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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

John and I often joke that we live in Paradise. We love our street, our neighbors. When we were shopping here we didn't know the recession was coming. We had big plans for a someday mansion, and we thought this would be our interim home. Just in case the mansion didn't work out we picked a home we could love, but we figured we wouldn't stay here forever.

During our nearly seven years here we've become friends with the people who share the block with us. We've watched their families grow. Sure, we might hear of a development on Facebook. Then we get to walk across the street and check it out for real.

Change happens, though, it always will. Over our tenure we've watched one family morph from Single Man Purchases Home to Young Couple Remodels House to Family With Two Children and this week they're Beloved Family Moves Away. We hate to say goodbye to them, yet even this loss is laced with joy. Hello to a family from the next block who went from New People with Little Girls to Dear Friends We're Always Glad to See to YAY, They Bought the House. And get this: the deal was facilitated by (say it with me) a neighbor on the block, also a good friend, who happens to be a real estate agent.

There was an early birthday party. An ice cream social. A brunch. Much goodbye-ing and also hello-ing. At the brunch, while the children played on the Slip 'n Slide and the parents chatted and drank mimosas, I was captured by a nostalgia for the very moment I was in, missing it already: I sensed the children grown and gone, the young dads already middle-aged, the moms greying, my own self bent with years, my arm hooked in John's. And I thought, I am so glad we picked a home we could love, because this is our someday mansion, and I hope we will stay here forever.

33 comments:

Dina said...

I wish everyone in the world could feel that way about their place. It would be a more peaceful world.

Shell Sherree said...

How beautiful, Petrea. It's such a contented feeling, being truly at home in one's home. I'm blessed to feel that way myself and I'm so happy you do, too.

Book Dragon said...

sigh

that was beautiful!

wishing we were on your street too :D

Valladolid Daily Photo said...

I haven´t got a relationship like the one you describe with my neighbors. In my block, everyone lives in a much more individual way.

mainzdailyphoto.com said...

This is quite lovely.
The reason that you love your street is that it's loving you back. And no surprises why....

Susan Campisi said...

That was so poignant it made me teary.

So, is this Single Man that morphed into Young Couple with Two Children the one that I know? I hope not but I fear it is! I haven't seen him for a while so I don't have the latest news.

Adele said...

I'm with Susan. Just call me Sentimental Reader who Cries at 7:40. Lovely post. Neighbors make a street a home, don't they?

Petrea Burchard said...

I can only wish this kind of peace and contentment for everyone. I think we have something to do with it--there's something to reaching out. But people have to reach back, too. We landed in a good spot, there's luck to it.

Susan, your instincts are correct. Come by and grab a good-bye hug. You've got about 48 hours.

Katie said...

You are so lucky to live in such a wonderful neighborhood, even if great neighbors up and move away (how could they?!). Bittersweet thinking into the future and imagining the block changing, as it must, but at least you’re good about celebrating important neighborhood events now. So cool that the house you love has turned into your dream mansion!

dive said...

Darn it, Petrea; you almost made me well up.
Hey, Margaret's 'Goddess Lounge' was waiting for me on my doormat when I got home a couple of minutes ago. It's now sitting on top of my book stack ready for action as soon as I've done with GÅ“the's 'Italian Journey' (for the umpteenth time - a favourite summer read - it's cheaper than a vacation).
I'll let you know what I think when I've enjoyed it.

Petrea Burchard said...

Katie, what you say points up how grateful I am for the neighbors who are staying! We live among amazing people.

Dive, way to not intimidate Margaret or anything.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Really? That sounds lovely but are you sure you live in Southern California? The cultural norm here is to have a congenial, but distant relationship with your neighbor - exchange phone numbers for emergency purposes - and to fence your property.

Ann Erdman said...

All of our neighborhoods in Pasadena are so distinctive. You're in a great one. I was so surprised and touched when I moved into my neighborhood (Atchison between Hill and Sierra Bonita) 21 years ago and was greeted so warmly by all of my neighbors within the first few days. That happy relationship has continued to this day with my neighbors, some of whom are long-standing and some newer. I feel so fortunate to live in Pasadena!

