Weather Forecast


Andrea Langworthy's column: A sad day with the neighbors

I knew this was coming. There had been hints of it for a long time but it’s only been official for a couple of months. Still, I’m experiencing the symptoms of someone in a state of shock: clammy skin, rapid breathing, confusion, agitation. Not to mention, uncontrollable bouts of crying which could be symptoms of denial. Another state I’m in.

My next-door neighbor is moving. As I write this, the movers are loading her things in the truck and, shortly, she’ll be on her way to her new home.

When my husband and I decided it was time to downsize and go to one level, we looked at models all over the Twin Cities and suburbs. Nothing appealed to us until we looked at a twinhome community just minutes from where we were living.

It was to be a one-year experiment. We weren’t sure if an association-maintained neighborhood was right for us and I was concerned about sharing a wall with a neighbor. Someone had already moved into the unit alongside the one we liked so I asked the agent a few questions. Privacy laws forbade her sharing information, she told us.

In time, we met the people next door, a mom and her two young girls. It didn’t take long for us to realize we’d hit the good neighbor jackpot.

The woman next door and I became fast friends. We brought the Neighborhood Watch to our community and asked some of the people in our circle to help us plan National Night Out. A holiday potluck party soon followed.

My husband and I enjoyed watching the girls grow up. The oldest started high school in what seemed like a matter of minutes. The youngest bonded with our dog, Daisy, and came to my rescue when Daisy got her leash wrapped around a shrub, bolted out the door before I could stop her or just needed some loving.

She went to the movies and out for pizza with us when our granddaughter visited. And one afternoon, she and I shopped for groceries and made turkey burgers for her to serve her family for dinner.

My husband and I forgot about moving on. We were naive enough to think our neighbors of nearly 12 years would stay put, too. But the girls graduated from high school and left for college. One stayed in her college town and got a job there. The other, when she finishes school, will be off seeing the world as part of her ROTC commitment. Still, we always envisioned the rooms they would “come home” to would be just next door.

My neighbor just called. She wanted me to know the truck is full but it will be coming back for another load. “I don’t want you to be alarmed when you hear it,” she said.

Do you see what I mean? The good neighbor jackpot.