Nearly four years ago we drove down our street for the first time. We had no idea then how we would love it. This street has changed over the last four years. The October storm eliminated many trees. Some of our neighbors have come and gone. But it is the street that has brought us home each day and we love it.
When we first started unpacking we saw a family working in the yard across the street. They had young kids and we wanted to get to know them. We almost chickened out but finally braved up and crossed the street. That little family became good friends. Their kids are adorable. They call me Ms. Rachel. They think Garret looks just like their cousin (this is so adorable to me because they are black and we are white but no one sees that- I love that). They are a wonderful family. I will miss watching their kids grow.
When we first moved in we had a man named Lou (Not sure about the spelling?) next to us. He was probably in his 80's. He had been in the neighborhood since it was built. He was a wonderful neighbor. He had some quirky habits that made him even more fun. He smoked a cigar every night at 11, he hung his underwear on the line behind his house and liked mowing the lawn without a shirt on. He might sound a little odd but he was a sweet old guy that loved the kids and was always willing to share tools and chit chat.
On the other side of us is our dear sweet Grandma Bates. When we first moved in she told me to call her Grandma. I felt weird doing so but now I can't imagine calling her anything else. She is about as sweet as they come. She adores the kids. She makes them cookies, waves to them when they are in the backyard, hangs their pictures on her fridge and tells everyone she knows about us. (when we run into anyone over their they say "oh your the ones..."). She broke her hip a year or two ago and called and called for me. I felt awful that I didn't hear her. I did hear the ambulance and went to check on her. And then went to the hospital with her. She loves knowing we are here if she needs us. She has even handed our number out to her family so if they can't get a hold of her they call me. Grandma Bates will always have a special place in our hearts. Down the street is Anne, and behind the fence is Peg, and a little farther down is the lady that walks her dog in the same red pant suit every day around 11, and their used to be a woman that wandered around with a bag (not sure where she went).
Keep going a couple more houses and Amber, Jason and kids are right there. I can't count the number of times we have stopped by, babysat for each other, visited, dropped off extra cookies, borrowed things and enjoyed being each others neighbor.
Just barely around the corner is Josh and Kandis and Kids. I don't even know where to start with them. We have know them since before we were married. Since before missions for the guys. We have been following each other around for years. We have been neighbors for years and not just here. We have been there for basically every significant event in the last decade. Sometimes we go a week without seeing each other but we are always their for them (or at least we try) and they are always there for us. I am hoping the navy puts them in Bremerton because what would we do without them.
There are so many more just a little farther away (but we will stick to our block for this post). We live in a great little neighborhood. Everyone has always been friendly and kind. We really feel like a part of it. Grandma Bates cries almost every time we go over now (I try to hold it together for her sake). I love the way we have become part of this little community. I had no idea I would go from such apprehensive feelings when we first arrived to such a sense of community.