I think I've mentioned before that I live in a commune. At least that's how we refer to our street. In the middle of Houston's urban sprawl we landed on a street that is all about community. And as a result, we developed the commune. A group of five families, of varying ages, who discovered over frozen pizza, wine, and beer around a fire pit, that we could be more than neighbors. We could be family.
As a family we have celebrated births, weddings, graduations, deaths, and just being alive and happy. When I was in the depths of a major depression a few years ago, these wonderful people stood by me and helped me to come out of the darkness and see the good in my life. My children have been blessed by being friends with people of all ages and seeing that friendship is one of life's most precious gifts.
This week, one of our families moved away. I understand why Rick and Lora felt it was time to move. They have two small twin sons and the area in which we live is not known for stellar public schools. The cost of educating children in a private school is unreal. I know. I work for a private school. Plus Rick had a long commute to his job. So, they sold their house and bought a new home north of Houston. Last night, their house was empty. And so is my heart.
I know we will see them, but I will miss them terribly. I will miss seeing the boys playing in the tree in the front yard. I will miss seeing Rick or Lora walk their twin dogs (the best behaved dogs in the world) early in the morning and late at night. I will miss hanging out in their front yard,in their back yard, and at their house. I will miss being able to stop on my way to choir practice and get filled in on what is happening in their lives. I will miss Lora's pork loin and cole slaw (I always refused to get her recipes on the theory that I would never make those dishes as good as she did). I will miss having them show up at my back door.
Because of Lora and Rick, I know how to build a 7 foot tall T-Rex out of paper mache. It was Lora who bought a second hand play fort at a neighborhood garage sale and installed it in my backyard for her boys to play on when we gathered at my house. And I was thrilled because the 'surprise' in my back yard was a second hand play set, not a second hand dinosaur. Because of the twins, I know about the Walter the Farting Dog books, (which I will be buying for my great-nephew this Christmas). And the list goes on and on.
Right now, my friends are working on setting up their new home. I hope that their new neighbors are coming over to welcome them and will help them as they settle in. Rick and Lora's new neighbors need to know that their lives are about to be enriched in ways they never imagined. And Lora and Rick need to know that the instant the boys are out of high school, I expect them to move back down here. I'm marking off the days...