Thursday, June 6, 2013

This Neighborhood

Maggie and Nathan are in the process of buying their first house.  Maggie is beside herself with excitement while Nathan tempers that with worry about making this leap into home owning. 

We told them how we found and bought our first (and only) house which in every step was dumb luck.  We knew nothing about the neighborhood, the schools or the basement that has flooded more times than I could count.  We only knew that when we were in it we loved it and thought it was perfect for raising our family.

Over our 21 years in this house I have been frustrated, especially by the lack of money to do the things that would make it better, but I have never fallen out of love with it.

After we had made our offer and it had been accepted, we would drive by the house all the time.  Up and down the street we would see our soon-to-be neighbors and their kids everywhere.

It seemed like there was a Fisher-Price Cozy Coupe in every driveway.

There are a few of us long-timers that have stayed put while younger families come and go for the lure of bigger closets and tonier zip codes, but the pendulum is swinging back and our beloved street is filled with young families again.

Our kids had the good fortune of having many friends right outside the door, and their memories of those days make me happy for them and for the serendipity that led us to this street.

Two weeks ago, one of those friends died suddenly.  It was a shock to everyone and his parents and sister are heartbroken.  They are one of those long-timers.  The kind of neighbor that you can depend on to show up for the good and the crappy with a bottle of wine and a helping hand.  Always.

When Maggie was expressing frustration with the home-buying process, I told her that it takes faith to make a leap of faith.  Things have a way of working out like they should I said, but for some families nothing they could ever fathom lands on their front porch in the middle of the night and life changes in ways it never should..

If you happen to be the neighbor of that kind of family, you sit and cry.  Alone in your house, while walking the dog, at work when you tell your boss you need a few hours off, with their other friends and family at the services and most of all when you are with them.........

.............for words of comfort fail to roll off the tongue and the work of faith takes enormous faith.

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