Thursday, October 15, 2015

Moving On

I've had a lot of reasons to think about the gift of neighbors over the last couple of weeks.

Davis and I married in 1992 and moved into our very first home.  It was a small house situated on a large lot.  Convenient location.  Newly remodeled.  Perfect home to start our little family.  We brought both of our babies home to that little house.  As perfect as it was for us at that time in our lives, the amenity that we treasured most about it were our neighbors.  We had Mrs. Sessions across the street and the Wrights next door.  Oh, how they took care of us.  They checked on us and knocked on our door with food in hand when we were sick or had a new baby.  And they always had little gifts for the kids at Christmas and Halloween.  They watched out for us and we watched out for them.
We've been gone from that house for almost 14 years now and we still keep up and consider them to be ours.  They're still part of our lives.  Mrs.Wright will be 91 in January and we'd heard she'd recently had surgery, so Blair and I arranged to have lunch with her while she was out of school for fall break.  Let me tell you will put you in your place real quick when you try to make plans with a 91 year old and her social calendar is the biggest roadblock you have to work around.  We finally found a time when she was free and enjoyed her company as always.  She's a jewel.  She's our sweet friend.            
The next day, this was the view from my front porch.
Yeah, the cool neighbors have officially moved.  The truck was here for several days packing up all of their preppy things to take them to Georgia.  All of their trendy clothes, their latest gadgets, their space ship golf cart, their Air Jordans, their little cardigans, their golf clubs.....yes, even the fedoras.

We walked over the night before they left, took them a little remembrance of our sweet Mississippi, and got a few pictures.    
Davis and I worry about them moving off like this.  I mean, at some point later on, they'll need to transition into middle to older adult fashions and will be needing our guidance.  They can't be an old couple walking around in Buckle jeans and slouchy beanies.  How many little, old men do you see with Air Jordans and a man bag?  We were here for them.....ready to school them on the foundations of the middle age wardrobe when the time was right.....when they were old enough, of course.  We were here to guide them on how to rock the taller socks.  The free blood donor t-shirts.  The receding hairline.  The muffin top.  The higher waisted jeans.  The comfortable shoes.  These are areas in which we excel.        

We knew this day was coming and dreaded seeing them go.  We knew we'd miss the two miniature goal posts in their front yard and the little boys running between them in their football jerseys and helmets.  We'd miss the metal ping of golf balls being hit around their front lawn, which we affectionately named the country club.  The little girl who loved to play with Blair's old dollhouses and draw us pictures....oh, we'd miss her for sure.  And just the movement and noise of a young family.  They reminded us of us.....a couple of houses back. 

Neighbors.  They're as close as you can get with people without actually living in the same house.  They can be a wonderful thing.....and I suppose they can be a not so wonderful thing in some cases.  They can be invaluable when you need a couple of eggs or a stick of butter at 9:00 at night.  They know your comings and goings well enough to detect when something looks out of place.  They don't complain when your dog leaves her contributions on their putting green.  They hear your teenagers' thumping music when they drive up late at night and don't complain when you put on your biannual fireworks display and the burning debris falls onto the edge of their roof and then you have to run and get an extension pole to knock it down before it catches their house on fire ......(we may or may not have forgotten to tell them about that).  They grab your mail when you're out of town and wait patiently for you to get around to cutting your grass.  Neighbors are, indeed, a patient and helpful people.    

At nighttime, I check the front door before I go to bed and the cool neighbors' house sits dark and motionless over there.  I think to myself......isn't that the way life is.  People come and go.  Here for a season and then moving on to another chapter of life.  The house served its purpose.....a bridge to the next stop on their journey.  One day, another family will move in there and I'm sure we'll learn to love them.  But, some people will stick around in your heart no matter where they live. 

I suppose, in some places, neighbors are just strangers who happen to sleep in the house next to yours.  I realize that a lot of people nowadays just come home tired and go inside and give little thought to who lives around them.  I think in the South, that's less true for us.  Neighbors are important here.  We depend on each other.  We enjoy each other.  We help each other.  We're friends to each other.    

And when one of us leaves, we feel it. 

Deep down. 

Hope y'all have a great weekend!     


  1. Joni your topics really resonates everyday life and this post tops it. Neighbors, I had the good, the bad and the ugly. Some stay in your heart, like family. I hope you have wonderful new neighbors, Kathleen in Az

    1. Thanks, Kathleen. I hope so, too! I love that......the good, the bad, and the ugly :)

  2. made me cry. we're going to miss them for sure. <3