I was very fortunate. When my husband and I purchased our first home, it was located in a subdivision of what they called, "starter homes". They were cute, well-built and sat on 50 foot lots, but most of them only had two bedrooms; enough for a couple just starting out.
Anyway, you couldn't get much more "Norman Rockwell" than this subdivision and the assortment of couples who lived there. When we moved in, the neighbors welcomed us with gifts of baked goods or casseroles. It was soon discovered that most of us were all in the same age range and financial bracket. Most of the women stayed home and the men worked. Most everyone had at least one child, was expecting a child or had dreams of having one sometime soon. We fell into the latter category since I was still working and wasn't quite ready to give it up. I think living there and watching those little families was a great incentive for me to stop work and concentrate on having children. We all felt safe there. This is where we had pinochle club once a month at rotating homes....where we had cookie exchange at Christmas and where the men all helped one another dig out during some vicious snowstorms. The picture I have attached is actually one I had hanging in the bedroom....it sort of put my feelings on canvas on how I felt there. And having my parents within walking distance was a plus.
We all got together and had coffee and visited. The kids all got along and so did the husbands. I miss that very much. Over the years, one by one all but two families moved out as we outgrew our little homes. Those that could build on because they had an extra lot, did so.
I was disappointed when I moved into this neighborhood where I now live to find that, although the neighbors would stop and wave, they didn't get personally involved. I've lived here 36 and a half years and its still the same way. We all get along (and for that I'm very grateful, especially when you read some of these "neighbors from hell stories")....but no one visits, no sitting around the kitchen table having coffee sort of thing here. My best friend bought the house next door to me and for about 12 years we enjoyed our friendship, but she moved to AZ for her health and the 3rd family since she's left moved in a year ago. They are nice and they wave.....but the closeness is not there.
But anyway, back to the original thought for this post. I answered the phone to hear a voice from my past. It was the woman who had lived across the street from me in that wonderful subdivision. She was one of the ones who stayed and built on to their home. We have so many good memories to talk about. And yes.....we did try to stay in touch after I moved. I only moved about 4 miles away....but that 4 miles prohibits you from running across the street in a rural subdivision in your jammies to have coffee after the husbands have left for the day. Through the years we didn't see each other so much....I was working odd hours and lots of overtime, then she went to work too. So it was wonderful to talk today. We gabbed for over three hours (thank goodness for cordless phones) and got caught up on a bunch of stuff. After the holidays we've made promises to meet on regular intervals for coffee and gossip. I'm so glad for my fond memories of that old neighborhood and I hope that there are still some like that here and there.....Americana at its best! I'm mostly glad that she remembered me and cared enough to call me. Another close friend and neighbor from that era is way down in Florida!