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We’ll stay put, thanks.

My husband Dave and I have an expression that we use – “we are not a nomadic people.”  It basically means this – with the exception of college (and for Dave, a one-year post-college internship in a city several hours away), both of us have always lived within a 50-mile radius of the towns where we grew up.

I’m not saying that’s a good thing.  Or a bad thing.  But for us, the thought of moving somewhere that’s really different from our suburban New York reality, is for now, something that just doesn’t appeal to us, and thankfully, we’re both on the same page.

That’s not to say we don’t want to experience other things.  We’re not exactly world travelers, but we’ve both traveled to most of the states in our own country, and to a handful of other countries.

United States

United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my friends moves every few years – usually to a different country.  Since her parents have moved from where she grew up, and many of her friends are in the same line of work and move just as frequently, she’s said that our family is the one constant in her life – that she can always come visit us when she’s in the country, and know how to find our house, and where everything is in it.

I’m sure that some people would find that pretty boring, but there’s something about the fact that this friend can come here once every few years and still find her way to make her own coffee in the morning, that makes me happy.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

When my husband Dave and I bought our house 15 years ago, we were newlyweds with no kids, and there were just a few things we were looking for – enough room for the two of us and however many kids we ended up with down the road, and a nice town with a good school district.  One of the things we never thought to even consider was who would be living next door, across the street, and nearby.

But as luck would have it, the people living around us have turned out to be just as important as the schools, the town and the structure that we call home.

In the handful of years before and after we bought our house, almost the entire neighborhood turned over, with retirees moving away, and families with young children moving in.  And these families, along with their kids, have become like our family.  Many of the families have older kids who are now in high school and college – and somehow, they are all amazing kids – good students, athletes, and most importantly, nice, respectful young adults, who have been great role models for our own children.

Because these kids are older than mine, I have a fabulous group of  what I call “mom mentors,” who continue to help guide me through today’s complicated world of parenting.  We have summer “happy hours” where the adults gather outside to chat, and the kids run around and play.  The moms have gone away together on weekends, and we have “girls nights out” for dinners – we’ve also done jewelry-making, ceramics painting, and movies.  The guys have gone out to bowl.  We celebrate holidays and milestone birthdays together.

Some of us, including our family, have done construction to add on to our homes, rather than moving, so we can continue to be a part of this extended family.

Many of us have keys to each other’s homes, and pop in to walk or feed dogs when we’re called on (and let in forgetful kids who have locked themselves out).  We’ve cooked for each other when things get busy or tough, gathered mail and newspapers, picked up kids at school, and driven them places they need to be.  When our older son Matthew was hospitalized as a baby, we came home after two sleepless nights to find that a neighbor had closed our windows to the rain, and mowed our lawn.  When I broke my ankle last fall, neighbors cooked for us, drove our kids around, walked our dog, and even drove me 45 minutes to work.

familyroom2

I feel like what we have is old-fashioned, unique and special in today’s world.  And we’re so lucky to have it.

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