The neighborhood of my youth was a typical suburban neighborhood in a city just south of Boston. Houses were filled with families who either had lived their for entire lives, sprinkled with people who had fled the Boston during the turbulent times of forced school busing in the 1970s. At the time, I thought it was a normal neighborhood - families, a few elderly people - mostly single family homes. Everyone walked to school, most mothers didn't work, and kids were free to just walk out the door and go off to play with their friends as long as they were home for dinner. I still have good friends from the neighborhood - but only one family that I grew up remains on my old street.
In talking about the different people from my former neighborhood with old friends now, we laughingly realize that we had quite a few colorful characters and oddities in our little corner of the world. Maybe twenty years from now when it is part of my very distant past I will write an entry about it (I've been out of that neighborhood for twenty years as our house was sold in 1991 shortly after my mother passed away). It would be quite interesting to describe some of the people and happenings, but as many of them are still with us I will refrain from elaborating on it for now!
In 1994 I moved to my current neighborhood. It is a bit of a stretch to call it a "neighborhood" as my town is rural, and though there are houses everywhere, it is a far cry from where I grew up. My street is rather busy and there are no sidewalks - my children don't have the luxury of heading off down the street on their bikes, or simply being able to walk to their friends' houses like I did as a child. Most of their friends live miles away in other parts of the town and they have to be driven everywhere. We bought the house before we were even engaged, so it never occurred to us that the location wasn't "kid friendly". We thought it would be our "starter home", but as time went on, with job changes, real estate market fluctuations, etc., we have had the gumption to actually sell it and move into something that would be better suited for the kids. We've put lots of money into renovating it and are comfortable with it financially - the idea of having a huge mortgage and not having any extra money to travel scares me.
We are very fortunate to have great neighbors here. One of our first contact with our next door neighbors was during a small incident of basement flooding. We had just moved in two months prior and we ignorant to fact that our house gets tends to get basement water during certain weather conditions (maybe we should have noticed when we looked at the house that everything in the basement was sitting up on pallets). We arrived home one night from work to find about 4 inches of water on the cellar floor. Panicked, we called our next door neighbor who calmly came over and helped us through our first crisis as homeowners!
During our recently flooding crisis in March, we all tried to help each other as everyone had flooding issues. We were fortunate as we only had a little water and and were able to control it, but other neighbors were were not as fortunate. We all banded together and tried to lend whatever support to each other that we could - even if it was just a little moral support and spirit boosting!
My favorite neighbor story doesn't involve my human neighbors, but those of the furry variety. My family had a dog, Willy, for many years. In 2004 Willy suddenly became very ill (he was about 14 years old), and we sadly had to put him to sleep. In our family we have a little area where we bury our pets (we have lost three cats since living here also). Willy passed on a Saturday afternoon, and my husband went out to the area out in the far corner of our backyard to dig Will's final resting place. Two neighbor dogs, a German Shepherd and a Golden Retriever, came over from their respective yards and solemnly watched as my husband dug Will's final resting spot, and stayed there until the area was covered and complete. It was like they fully understood what was happening and wanted to pay their respects to their departed friend. It was very touching.
It's too bad this entry is already so lengthy because I could go on about some of the other great neighbors we are lucky to live near. For now, we don't see ourselves leaving this house for a long time . . . but when we do it will be tough to leave our great neighbors - both the human and "wild" ones!
My cat Cody visiting with our wild turkey neighbors!