When I was young, I didn’t live in a “neighborhood” I lived on a busy country road. We had neighbors-not many, but the ones we had we were close with. I grew up playing with my next-door neighbor’s grandchildren, babysitting the other neighbors kids, and my best friend all through 4th grade and junior high, lived two doors down. We all had one-acre lots and spent our summers outside all day and our winters building snow men and sledding on the hill going down to the creek by our house. We had “neighborhoods” behind us, and that is where we rode our bikes and made even more friends. It was a wonderful way to grow up.
When I was sixteen, my parents built a new house in a neighborhood still in our same school district. The only thing that changed was the bus I rode to school and that was only until I got my first car. Since I was a teenager and working, I really never got to know my parent’s neighbors that well. They did though! They lived there for 30 years and were involved in all sorts of neighborhood activities.
You may wonder why I am writing about this. Well, we just moved to a new neighborhood and it is wonderful. You never know when you move if your neighborhood will be a good fit. You can only pray that you made the right decision.
When Kevin and I moved to Hickory in 1985, we moved to an apartment. I had never lived in an apartment before and I didn’t know what to expect. We ended up meeting another couple our age that worked for the same company as Kevin and became fast friends. We spent lots of time at the complex pool and hanging out together. About a year after moving to Hickory, we decided to buy a house. We loved the house, but had no connection to the neighbors. There was a neighborhood pool and we never went. We didn’t socialize with any of our neighbors and it was kind of sad. When we sold the house and moved back to the apartments before moving to Indy, We missed the house, but not the neighborhood.
When we moved to Indy in June 1988, we moved to a townhouse and made NO friends. We went to the pool once or twice and we just never connected with anyone. We spent our two years there hanging with our family and friends in the area, plus new friends we made through work. Finally, in July of 1990, we found our neighborhood. We built a ranch in Fishers, IN and found our people! Everyone on our street was a young couple starting a family. It was wonderful. Our backyard neighbors had babies the same time as we had Molly. This is the house where we became parents! This is the house where I threw Kevin the biggest surprise party of his life! This is the house where we became a family. It was wonderful! We lived there for nine years. I would like to say that we have stayed close to our neighbors from this neighborhood, but life happens and people move on. We still keep in touch through Facebook. When we still lived in Fishers, we would occasionally run into each other. It seems we all outgrew our little neighborhood with our little houses, us included. As Molly started to grow up, we realized that we needed more space and that there was one more move in store for us in Fishers.
In January of 2000, we moved into our FAMILY home. This is the home where Molly grew up and Kevin and I became the people we are now. Our neighbors played a big part in this time of our lives. We are still close to our neighbors that lived three doors down, even though they only lived there two years. (We just had dinner with part of the family in San Diego!) There is a family that moved in the same time as us. Molly played with their children and when she graduated from IU, she taught with the mom at the elementary school that is IN THE neighborhood. Yes, in the neighborhood! What a wonderful gift this was! Molly was the first class of kindergarten to go through the school (it was new when she started). She was also the first student to graduate from the school and the get HIRED there to teach after college. What a connection to the neighborhood! Molly also was a Babysitter for several families in the neighborhood while she was growing up. It was truly a family neighborhood and we were blessed to live there.
Now, we are in Oceanside. We knew we liked the looks of our neighborhood and we loved the house, but you never know what your new neighbors will be like. Once again, we have been blessed. We hadn’t even been at our new home an hour when Pete and Rita came to visit. Pete is retired Marines and Rita is an 80-year-old spitfire of Brazilian sassiness. They have had us for dinner twice. They have brought us food and gifts. They have welcomed us with open arms and hearts. We have met other neighbors too. They are all so friendly and welcoming. Many have lived here for twenty years or more. They have raised their families here. We have a neighborhood pool and many parks. Everyone is so nice!! We plan on living here the rest of our lives and being a part of this new neighborhood is key. I don’t have a map for the future, but I know that right now, we are where we need to be. Say hi next time you see your neighbors-make their day!!