I hate goodbyes.
Really, I do. Goodbye seems so final. So permanent. Nothing GOOD about it. Is anyone “good” at saying goodbye? I’m not. I get all weepy and blubbery and words fail me. It isn’t pretty.
Instead of saying goodbye, I have decided that I prefer “until we meet again,” which holds the promise of a future meeting.
I have raved in this space before about how fantastic our neighborhood is. We feel lucky to be raising our boys in an environment where we trust the neighbors to step in and help in the parenting process when needed. And we’re finding that the older the kids get, the more we need the extra help and support.
Jeff and Tara have lived on our street for longer than we have. They raised their two kids here, the youngest of whom just graduated from high school and will be heading to college in the fall. Their home is on the cul-de-sac (that’s French for “dead end”), which is our little oasis from the Real World. When we’re down there with kids on bikes and skateboards and scooters, there’s a good chance “Jeffy” will amble down the hill and offer a beer. Their yard has been the site of many a winter bonfire cooking fire. The ladies have played poker at Tara’s dining room table. We have all admired their gorgeous landscaping and watched in admiration as Jeff designed and built his fabulous screened-in porch, complete with a sunken hot tub. We’ve attended their kids’ graduation parties.
We’ve become friends. Our lives are intertwined.
Our floundering economy’s effects aren’t limited to Curt’s job. Jeff, who’s made his career in the real estate sector, was called to relocate from his job in Maryland to one with the same company in Ohio. The timing was actually good; and so is the opportunity. It makes sense when viewed through any number of lenses.
No one is more sensitive to having to make this particular life-changing decision than we are. We did the same thing almost three years ago. Our move, too, looked perfect on paper. But, ours wasn’t. We feel fortunate to have been able to move back to Maryland. Despite the recent turn of events, we remain convinced that moving back was the right thing for us for many reasons.
Jeff has been working at his new job, travelling back to Maryland every couple/few weekends. Despite the soft residental real estate market, they sold their home in a relatively short amount of time. They settle on the sale and move out in two weeks.
Because we hadn’t already partied enough during this long holiday weekend, We decided to extend our traditional Fourth of July festivities with farewell activities for Jeff and Tara. Curt and I hosted Sunday brunch for our closest neighbors, plus some other friends and family. We had gotten together last week and made these garden stones–
each with a significant image representing their time here. We gave them the stones, then showed them a slideshow of photos from all our good times in the ‘hood, set to tunes that instantly made me cry. (I’m such a sucker for a slideshow!) It was a nice sendoff, I think.
Though we hate to be saying farewell, we certainly wish them all the best. We also know that they aren’t just our neighbors, but will continue to be our fantastic friends, no matter what.
Columbus, we’re told, is a short and easy flight on Southwest, and a do-able road trip for those inclined to drive. We’ve seen photos of Jeff and Tara’s new home there. It looks like there will be plenty of room for houseguests.
And so, as we say “until we meet again” to our friends – and we hope that “again” comes soon – we also anticipate a new beginning, and the possibility of making new friends. Jeff and Tara tell us that a family with young children is moving into their home. We’re thrilled at the possibility of new playmates for The Peezer. We hope they’re like-minded, enjoy a good party, dig bonfires, and have similar thoughts about raising children here.
No one can replace Jeff and Tara, but we think they’ll be happy if the new family can carry on in their tradition.