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Andrea Langworthy's column: A sentimental good bye

My husband and I have zoomed along the road behind our old neighborhood so many times we barely notice it anymore. Last week, however, as we went past, something made me shout out, “Turn to the right. Let’s drive down our old street.”

Instead of asking why, my spouse made a sharp turn and slowed down. We looked to the right, the left, and back again as we made our way past the same homes we used to run by every morning in “the old days.”

We made our way down the hill towards the house we built right after we were married and reminisced about the people who had lived on our block. The little boy at the bottom of the hill who often stopped to chat with Daisy Belle, our dog, as she rested by the front door.

The next-door neighbors, the family with whom we were the closest, who spent many a Mother’s Day with us. We started the day with the Race for the Cure and went out for brunch afterwards. My mother often joined us. This family was the rescue squad who helped corral Daisy when she escaped and ran circles around the house as if to say, “Catch me if you can.”

When we got to the home we shared for over 12 years, we stopped the car. It had been more space than the two of us needed but with three college-aged children from our previous marriages, we wanted to have enough room should one or all want to move in.

As we pulled forward, we commented on the height of the hedge on the eastern property line. We planted the shrubs to stop the kids on the block from using the spot under our family room windows as first base. The children grew faster than the barrier, though, so it was no problem for them to scale the shrubbery and tag a runner.

As if on cue, we both looked over our shoulders to take in the three season porch at the back of the house. “The cabin,” we called it every April as we washed the windows and blinds, polished cedar walls and vaulted ceiling, vacuumed and dusted. Spring, summer and early fall, we ate dinner there in front of the TV every night.

It’s where we were when breaking news interrupted a show. Princess Diana was dead. Years later, the same thing happened when young John Kennedy’s plane went down in a storm.

Leaving the neighborhood, my husband turned right into an adjoining development of older homes set back on large parcels of property in a heavily wooded area — homes along the route my hubby and Daisy walked every morning. They always returned home with stories about the deer and other critters they came upon.

The day we left, after the movers had takenoff for our new residence, my husband bent down to scoop up Daisy. The three of us took one last walk through the home we loved. The home with too many stairs and too many rooms to clean. We left the keys and neighborhood directory on the kitchen counter with the garage door openers and got in our cars.

Later that night, we brought over a bag of deer food for the new owners. Some bird seed, too. After wishing them a happy life in their new house, we drove away and never looked back. Until last week.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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