely due to my neighbors. Even though I still hold dreams of moving to the country on a property with lots of land, (and room for horses) I'm happy that for now, my kids can build happy neighborhood memories like I had.
If I can find any nice old shots from childhood, and figure out how to scan them, I'll post them after this one.