What were you doing in 1965? Maybe you weren’t even born yet. In 1965 I didn’t have a lot going on. My life consisted of keeping my wits about me with a house full of brothers. I didn’t really know much, as I wasn’t in school yet and at best, I likely had been dabbling with learning to read. I know that I didn’t know that Canada’s centennial was still 2 years away.
But in 1965 my neighbour 4 doors down was moving into his new house on the street where I now live. And for 45 more years this would be the place he would call home.
If you look up and down the street today, you see PODS, dumpsters and diggers. People are rebuilding, renovating or re-landscaping. Back in 1965, that house 4 doors down would not have had as many neighbours as exist on the street now.
This is a very special milestone. 45 years is a long time to live in one home. Moving after all these years has to be life changing. Imagine all the memories you would have accumulated. All the ‘stuff’ you would have collected! Although 45 years represents only part of his life, the time spent 4 doors down is 45 years of perhaps the richest part of his life. The time spent on career, growing the family and watching them move on to their own new homes.
We are a street of neighbours. We like each other. We look out for each other. We share tools, toys and advice. When someone is on vacation, we cut each other’s grass, water each other’s flowers and look after each other’s mail. We aren’t Wisteria Lane. We aren’t desperate. We aren’t all housewives. We do invest in the ‘being neighbourly’ that is about knowing enough, but not knowing too much.
And so when one of our own moves on to a new life chapter after 45 years, we celebrate. We honour 45 years of being ‘married’ to the same home. We rejoice in a good neighbour. And we send him the best of good wishes.
We do this kind of celebrating the finest way we know how. With food. The communal sharing that is traditionally represented with potluck. Bring your own item for the BBQ. One side of the street comes with salads. The other dessert. And always there is a perfect balance.
Me, I brought pies. Apple pies. When I think 45 years in the same home, I think nostalgic and I think apple pies.
To our great neighbour 4 doors down, your milestone becomes a reminder to us that having something in our lives for 45 years, be it a relationship or a home, is a symbol of what makes us full in character and just ‘good people’.