We have new neighbors!
Let it be known that we tried persuading several friends from the west coast to buy the yellow house to the right of us. Even the wagon wheel by the front door and the wall-to-wall wood paneling in the basement weren't enough of a draw.
That's okay, we forgive you.
After months of anticipating who would buy the empty house, we started hearing from our Valley City friends that a young couple they knew had put an offer in. The rumors turned in to reality and, sure enough, the couple who moved in are as 'cool' as we were told.
Josh and Kelly last lived in Strongsville, and like us, bought their first home on Ridge Drive. They have been together for several years, Josh is a pool shark and a production manager for an oil pipe-fitting company (or something smart like that). Kelly does physical therapy with seniors, and they parent two adorable cats. Last night we had them over for dinner, and they had us over for dessert.
It's nice to no longer be the youngest couple on the street. Don't get me wrong, living in a neighborhood with mostly retirees makes for a certain charm and ease, and quiet.
We have met several other residents since moving in last spring:
There is Earl who has a bright red lawn globe by his front walkway, wears his pants high, and likes to shuffle across the street to see what his neighbors are up to. On warm days, you can find him sitting in his driveway, in a lawn chair facing the street, watching people pass by. We always get a wave from Earl.
Then there is Dick, who lives next to Earl. Dick is the designated snow plow guy. He also drives a scooter (bigger than Chris's) and likes to stop by in the summertime to say hello.
John & Pat live to the left of us. They travel, garden, and raise koi fish in their front yard. John does the landscaping for a small church nearby, and Pat has a fondness for inviting Mormons in to their home and telling them why they need Jesus.
Dan & Sandy live next to Dick, they are friends of ours from church. Sandy was the one who tipped us off about the houses for sale on her block. She is a dear woman who stands 5 feet tall, loves her grandkids and walking her dog. Dan mowed our grass before we moved in, and gave us the lawn mower!
Chris has met the neighbors across the street from Josh & Kelly, but I haven't. Since we live so close to the high school, it seems they are a hub of youth activity. We always see several cars parked out front and their barbecue is constantly smoking during the summer months. Chris mentioned he's overheard some spirited arguments coming from their home as well - they must be a lively bunch.
We've also met the people directly behind us and two doors down from them, as the fencing in our yards act more as property line indicators than privacy walls.
Thank you Lord for giving us new neighbors we can laugh with, and who don't judge me for liking Justin Bieber.
Good times ahead!