Are You My Neighbor?

Quite a while back, I read an article with the headline, Woman Lived With Dead 6K2A8622Husband for Weeks. Curious to see if it was another misguided story about the scariness of mental illness, I read the article. There it was—a story about a disease which has been linked to mental illness, Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m not positive it’s still classified as a mental illness–I didn’t research the current classification.

The woman was an Alzheimer’s sufferer. Obviously, she didn’t have any family near, and the local police were called when the couple hadn’t been heard from in months.

Police had to force their way into the house, because the woman didn’t understand what was happening. She was in poor health, and it was determined that her husband had died of natural causes about four weeks before.043_edited-1

What appalled me, was a comment from a neighbor, who had known the couple for decades, was quoted as saying, “To think that all of us live right here, this close, and none of us knew anything about it.”

Yeah, think about that one for a moment.

When we lived in our home state – we knew many neighbors. We moved to a couple of different towns, but we knew the people around us. If help was needed with big yard projects, it was there. Nobody asked, it was simply there, because that’s what neighbors do.IMG_7361-1

In our current home state, our neighbors are all holed up in their homes, hiring someone to do their yard work–except the only neighbor we know–and they are moving back to their homeland. The photos throughout this post are early practice shots from their yard, or outings we took together. (I had more photos of outings, but I can’t find them–yikes! I seriously need to organize and learn a bit more about where my photos go when I back them up)

When my father-in-law passed, I stayed at his house while my husband and his brother took care of their father’s legal business. I can’t describe the feeling I had when speaking to neighbors who stopped by. One young man, instantly welled up when I had to deliver the news. I just wanted to hug the man.6K2A9258

My father-in-law, had a community of love. A village of people who help each other.

After returning to our home, which I have come to accept because it’s where we live, I returned to my disheartened way of life, and the freakin’ rude drivers.6K2A7303

Lack of caring for, and getting to know our neighbors, is one of the biggest waste byproducts that progress has created in our society.

This is our fork I was referring to in, What’s the risk worth.

The house my father-in-law lived in was built with his own hands. He made most of the tables, dressers, and cabinets. He built, and installed the kitchen cabinets. He has a drool-over-woodworking shop in the basement.032_edited-2

It’s in the outskirts of a town of less than 5,000 neighbors.

I’ve had a dream of living in a small town since forever ago. However, I was afraid–I’ll bet that’s a surprise to y’all. 😀 Moving to the deep south reminded me of how outsiders are perceived. Maybe small towns aren’t very accepting of outsiders–especially Hippie outsiders–A Hippie who believes that being in nature, not a building, is a church.

After much discussion, we realized it would be the right thing for us to move to the middle of nowhere.

My father-in-law left his home to 3 of his children, and 2 of his step-children. Nobody wants to live in the middle of nowhere Missouri, except us, so we are going to buy out the others.

Because we have a huge house which has depreciated over 30% since we purchased it in 2006, it may be a tough sell. It may take a while, but I’m pretty positive it will sell. I wonder if buyers will take the adult-kids who come with the property. They are built in fixtures.

A driver after my own heart

A driver after my own heart

My home is where my husband is, and while there are a few obstacles to hop around, it isn’t an impossible feat.

Maybe we will get to know some neighbors—even if they are down yonder, on a farm, up the road, and around the corner.

Guess what? I have a goal that is beyond three months, and it kinda feels good. Now I have to learn some patience because this is going to take a while, requiring a bunch mini-goals to reach the end goal.

It just may be my answer to procrastination, and require more mental focus–all good for the ADD. 😀

Those neighbors?046_edited-1 copy I think we’re going to miss them since they are the only people we know well enough to call them friends as well as neighbors.

I know that I will miss creeping around their yard to practice some flower shots.





About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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27 Responses to Are You My Neighbor?

  1. mewhoami says:

    Oh, how exciting! Small towns are the best and Missouri is beautiful! At least I think so. I have a lot of family there. This will keep you very busy during the upcoming months. Hopefully it’s not too overwhelming.

    • April says:

      I’m prepared. The only thing I’m not ready for is not seeing my kids as often. I’m not sure where they will end up, but even if we stayed here, I still don’t know where they will end up. I know that we never thought we would have to move our family to Georgia, but things happen. I’m kind of excited. It will give me more blog material. 🙂

  2. aviets says:

    I LOVE your photos in this post. And let me make sure I’ve got this straight…you’re selling up and moving to your father-in-law’s home in Missouri?!? Wow! I can’t wait to hear more…

    • April says:

      It will be a process, but yes, I think within a year or two we will be moving there. The house needs some work, and since we live so far, it’s going to have to be done in increments. Then there is the problem of selling our house and not paying to get rid of it because it has depreciated so much. On top of all that, my husband will have to find a job nearby that has good insurance because we won’t be receiving retirement benefits to live day-to-day. But yes—we’re moving to Missouri. 🙂

      • aviets says:

        Wow, what a change! I hope it’s a happy one for you and that you enjoy all the stuff to be done to prepare. Just a heads-up: Missouri is probably way more backwards politically and socially than your current home…

        • April says:

          Yes, I’ve seen the demographics—I don’t believe it is too much more backward from where we are at the moment. The only problem will be escaping them. At least all our kids have been raised and they won’t be judged as well. 🙂

          • aviets says:

            That is a good thing. And I have to say, People from Kansas and Missouri truly are outstandingly kind and friendly, and are good neighbors. I just go out of my way to avoid political and religious discussions.