LOLfromPasa said...

Lovely!

Petrea Burchard said...

Haha, PA! Truly, not everyone on the block chooses to be part of the love fest. And our back yards have fences, but not the front.

Me too, Ann.

LOL, you know what I mean!

BaysideLife said...

How wonderful to wake up every morning and know you are home. That was really lovely. You are blessed.

TheChieftess said...

The neighborhood we lived in, in Glendale has a lot of second generation families living there...it's not unheard for neighbors to have lived there for 30+ years...as for us...my granddaughter is the 5th generation to live in our house!!! The Chief's grandparents built it the year TheChief was born...the Deodar tree that towers above the house is known as "Danny's tree" as it was planted for him when he was born!!! But since we moved up to Mammoth, both of our next door neighbors have moved and the neighbor across the street as well...Things still change...

Petrea Burchard said...

We know it, Bayside. It's so key to be aware of it--try to remember it on the bad days as well as the good.

Chieftess, I imagine the whole place is going under without you. They must be clamoring to have you back!

Bellis said...

You're so lucky to be living in that street. It helps that there are young families around. I spoke to my (famous) neighbor across the road for the first time a few weeks ago - after 12 years. He 's very nice! No-one in my neighborhood organizes those community parties that get everyone together. I know, I know, I should be doing it. .....

Bellis said...

By the way, where did the mature acorns come from?

LONDONLULU said...

Oh how lucky and heartwarming. We had wonderful neighbors our first 9 months, but when they moved out, it was harder to know the newer (albeit nice) folk. We've been here just 20 or so months, so I'll take inspiration from this & keep reaching out.

Ms M said...

This is a wonderful post, Petrea. And your neighborhood sounds like just the best! Living where there are great neighbors and a community feeling is such a blessing.

Margaret said...

This is so lovely. We love our neighbors too. I'd love a bit more space, but I'm glad we are where we are.

Petrea Burchard said...

Bellis, you've got that wide street, busy hill...I guess we are lucky, our street's quiet with little traffic. That helps. And I'm not sure where those acorns came from. Someone's brunch.

I hope it works, Lulu. Let us know. Sometimes you feel like the new kid on the block for the longest time.

We do feel blessed, Ms. M.

Margaret, I know what you mean. There are a few things I wouldn't mind improving upon. I try not to dwell on them (who can dwell on a helicopter, for example?).

Paul @ Leeds Daily Photo said...

Life is what happens while you are making plans. Where would we be without good friends.

LOLfromPasa said...

Speaking of nice neighbours...! I am getting to appreciate the rather nice folks who share daily photos from city and towns around Pasadena. You seem to know each other. Do you ever all meet up? If you do, could I join in on my next visit to Pasadena :).

Petrea Burchard said...

LOL, you've got it right. Every spring the Altadena bloggers host a big, potluck picnic at Farnsworth Park for bloggers and their families and friends. I think there have been four of these so far. We try to get the word out to everyone, and the picnic gets bigger every year. Many of us do know each other and when new blogs show up, we try to be supportive. There are so many blogs around now, it's impossible to read them all.

LOLfromPasa said...

That's great! I know the support has been appreciated from many near and far. Thank you!

sonia a. mascaro said...

Very beautiful post, Petrea!
Love what you wrote: "I am so glad we picked a home we could love, because this is our someday mansion, and I hope we will stay here forever.".

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Sonia.

Gunn said...

Beautiful text and photo!
I am sitting here in Norway, thinking that I wish I could say things like that, both in Norwegian and in English.
Anyway, I love moments when I have time to READ what you have added with your photos.

Rachelle @ PictureSmiths said...

I love this post. My dream is to move back to Pasadena and have what you have--to settle down with my family and have that feeling of "home". You DO live in paradise! :)

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Gunn, and I sympathize! I think I follow too many blogs. But they're all so good! So I look at the photos and I do read, but then I don't always take time to comment and I forget how much it's appreciated. A visit to Stavanger is in order today.

Hi Rachelle, thank you. I think sometimes we don't see paradise when it's all around us. I'm fortunate.