a little neighbor

Since being home…

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Since being home.  I do have a hard time with the wording of that phrase.  My other half is absent and missed so very much, the objects that I have moved and dusted and placed just so, time and time again are far from here, my children have hardly let me sleep a wink, and even the friends that I have grown to love all nestled deep into the warm weather of the South are out of touch for the moment.   Though I do miss it all quite a bit, the comforts of the familiar here in this chilly land do something to me.  The cracks in the road trace old four square courts.  Tunnels in the forest, though overgrown remain.  The love of a humble upbringing still holds me close; and I can see my boys feel it too.

And even more than the familiar landscape, no words can ever be spoken more true than the certainty of a homespun commonplace to love thy neighbor.   Peacefully and purposely I have fallen back into stride with the random drop in and flopping onto of cozy worn in chairs, in front of well-tended wood burning stoves.  Conversations with such ease are picked up and dropped off in between the normal activity of everyday life.  Our sunburnt  sea swiped shingles divided by a forsythia or two and a modestly tended veggie garden were the second walls of my childhood.  A sousaphone playing fireman, a sweet loving mama, a quiet, handsome boy who has recently turned into a giant man, and a little girl so dear to me she is nothing short of a sister, remind me of the true meaning of setting down your roots.

Memories of afternoons with cartoons and cookies; late nights of babysitting club conventions, confidential conversations and confessions, and an always open door fill me to my very brim with gratefulness. This is what I want for my boys.  With every tinge of sadness I feel for the isolation of our current country living, I remember the overwhelming love of a small town life with family that is larger than the ones you can call blood.  With this any discouraging feeling dissipates.  Each time I arrive back home, they remind me this will not change.  It is just not the kind of thing that does.

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That little neighbor of mine is as sweet as pecan pie.  As much as a mothers helper as I wanted to be to her mama many years ago, she is.  Where I was young and wild and though I may have been fun- irresponsible; She is capable, intelligent, sweet and dependable. A dip in the sea, an annual meeting with my hairdresser, and a sweet raspberry almond bar from the most amazing and inspirational bakery in the world– and I am back.  With all my might. Good to see you old friends.

You may even notice a change in this space.  A change for the better!  One I could not have even thought up without the faith, patience, and intelligence of my sweet little neighbor (confusing as the title is, she will always be my little neighbor), her hilarious friend with the most pearly white teeth around, and my lovely sister in law. Thank you ladies!

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