The neighbors on my block gathered at Martell's in Parkview Hills for dinner to say good-bye to me. I was very touched that they wanted to do this and that so many of them showed up for the gala party.
Many thanks to Bonnie, Jan, and Caren who planned the party.
I've lived in this neighborhood for the past 11 years and we have met for picnics on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and indoor parties for the New Year Day and Superbowl. We even had "Goddess Parties" where the women met for wine and cheese--and got the men wondering what we were doing. Just talking, guys.
Anita was usually behind organizing these parties and then various others would take on the challenge. Our picnics were held in the parking lot where someone would grill hot dogs and/or hamburgers and everyone else would bring salads, casseroles or desserts. It was always good to see each other beyond waving in passing cars or walking the dogs on the street. We knew each other. We looked out for each other. We visited with each other and some even traveled with each other.
Here are some reflections about and photos of some of my fantastic neighbors:
Caren and Michael recently arranged for munching goats to take out the invasive species in the woods while other neighbors pitched in to help clear out
Here's Bonnie and Jan's garden that they worked on together this year and last.
Peter is always at-the-ready to help anyone who looks like they need it whether it's carrying things, loaning his dolley, taking photos, salvaging artwork and just generally looking out for us. When he was president of our condo association he and my cat, Tucker, became friends. Once, when I was out of town, Tucker visited Peter in his garage to sit and cry because he was missing me.
Here is some of my mosaic artwork that I asked Peter to toss. He couldn't throw it out, however, so he kept a couple and passed the rest on to other neighbors to put in their gardens. Ya got to love that guy!
Jack and Joan once loaned me their car when mine broke down and was in the shop. Jack helped me prepare my house and car for a six-week shutdown when I went to France in March. Jack took me fishing on Lake Michigan. Joan took some glass artwork I planned to toss and placed them in the garden at the end of the street for everyone to enjoy, especially Jonathan's aged mother. Jack made a platform for Dean's chair to help her slide out of it more easily during her recovery from a broken hip.
I got to know Dean this year while I took care of her cat, Dante, during her hip recovery. We talked philosophy, business, life and these talks were among the richest I've ever had with a friend.
Jeanne has helped me move my special desk a couple times while Mel took me fishing with Dick on the lake in Parkview Hills. Jeanne and Mel hiked the Appalachian Trail a couple years ago and we all followed Jeanne's blog about the trip. In 2013 Jeanne blogged on Mel's cross-country bike trip.
Then there was Dan, who died a few years ago and left in his will money to paint the outside of our condos. We planted a tree in his honor in grateful thanksgiving for this wonderful gift. One Fourth of July he put on the most fabulous outdoor party, complete with a spectacular fireworks display.
|Anita holds super-dog, Darby|
Jan with Jacquo, the wonder dog who can run faster than anyone thanks to that new dog food he's been getting over the past couple years.
And so, a toast to all of you dear neighbors, the best ever!