Friday, July 15, 2011

Memories of Millcreek

After Josh and I got married we rented this old house from this old couple who lived in Millcreek.

Deal & LaMat (those are seriously their names), were serving a mission for the LDS Church somewhere in South Africa. While they lived under mosquito nets and hiked for clean water, we whined about washing dishes by hand and played badminton in their backyard.

I think that's called the circle of life.

Today we found ourselves near "our old neighborhood" and Tommy and I wandered the streets looking for "our old house".

I was surprised by how much I'd forgotten, and how much I never knew.

The people on the corner have the most enormously beautiful shade tree on the whole street. We never even met the Corner People. And until today I couldn't have told you if they even had grass much less any other living thing in their backyard.

The people 2 houses down have a cat at least 2 times larger than our current neighbors dog. I think it might have been a bobcat.

The next door neighbors still have grown children coming and going like their parents run a shopping mall - or a drug house. Whatever. (Hi Marchants!)

Here's what's surprising to me: we lived there for a year and a half and I think today was the first time I walked down the street that leads to ours.

In our current neighborhood I can tell you which houses have the biggest shadiest trees, where the water pools in the gutters and where every utility cover is along the whole street. That's because in our current neighborhood Tommy and I regularly go on walks and these are the important things to him.

In the old house the important thing was where I kept the car keys. There was nothing important about the neighborhood.

We had lived there for just a couple of months when our neighbor asked me why we were never outside. I was taken aback (that's right - aback) and stammered some lame answer about being "really busy". It took me days to realize that when you move into a neighborhood when you're the only non-retired folks, you stand out. Your lack of flowers, the slightly less-green shade of your lawn, the fact that you don't sit on your front porch in the evenings to watch the "traffic". (On a street only 5 houses long, the single car passing by every 45 minutes can hardly be called traffic.) We were certainly odd in that neighborhood.

We loved our neighbors, we loved the people on the street, we loved the ward, and Josh even challenged the kids down the street (and the only other people on the block less than 50 years old) to the biggest baddest waterfight there ever was. But we simply didn't know the neighborhood well. We knew next-to-nothing about the people around us. So although we thought they were the coolest old people we knew, I can hardly remember their names now.

When we first moved into that house I dreamt of bringing our first baby home there. I could hardly wait to lay on the front lawn with my newborn child and watch the "traffic" go by on our slightly less-green lawn. I imagined rocking him to sleep in the bedroom connected to ours. I worried about the noise he'd make during church. I had no idea my dream would wait until long after we left that house.

I love our neighborhood now. I love our neighbors especially. But today I sortof miss Millcreek.

1 comment:

  1. I had some downstairs neighbors in one of my apartments who used to "porch" at night. He would bring up a folding chair and sit on the stair landing and just take in the world as it passed by. It was cute. :o) But I never did it...


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