My husband accepted a new job that will be moving our family to Seward, Neb. This has me nostalgic and highly emotional, and, recently, has me just plain sad.
I live in Morton Meadows, a neighborhood that sits near Center and Poppleton Streets, between 42nd and 48th Streets. Our neighborhood is home to Holy Cross Elementary and Mercy High School. The VA Hospital and Field Club are directly to our east.
Our mostly Tudor-style or bungalow homes were constructed in the 1920′s and built to last. Mine has a comfy, covered front porch complete with a homemade swing for two.
The streets are lined with old trees that tower over the homes and shade the yards. Our homes are built close to one another. My house has a one car, detached garage that I used to loathe; now, I find myself sentimental over the loss of that modern-day inconvenience.
Many of the homes have short, chain-link fences that allow for friendly neighbor banter and make it easy to invite someone over for an impromptu drinks or dinner.
Every Fourth of July there is a neighborhood parade down Morton Avenue. It begins with potluck-style breakfast and concludes with prizes for the most patriotic costume, best family costume, pet costume, bike and decorated lawnmower. I don’t mean to brag, but the Brashear family has won a prize every year we’ve entered.
I more than “know” my neighbors; I have cherished relationships with them.
Today was a quintessential example of this neighborhood family.
The two children who live across the street spent the day with me and my two children. We went to the zoo, made candy Turkeys with Oreos, ran some errands and got an oil change. These four kids love and argue like they are all siblings. I love that!
By 4:30 p.m., we were out in the yard enjoying the warm fall day. By 5 p.m., three more children from the neighborhood were in my back yard and I soon found myself sharing a bottle of wine with three dear friends.
The buzzing and joyful screams of the children could only slightly be heard over the boisterous laughter coming from around the dining room table.
It wouldn’t be uncommon for us all to scratch our dinner plans and order pizza, but tonight, some had commitments.
As I wished everyone a good night and pulled my meatloaf out of the oven, tears welled up in my eyes. I shed a few tears for the impending loss of convenience, loss of shared family-centered values, loss of one incredible era.
Morton Meadows, you have impacted my life in ways I never could have dreamed when I moved in six years ago. I am eternally grateful for the memories made and love lived. If home is where the heart is, then part of my heart will live on with you.
Jessica Brashear is a stay-a-home mom to three children.
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