            • April says:

              My father-in-law was a very outspoken Democrat. He was also a regular church goer. In fact, he was on the board of the church? Anyway, I don’t believe I have to go to church to prove I believe in God, and the teachings–but that is my preference, and I’m okay with others doing what they feel is right for them. I suppose I will be an outcast from the start—at least the house is way out of town. It’s on 6 acres surrounded by farms of much larger acreage. Maybe nobody will notice. 🙂

  3. suzjones says:

    You won’t miss the barking dog though April 😛
    I’m so pleased you are going there. You seemed to really like the place from what I read between the lines in your posts. And the house will be filled with memories. I’m sure that will make it all the more priceless to you.

  4. I’m thrilled for you. How exciting. To be living in a place his father built and to have his creations surrounding and housing you. I find that absolutely fabulous. 🙂

    • April says:

      We will possibly have another option to buy a home in nowhere West Virginia, built by my great-grandfather, he owned quite a bit of the land around the home, but gradually it was sold off. At the end of the road is a family cemetery. A family member has lived in the house since he built the home in 1906. My aunt is living there now, but is in ill health and is also one of those who refuses to leave home. I’m hoping that my cousin who lives in the area will live there to keep it in the family, he already maintains the family cemetery. There is no way that we can afford to take care of another house–but maybe we’ll win the lottery. 🙂 However, that small town is filled with very hard-nosed hillbilly small towners. Even though my family has a history there, and my great-grandfather and grandfather were carpenters, and had a hand in building quite a few of the public buildings, we weren’t one of the “affluent” families, so I’m not sure we would be welcomed with open arms. I belong to a facebook group of the locals, and I’m not too sure I would want to live there. It is absolutely gorgeous, but I’m positive our kids wouldn’t want the house after we’re gone. sigh, I suppose we can’t have everything.

      • I know what you mean April. I grew up in the ‘city’ and went to live in a small area that my family had been in for two CENTURIES. Roots run deep. Sadly I didn’t belong there (though it is full of wonderful people). We moved to another city. And I don’t belong here. I love that you have these options. We will have to come up with some kind of idea. I look forward to your future. It sounds like your father in law’s home is ideal.

        • April says:

          I’m looking forward–that is the best thing. Making goals, and moving toward them are the best medicine.

          • We are starting to discuss possible changes for us. They are likely long down the road. But the idea we can move to a better for us place….it’s a good thing.

            • April says:

              This is becoming kind of a preparation for retirement. My husband or both of us will have to work to keep insurance (or be able to pay for it). He wants to slow down. He has been a Director of Supply Chain for a major US corporation. He has worked hard all these years, and he wants a slower pace–no travel, no corporate politics–just a job with time off to enjoy life. It sounds good to me. I hope you find solutions for your happiness as well.

              • I have become fascinated with the “tiny houses” movement. And I can’t stop myself from checking out site after site of these fabulous homes in fabulous and beautiful places around the country….it makes me lean in that direction for solutions for the soul! 🙂

                • April says:

                  I have looked into those as well. Seems like a bit of outdoor living would be required as well. Also, we would definitely have to wait for some animals to – well, this sounds bad, abut a fact of life — after they die. I don’t think I could share one of those with my husband, 3 cats, and one Mastiff

                • I would like to be more “outside”, even when I’m writing. We truly do spend too much time inside. I don’t have animals because I think we leave too much it wouldn’t be fair for them.

  5. Gallivanta says:

    Sounds like a great move. A huge task, perhaps, but a positive plan to have and work on. Best wishes.

  6. reocochran says:

    I used to live in a series of rental houses as a single mom for almost 9 years. I liked the house and life I had with my last husband. The neighborhood was so pretty and our home, inside and out, was just as I wished for. Fortunately, I have a new location in an apt. building, where I do know my neighbors, and some are very nice. As I walked out my back door of our locked apt. building, I smiled at the mail woman and the little old lady from up on the third floor, Delores. She had put a card that had been put in her mailbox, into mine! Another neighbor regularly gives me Pepsi which he accidentally gets out of his pop machine at work. I like the college kids that live here, too. I guess I am blessed, with my two out of three children having homes to raise my combined (2 stepgrands) six grandchildren in. We all talk about our ‘old life’ where I was a single mom and don’t really think back too hard or long on the 13 years with my past ex. We built a house, but it ended up he gave up, sat in a chair, while I really scrambled Hard, as a teacher, waitress at Cracker Barrel, and taking my Master’s classes, trying to beat the 2008 Ohio deadline to keep my job. Lost all of my “things” but enjoy my factory job, my friends who ‘stuck’ by me and my family! I never even talk to my ex, who let his car get repossessed and we were lucky to sell the house, so I only had bills to pay and no credit problems… Smiles, Robin

    • April says:

      Whew! You’ve had your share of challenges. I am always to grateful that I’ve had my husband to help me raise our children. As far as the neighbors…I could be a bit more outgoing. 🙂

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