Remember that song from Sesame Street? (Are you singing it now?)
Recently, my neighbors sold their home and prepared to move to South Carolina. I don’t know why but this transition really got to me. I thought about them raising their children here, seeing their family grow and then begin lives of their own. This morning, as I was leaving to run my errands I saw them driving by. I thought it was odd since the movers already packed them up and I assumed they were gone. I pulled over to say goodbye and Archie said to me, “we wanted to drive by one last time”. I was so sad. We chatted a bit, quickly recapped what’s been going on and then I watched them drive off.
I went about my morning errands. The supermarket, dry cleaners and Starbucks… all before 7:30am. But I thought of them driving through their old haunts one more time. How will I feel when Chip and I do the same? That got me thinking about my neighborhood. Who lives here? Who are they? What is their story? Do you ever really know? Do they ever really know your story?
I love my neighborhood. There is a walking path that leads to a little center with a TCBY, LT’s (The best dry rub chicken wings), a dry cleaner, super market, and a Starbucks. Chip and I have walked many Sunday mornings for coffee seeing our neighbors walking, riding bikes or pushing strollers. My children babysit families here. My children have had babysitters from here. People stop and chat on the path; watch fireworks, run a town sponsored 5K and just plain “be”.
My neighbors are doctors, lawyers, accountants, software engineers, chemists and PhD’s. Moms and retirees. We have happy neighbors that chat and say hello and others that put their heads down and grimace. Those are the ones I go out of my way to say hello to!
Sometimes we talk about our kids, dogs and jobs; we lament over the taxes; we rave over the best burgers from the Coop and schedule our carpool runs for the coming week. It’s just life.
So life went on this morning. The smell of driveways being sealed, landscapers mowing manicured lawns, the garbage men making their rounds and after the morning sights and sounds, things returned to quiet on my street. As I watched Archie and Ellen drive away I thought to myself that I will miss that occasional wave at the mailbox, or picking up the morning paper and watering their plants when they were on vacation. I thought to myself that the day will come for me and Chip and I wondered how I would feel. I think I would recall the prom pictures, the first dates, the training wheels coming off, the first solo drive and one day the weddings and grandbabies. I too would drive by one last time.
Good luck Archie and Ellen. You will remain a wonderful part of my neighborhood memories.