Sunday, April 29, 2012

What really does "neighborhood" mean? I have given this lots of though over the past month as we separated ourselves from our Aqua Cove Lane neighborhood. I try to tell friends and family about the feelings I have for the people and space we have occcupied for the past 11 and a half years and sometimes, the words just don't convey the depth and breadth of what I feel.

As I was driving up to Georgia, I mulled over the leaving of my neighbors and was reminded of the years the girls, aged 2 and 4 at the time, and I spent in married housing living in Cherry Lane at Michigan State University. Most of the inhabitants were married and graduate students from one foreign country or another. I was a 20+ undergraduate, living alone, still married with the girls, working part time jobs, and taking 20 credits a semester. Our neighbors helped raise my girls, and I helped raise theirs. We ran in and out of each others' apartments, used each other's food, shared food stamps (yes, I received welfare for a few years but have more than given back!) and helped with chores.

That is how I have lived these past years, minus food stamps, with my neighbors. Several have had keys to our home, many have given a knock and opened the door to come in for a beer, to share a glass or bottle of wine, to borrow some needed ingredient or to just share a gripe about one's child or family member. We have been to funerals together, celebrated family occassions, cried together and hugged hurts away. These people know us, warts and all. We know them and have experienced their ups and downs, also. Neighbors can and do tell war stories about each other...going to miss that alot. Going to miss them alot.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It has been months since I have written and apparently the whole look and feel to my blog has changed. Will need to update this but realized today, as I was driving to our new home in Michigan that I have missed writing and sharing with my family and friends. Like others, I am sharing on Facebook but it occurs to me that the feelings, flavor, zest and angst are just missing when one only writes about three sentences.

And so...the past couple of months have been very stressful and incredibly trying for our family. We arrived in Florida in mid-January and a month later, I had my second knee replacement which has gone very well despite a slow rehab and recover. Slower than I would like...but my doctor says I am on target.

Within a couple of weeks of my surgery, we listed our Florida house for sale, using a recommended realtor who got us a great price. Unfortunately, the new buyers wanted in the house within two weeks which we couldn't do because Richard was in Atlanta with his family for his mother's funeral and I was hobbling around. The new purchasers were wonderful and they allowed us six weeks before the close today.

Today was incredibly sad for me. I returned a twin blow up bed to Carolyn and fortunately, she was out so I hugged her once again. Same when I returned Vicki's blow up bed and then, Deb was around when I returned her fold up chairs. And surprise of all surprises...Louise knocked on our door. She was home from the Virgin Islands and came to say, "bye." Then, I hopped down to say good bye to Tammy and Wayne because they hadn't been to our going away party. Tammy's mom is dying so they are waiting and feeling overwhelmingly sad.

Closing went smoothly but the packing and decision making that went into the past month of packing, donating and pitching has caused undue friction and pain. Richard and I are barely talking which is sad because we are both committed to this decision to move closer to the kids and to our northern friends. This also will save us a bundle of bucks which will allow us to do some things we really want to do. For me, more travel with kids/grandkids and for Richard, more time hunting and fishing with his buddies. He wants to also teach his grandkids a bit about his passion for outdoor enjoyment.

I cannot imagine what I will find when I get to the cottage but I know I will need the patience of Job and will have to keep my mouth zipped. For those of you who know me know how well I will probably accomplish this little task.

Tomorrow, I want to share our neighborhood party with you. We had a ball and I am going to miss my neighbors and friends so much. Seeing Bud for breakfast tomorrow morning in Tifton. Can't wait.