Sunday, 27 September 2009

Changing of the guard

I don't know what's happening to this neighbourhood. In the past three weeks, we've lost three neighbours - two of them good friends. The first was our friend who's been trying to sell his house for about a year, and just couldn't. It might have something to do with the fact that he's too busy to do anything to the place, and it's falling apart. That's the reason he was trying to sell in the first place, he wanted a condo that's easier to maintain as his work and school schedules don't allow him much time to take care of the place. Add to that he's a single father of two. He finally sold at the end of August, and the new owners have spent this month fixing it for an October 1st move in date. New roof, siding, soffits, trim, garden work, paint, cabinets, and more. I wonder if they took the exposed toilet out of the basement. I always thought he just dropped it there after replacing it upstairs, but it works! He had a toilet in the middle of his basement - fully operational. Talk about open concept.

The next neighbours were evicted by the Sheriff. They lost their house. At 9:30pm they were given to 10am the next morning to get out. Bullshit. As it turns out, the credit counselling agency they went to when times got tough started putting their mortgage payments to the credit cards and didn't inform them. The whole time they thought they were paying the mortgage, they weren't. After six months the mortgage company had had enough and booted them. I smell lawsuit. I also hope my neighbours kept a paper trail.

The third was next door to the second - a rental. I didn't really know them, enough to wave good morning, but they moved out this weekend as well.

At least of all this there's only one empty house, the rental won't last long and it has an occupied unit upstairs.

Neighbourhoods change over the years, they grow younger or older, or both. The people change, and every now and then you make the trip across with the offer to help newbies adjust to their new surroundings. I remember the people who made that trip when we bought this house, and they're still here, friends. The people who lost the house were recipients of our hospitality when they moved in, and in the end became friends. A cup of sugar, a ladder, a hand with something too big for one, we traded back and forth for five years. Now they're gone, overnight. They did give us a forwarding address, and luckily they had a place to go fairly quickly. So the friendship will continue. But it still sucks.

Everyone needs someone to help or be helped by. Every homeowner needs to know the people in their neighbourhood for a multitude of reasons whether it be security or just the satisfaction of knowing that if you need a hand there's someone around. This neighourhood has been an extended family to Kim and I since we moved here, and I hope that continues.

Nobody should ever feel alone in a sea of people. If you do, there's a problem.

Here's hoping the evolution is positive.

Happy Sunday.


  1. Last night Ms Doreen and I were talking about the cycle of the neighbourhood. She is looking forward to all of the little ones running around next life to a changing area.

    Neighbours can make or break the place...we are so lucky to live were we do :)

  2. I remember when we first moved into the Villages of Riverside. It was in November. What an aweful time to move. Nobody hangs out on their front porch. The rare wave at an unknown neighbour as you slide in or out of your vehicle.

    Then the next spring came around. On the first very nice day. Everyone broke free of their wintery coccoon. The cul-du-sac became almost party like. As neighbours became acquainted and reaquainted with each other.

    There us 'men' of the houses stood in the middle of the cul-du-sac. In a "King of the Hill" tv show fashion, while the kids ran nuts around the street.

    A few short years later, it culminated into a block party. The barbeques lined up in the middle of a shut down road. Picnic tables found their way into the front yards from the depths of the back yards.

    The party went on into the wee hours of the next morning. Neighbours became more than friends, they became a family. A bond that is hard to break. They looked out for one another. It was so tough to move away from.


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