Neighbors…can’t live without ’em

Five years ago July we moved into our house.  We met our neighbors and said a casual “Hi” here and there.  Zach had grown up in apartments and townhomes and making friends with the neighbors seemed “weird” to him.  For me, Dad had managed to scare or make our neighbors mad and we were kinda the outcast of the neighborhood growing up, so doing anything but spying on the neighbors seemed strange.

Four years ago, at the end of October, this couple moved in across the street.  And of course, we were curious.  I remember having a conversation about the fact that they weren’t even all the way moved in and they were passing out candy on Halloween.  Zach said that was a sign that we were supposed to be handing out candy.

They were nice.  Scary nice.  They insisted on waving every time we stepped foot outside the house – and I mean every time.  He was a smoker, so it seemed he was out all the time.  We learned they were from Arizona and didn’t really have any family here.

We had one of the snowest winters that year.  I remember I was teaching and was thrilled to go on Christmas break a week early.  For Christmas that year, I’d invited all our family over for games and baked ziti, with the stipulation that no gifts were supposed to be given.  I didn’t want anyone to feel left out or forced to buy gifts when they had no money.  On Christmas we had snow – lots and lots of snow.  It was a perfect day for sitting by the fire and playing games.

Half-way through the day I noticed our neighbors were home, we caught them outside shoveling at one point and asked if they had any plans.  They were supposed to go to Colorado Springs to visit some family, but because of the snow, they decided against it.  I had Zach tell them that we had plenty of food and were just playing games and would love to have them over. (I guess the waving wore me down. 🙂 )  An hour or so later they knocked at the door.  We were happy to have them and get to know them better.  I’m sure we had drama that year with Stacy and Joe, so they were pulled right into the family.

From that point on, we could talk a little easier and wave without question.  And then I got pregnant.  He noticed….and then said they were pregnant too!  We were both having babies within a month of each other.  We hung out a lot that summer.  Fire pits, drive-way talks and of course, the ever famous laying of bricks. 🙂  Over the year we learned we were quite similar and yet different.  We were Christian, and speaking in tongues was not taboo to us.  We were married in the same month, and met our spouses at work.  We were both going to cloth diaper and breastfeed our babies.  They are the “get it done” people, we are the “hmmm…well….maybe….we…might…..” people.

And then Isaac was born.  They were our first visitors.  And then their son was born…two weeks later.  We both had boys!  How fun to watch them grow up together!  From the beginning they have been so different.  Best way to describe it is, their son is going to be the one to hit Isaac and pretend he didn’t do it, Isaac is going to be the one to hit him and say, “yep, it was me.”  But they’ve both been on the smaller size of average.

We’ve almost become a family….a big family.  The boys are so cute together.  Following each other, sharing drinks, playing with rocks and balls and bikes.

Last year we took the boys to a pumpkin patch and corn maze.  We will go again this year, but this time we’ll say good-bye.

You see…having a kid and having all your relatives – grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles – in another state can take its toll.  I can’t image the struggle of it…having just Stacy away is hard enough for me.  So, they’ve decided to move back to Arizona.  It’s kinda come fast.  They’ve been talking about it for a while, but it was a long term thing and I was sure the boys would start kindergarten together.  But now they’ll be gone before my birthday…in something like five weeks.

I understand their reasons, and I’d honestly probably do the same thing.  But since this is my blog, I’m going to be a bit selfish.  I’m going to really miss having them across the street and it’s hit me harder than I think I expected it to.  Yes, it’s nice to have a neighbor who is always there willing to help and push my husband to get something done.  A neighbor who, when we have a football watching party and the TV breaks, we can count on to let us invade his house.  But most of all I’ll miss them – the friendship we’ve built, the time talking and just the good times hanging out.  I can barely remember before they lived there and I can’t quite imagine what it’ll be like without them.

I know we’ll stay in touch.  And they will probably come to visit and we will probably visit them…but it’s just not quite the same.

We’ll all be okay.  In fact, it could be said that this could be for the best.  But right now, in my small corner of the world, I can’t see it.  So for now, I’ll be sad and try my hardest to be a a good friend…to help them with their move and not make it harder on them emotionally.  I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that when the boys start kindergarten, it will be together…a lot can change in three/four years.

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3 thoughts on “Neighbors…can’t live without ’em

  1. Adam said I would cry… he didn’t say I would ball my eyes out. I miss you guys so much and it’s SO hard knowing Addison doesn’t have someone so close to play with. I can’t imagine how it breaks your heart when he points at our house and signs ‘play’. We may have not had family there but we had you guys and that was all we needed. God brings people into your life to change it and mature it, thankfully he’s there to wipe away the tears when it’s time for goodbye. You guys will never be replaced and are already deeply missed. We love you all.

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