Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bittersweet


To everything there is a season. 

Tis the season of zinnias and peppers, sedum and berried nandina.


 This is also the season my next door neighbors, one on the right and the other on the left are moving.

Sheila, on the right, has moved into her 94 year old fathers house, with her 16 year old daughter in tow.

She's only half a mile away, but still...

And Nelda, my sister of 14 years, has sold her house and will be moving to Austin, or Afghanistan, whichever beckons first. Wouldn't be any contest for me. Austin City Limits here I come.

We have spend many hours together in our separate yards, watering, weeding and swapping plants.

I have dug up her Roguchi clematis and a hellebore and transplanted them to my yard. A peony, white rose and maybe a weeping buddleia are next.

What I have also dug up is a deep feeling of sadness that my friend of so many years is leaving.

Just looking over at night and seeing her lights on gave me a feeling of peace.  I liked knowing she was home, making soup or knitting one of her endless projects.

We made many runs to garden centers, grocery stores and farmers markets over the years.

We were each others go to for that missing cup of milk or sugar, bunch of cilantro or threads of saffron.

She baked two of my three birthday cakes.

She has been next door while I lived and loved through two different relationships.  At the end of the day there was always Nelda.

In the past, when someone was leaving, I used to shut down my feelings and pretend to myself it didn't matter. I was a little soldier and could make my way through anything.

I don't/can't/want to be that way any more.

I couldn't be if I tried.

So I'm gong to roll with the pain, enjoy our last month or so together, and get every cup of sugar and spice out of her that I can.

I'm going to stock my pantry, both physically and metaphysically.

And chances are good you're gonna have to read about it.



I'll try to sweeten the pot with pictures.

 




26 comments:

  1. Argh, that sucks. My old pal moved away years ago and I sort of never got over it. Harder to make friends as you get older, for me, at least, and all that shared history is gone. Hope the new people are just your sort and become new friends, and then, maybe, eventually, old friends.
    That last picture is lovely, all that dusty rose and green.

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    1. I hope so too. They're friends of friends on the block. He's Irish and apparently very handsome and she's a feisty blonde.

      I look forward to their arrival. And I will give time, time.

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  2. I hate it when loved ones move away :-( On a good note though it always reminds how valuable they are.

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    1. Both thoughts are true. But I already knew how invaluable N is, I had a year of her away in Afghanistan.

      Ch cha cha changes.

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  3. People come and go in and out of your life but there are those that remain with you forever regardless of location. I had a very close friend who lived across the street who relocated to North Carolina years ago, I was so sad to see her go, then I started visiting North Carolina. My close friends mostly live in other states and we don't see each other very often, but when we do it's as if it was yesterday which makes it sooooo special. Your new neighbors will love you (how can they not) and be new friends and you'll have that really good friend to visit in Austin. (hopefully, Afghanistan, maybe not so much but you can still talk on the phone)

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    1. Well I am looking forward to Austin. Good food, good music, new sights.

      Thank God, I'm flying now. That would be one hell of a car trip.

      And the new neighbors sound charming and were heartily recommended by those who Know.

      But really does it have to happen just when winter is coming?

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  4. oh Jane, I know that feeling. I had the best neighbor friend too and I miss her terribly everyday. For fifteen years our lives were entangled....it's a special kind of friendship, where house, yard, garden lines are blurred. It stinks to have that part of your life gone but they're the friends who stay with you for life.

    Keep writing about it...you have a whole lot of friends here. xo

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    1. Thank you Sarah, this is such a responsive community. It's amazing to me we feel so safe to write our innermost thoughts here.

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  5. The well-stocked pantry as a metaphor for good living.Now that sounds just fine to me. You go ahead and load up all those spices, Jane.Then, in your not-so-sunny winter you can bake a Nelda Cake. (I suggest you share the recipe with her.:-) )

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    1. The thought of me baking a cake would have Nelda howling with laughter.....but with her gone i might have to take up the apron!

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  6. So bittersweet. Long time neighbors become part of your family, and are hard to see go. I love that you are taking her plants, I hope you get all of them.

    And the photos are beautiful. I hope taking them and sharing them will help you in this time. I hope new people move in who you also enjoy

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    1. I would love all of them but she had an overflowing yard and I hear thru the neighborhood grapevine that the new owner is planning to take a gardening course come spring.

      And that her husband is a charmer.

      None of this sucks :-))

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  7. Oh, I'm sorry. Savor every minute with her, and look forward to Austin or Afghanistan. The new neighbors will be lucky to have you.

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    1. Well I haven't seen hide nor hair of her since I wrote this post, so I guess others are getting their time in.

      One is silver but the other's gold....right?

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    2. Funny coincidence you would write that great old Girl Scouts tune because I started singing it when I read your post last night. At least you have nice folks moving in & you've met them. I just "lost" a close neighbor gf to the suburbs & a late midlife first marriage. We keep in touch but it is just not the same as being able to do things physically together, & spontaneously. The upside is, I've been "forced" into reaching out more here in the townhouse community & am making some new friends. Good luck to Nelda & how fun to see Sophie/Elle right here now!
      Diane in
      cool nights now Denver

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    3. P.s., is that an astilbe behind the sedum? Thanks.

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  8. Sorry-so hard to see a great friend move away. My BFF now lives in Austin! I'm in CA.
    We talk every day on the phone-but it's sadly not the same as running around together.
    We'll be here. Kvetch away.

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    1. Thank you, I will. And no, there is nothing better than running around together. That's what I'll miss the most.

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  9. Hi Jane,

    I cannot believe Nelda is leaving so soon... I know it will leave a big void to fill in the neighborhood. But I'm sure you will charm the new neighbors as you always do, and who knows, maybe Lucy will be allowed inside the house next door now ;)

    Please, give a huge hug to Nelda for me, and tell her that if I find myself in Texas, I'm going straight to Austin to drink a good glass of wine with her.

    I miss you both,
    Sophie

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    1. I know it was quick. Open house on Sunday, sold on Tuesday. If you find yourself in Texas, give me a holler and I'll fly on down to meet you two.

      Donald asked me who did my shoveling for me, I told him you did.

      Better hurry on back, winter's coming.

      xoxo


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  10. I’m so sorry to hear that your friend/neighbor is moving away, Jane. As I read this post I was struck by how far you’ve come in the past couple of years – how much you’ve grown personally. I truly believe that the Universe provides angels for us to help us through tough times, and now it’s time for Nelda to move on and be an angel for someone else. Having said that, the thought of a new neighbor moving in to take her place (physically in the house, not your heart, of course) is kind of exciting. And, since you’ve grown so much, maybe it’s YOUR turn to be an angel for someone else. Maybe that's what your new neighbor will need. You have it in you now that you’re all grown up and all. Big hugs to you! xo

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    1. I'm already the gardening. food angel for some,we'll see what the new people need. But I am going to miss this particular angel.

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  11. Xoxo missed reading the past couple weeks. Just checking in today :) wish we were neighbors!

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    1. Wish we were too! Probably wouldn't have made such strange plant choices!

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  12. Gawd, I hate it when neighbors move away or friends - why does Nelda have to go so FAR away?
    I love seeing our neighbor's light on. When it's dark at their house, a little shadow of dread passes through me - just a shiver.
    On the other hand, who could complain about a handsome husband as your default neighbor?
    :)

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  13. Donatella con fioriOctober 7, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Good neighbors are so important to our sense of community. I am so sorry to hear that Nelda is moving. I'm missing one of my neighbors who had to move this summer. *sigh* I love it that you're moving some of her plants to your yard. I still have plants from a neighbor who died many years ago.

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