"Here, Mom," Ben said to me, handing me two keys.
I knew what they were, and it really hit me then. Not that the yard sale, boxes, and packing didn't clue me in, but I was hoping to the last minute that they'd change their minds.
See, when we left for Disneyland, we expected to come back and have the rest of the summer play out as usual.
Imagine our surprise and dismay to come home and see not only a 'for sale' sign in front of my neighbor's house, but 'sold in 3 days' on it as well.
I love my neighbors, they are an older couple who are just some of the nicest people I ever met. The kind of people you'd want to live next to...no loud parties or "keep those kids outta my driveway" here. As a matter of fact, when they built their pool, they wanted to put a fence in between our backyards so the kids could go back and forth to use it whenever they wanted. She'd send over cookies just because, and we'd send over birthday cake after the kid's birthday crowd had gone home. We'd look out for each other, sharing bits of neighborhood gossip every now and then. One year, I even went over on Thanksgiving day in the morning to help her put her giant bird in the oven when her arthritis was acting up. She didn't mind that I moseyed over in my pjs to do it.
Their health is why they are moving. It's a big house, and the upkeep for the two of them was getting to be too much. They've found an assisted-living community they like, and off they go, riding into the sunset. We will still be able to go and visit them, and I know we'll stay in touch, but I'm feeling blue nonetheless.
You know, I can't even remember when I gave her the keys to my house, it's been so long. I think it may have been when Nolan started school...oh, wait a minute. I remember now...I gave her the keys when Ryan was a baby, and his brothers decided to lock me out of the house when I went out back to throw out the trash one night whileMr W was at work. Luckily, they opened the door again (who says threats don't work?) but I realized that if I was going to be outnumbered in the house, I needed an alternative to breaking and entering.
"Thanks, Ben," I said, as I held them up against my chest and sighed. Ugh. I hate this. I know people have to move, and I don't live in a small town anymore, where people live in the same house forever.
But I don't have to like it.
On another, brighter note...
The kids started swimming lessons last week. Of course, I couldn't get them all at the same time, but the times overlap, and it's not too bad.
I was even able to get Audrey into a first-timers class at the last minute. They all have a good time.
And they are brown, brown, brown. Rest assured, I slather them with sunscreen, more than once. They may be brown, but they are protected.
I have to admit, it's quite amusing to be faced by all these Coppertone kids. I am convinced that you could put them in a dark room, and still be able to see from the glow reflected off their white behinds (which contrast sharply against their Bain de Soleil-brown bodies.)
While I also could be that brown, I have decided that wearing a bathing suit in public and premature wrinkling are not what they're cracked up to be.
I'm the chick sitting under the ramada, in the shade. Now, if only I could arrange for an umbrella drink....