Yesterday I said goodbye to Barb, my friend and neighbor. Barb and I met through another neighbor, Denise. Our backyards faced each other and one evening, Denise introduced us. Barb and I were pregnant--she with twin boys and me with my youngest son Steven.
We had our babies, and over the years, all of the kids played together. Between the three of us, we had nine kids (make that ten--my niece joined us for two years). Seven of them were close in age and Denise had two older boys. We had many evenings of sitting in our backyards exhausted as we watched the kids run circles around us. Most often than not, we ended up in my backyard with the kids bouncing in the trampoline and swimming in an inflatible pool. We would occasionally order pizza or toss some hot dogs on the grill. On a few summer nights, we ladies filled our glasses with wine and the husbands joined us.
We moved just two blocks over and our sense of community shifted. Suddenly, it wasn't as easy to get together and play dates had to be arranged to make sure one was home. Gone were the days of opening the sliding door and sending the kids down the backyard. We still gathered the kids together for pizza nights but it definitely was harder as the kids got older and were involved in various activities. I still stopped at Barb's and Denise's houses after dropping the kids off at school and we would have our morning chats.
So it was hard to say goodbye to Barb yesterday as she prepared to head out to her new life in California. They are moving out west for a new job and to be closer to her husband's family. I'm going to miss the weekly chats and lunches out.
This goodbye certainly isn't final, thankfully today we have email and videocameras.
And there certainly is a bright spot: Denise and I have figured that we have a great place to stay when we need a weekend away!