Hard to believe that just seventeen months ago our family consolidated our items, packed them into a 51 foot moving van, and set off across the country on a one-way flight. The event seems such a distant memory with much of the details still a bit fuzzy due to the expediency in which everything took place. Life seems so ordinary these days in the circle of our lives; work, school, sports, dinner, relax and bed, only to rinse and repeat each day. With the occasional weekend get together with our new friends in our neighborhood circle.
The circle. We still talk about the timing, the divination of it all, and the feeling of “too good to be true” with our neighborhood circle. Like many things that happen with The Chad and I, we stumbled upon this neighborhood after spending hours on home showings to find our perfect forever home. Truly our forever home because no way on God’s green earth will I move again, two moves in less than a year, one being cross country, is enough for a lifetime for me; I digress.
As if one had imagined the sight, our neighborhood, our circle and the two cul-de-sacs, are lined with towering oak trees, creating a beautiful kaleidoscope canopy of various shapes etched by the sun and shade. Well manicured, sprawling green lawns with wide driveways littered with oak leaves, acorns, children’s bikes and adults waving hello. Children gathered together for a game of kickball in the street or young girls with makeshift tables for lemonade sales. We couldn’t manufacture a more picturesque way to raise kids, live daily life, and build community with others, but then we moved into the home we saw for sale in the circle.
Greeted by a herd of smiling neighbors brandishing cupcakes, brownies, gift baskets, hellos and the exchange of phone numbers. I found myself reeling, albeit a tad dumbfounded at the surrealism of what was happening; was this really happening? Had we stumbled into a Stepford neighborhood? What is really wrong with this neighborhood that anyone would want to sell, as we second guessed the fantastical feeling in our neighborhood circle. Truly, we could not be more blessed.
Now six months into settling in to our forever home, we still find ourselves in awe of the wonder of our neighborhood circle. Group texts among moms planning the next get together for our kids, ourselves, or just a status update as to which home we can find our children playing that afternoon. From back to school barbecues, birthdays and holiday parties to HOA board meetings and planning events for the new neighborhood playground demolition and installation to the boys running off with fishing poles to see what they can reel in from the neighborhood lake. The only thing to plague our paradise is the occasional tiff among the children, a rogue bear trying to rummage through the trash, or a deluge to break up a game of catch.
I found myself this past November in a dire situation. Conducting a deep clean and organization of my back patio, pool area, and upper deck patio to my pool, I had yanked my water hose a bit too hard and ended up snapping the pipe. Feeling like Doc Brown from Back to the Future with my mouth agape, gasping, then running furiously across my backyard to find the source to turn off the water. No luck. Running as if my life depended on it I ran around my house to all the water mains to shut off the water only to find those too had no effect. Cripes! In a panic I ran to every neighbor I thought to be home, to no avail. Making appropriate calls to The Chad, the city, another neighbor, I was rescued by our awesome friends next door who had to help us shut off the water at the main from the city. Who the heck runs a direct line to the backyard for water without a separate shut off? Divagate again. In that moment I couldn’t be more thankful for our forged friendship in our neighborhood circle.
The Chad and I spent fourteen years in our house in Phoenix. During that time, we only slightly met our neighbors during those final years we were there. We did not have anything close to what we have today in the circle. We have the ability to name each neighbor directly across, next to, in front, on each side, aside, around, kitty corner, katty whompus, and a few houses down. Our neighborhood circle is a collective of so many diverse individuals that we are so thankful to do life together with each of them. From neighborhood parties to birthday parties to sports events for the kids to the holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, we have been blessed to bless our kids, our family, with the incredible neighborhood circle as our true home.