We all grow up in neighborhoods. Some of them are quite idyllic and others can be quite the bustle of the town in the summer time.
Life on Margemere Drive in Fairfield was such a place. When our family moved there, we settled in at our house near the end of the cul-de-sac. We had several large barking dogs on either side of the street. On one side of the street, we had a loud beagle named, Trouble, belonging to a Doctor Samuelson and on the other side of the street, we had a yippy dog. And one of our neighbors next to us constantly had pool parties with 30 kids and parents yelling and splashing in and out of the pool. Causing us to worry about the safety of their kids as we tried to sit out and enjoy our rarely used back porch.
This series of noises led us to escape to our paradise in Maine, our second neighborhood, of which I have shared much with my audiences of this blog.
Margemere Drive was lined with lavender forsythia bushes and beautifully blooming dogwood and japanese maple trees that flowed smoothly into one another from above.
It was on this street that I learned how to ride my two wheel bike on my own after several weeks of my dad running behind me on the bike so I would not fall off. After the two weeks, I was not going to get any more help and I had to bravely hop on the bike and put on my helmet and ride around the street. I never did get off the street but that first time when I could balance myself was very exciting and freeing. And I would ride around for hours enjoying myself greatly even when I fell down to the pavement several times.
Our house at 166 Margemere was nestled down in a little valley. In the wintertime, I used to slide down the driveway when it was not fully shoveled and I also sled down the back yard. It was especially beautiful when we had a crust of snow and ice in the backyard. I would put on my boots and head out to the garage to get my red flyer sled and sit on the sled and go down the backyard until the snow stopped the blades from gliding forward. The trees glistened with the snow on them and occasionally some snow would fall off the trees and fall onto my face.
I would do this for an hour at times and then put away my sled and come back into the house for a cup of hot cocoa.
It was also on this street that I walked to the corner of the street to catch my school bus to my elementary, junior and senior high schools. I lugged my bookbag up and down this street many times and I grew up while I was on this street going through my adolescence and emerged into adulthood. And on this street that I invited my first friend , Barbara,from elementary school to share some times with our family.
Inside our home, my mom tenderly decorated the house with warm wallpaper with flowers on it and plush carpeting throughout. We had plants hanging in every room and it would take mom several hours a week to tenderly take care of the plants for she had a green thumb and extended it to the gardens around the outside of our home.
Pictures of seascapes and birds hung on the walls and mirrors were on the walls that extended the reach of the rooms.
It was always inviting to come home after my days at school and to smell the aroma of fresh cooking coming from the kitchen. Whether it was the homemade meatloaf or spaghetti and meatballs or the chicken stir fry that was simmering on the stove.
I was the chief table setter and I got the napkins out and the silverware from the silverware drawer. And the milk glasses and the condiments for the table.
In the kitchen there was a brown bar stool that I would sit at while my mom cooked and looked out and saw the birds flying to the bird feeder and the squirrels making their attempt to swing from the roof of the garage and land precariously on the bird feeder itself, sometimes to awkwardly fall off of it.
When my dad came home each day from work, mom dished us the food from the stove and we carried it into the dining room to sit down and have our evening meal and to discuss what went on during our days.
I also did quite a few chores along our property from the edging of the walk to the mowing of the grass and the shoveling of the snow.
And also I began to try out for the home basketball team by playing with the backboard that my dad set up but never did make it to the big leagues with all the tosses I made to the skies which often bounced back to the ground never making the net.
Our lawn care professional loved our street and especially our house and when Tim saw the view from our kitchen window, he knew that this would be the home that he wanted in the future. When it came time for us to make a move, we contacted Tim and he took us up on the offer.
So this sense of neighborhood extends to where we lived both on a street and also in our home itself. Both provided a great sense of neighborhood. Even though we never really knew our neighbors well except for when we had to call late to a neighbor to quiet a yipping dog, it did also extend to future neighborhoods for me in the wild blue yonder of Maine.