A very short list of a few of the things in my neighbourhood I’m going to miss…

…now that moving day is nearly here and we will be heading to a new community all the way across the city.

The grocery store just up the street. I know where absolutely everything is, aside from the egg replacer (turns out no one there knows where it is, either…might have something to do with the fact that there is some question as to what, exactly, it is). The friendly faces of the staff members will be missed, as well – including one gentleman my hubby and I both worked with years ago at a different job, and a courtesy clerk who treats my hubby like a rock star and makes us smile about it every time.

Our landlady, who has a magical green thumb and grows the most incredible nicotiana and tomato plants I’ve ever seen, and who has always been so kind and generous and thoughtful.

The perennial flower beds that I’ve tended for nearly twenty years…which, well, *sob.* I can’t even begin to tell you how much I will miss them. The balcony in our new place is small and I will be restricted to just a few plants in containers. It will be very difficult for me.

The community garden that I’ve been a member of for five years and served on the organizing committee for.  I met some fascinating people through the garden – everyone with diverse backgrounds, education, and opinions – and learned several lessons about plants and life (!) during my experience there.  I am delighted that there is a community garden near our new place, and I’m already growing some veggies there. I’m starting off small this year (both due to a serious lack of time and a cutworm problem that is unfortunately keeping the plants in check), but hopefully next year’s growing season will be more promising.

The plants in the community that mark the seasons in their own ways: the neighbour’s yellow forsythia in early spring, the soft-needled larch trees in the park next door, the ginormous lilac hedge along the drive.  The mayday tree out front with its sickly sweet-scented but gorgeous white flowers, the snowball viburnums in front of the building across from us.  The plums and crabapples down the street, and the splendid mountain ash with their persistent berries.  Even the green ash tree that has threatened to drop branches on our truck in stormy weather several times over the years.

Nose Hill.  If you’ve followed Flowery Prose for a while, you’ll know this is my favourite place to walk and I have posted many, many photographs of the flowers and the landscape there.  Of course, I will still be living in the same city and I will still be able to travel to Nose Hill to walk there but because of the distance, I know I will not be able to go there as often as I do now.  On the plus side, in the new community, there will be several new parks to explore.

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The northern flickers that nest in the trees outside the back door of our apartment building. They are a joy to watch.

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Photo credit: R. Normandeau

The jackrabbits and the squirrels.  Yes, they ate or dug up great chunks of my garden most years, but you can’t help but smile when you see these little furry bundles of energy.  Even while you’re clapping your hands and chasing after them, screaming, “Get out of there, you little ********!” and your neighbours are all going to their windows and lifting the curtains and wondering what the crazy lady is doing this time.

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The library branch I used to work at, a twenty minute walk from my home. I dearly miss the friends I made there – but I know I will keep in touch with many of them in years to come.

That dude who takes his acoustic guitar out on sunny days in the summer and sits on the bench in front of our building and treats us all to some great music.

Cross country skiing in the park next to our apartment.  Especially fun after a fresh snowfall, at night, when it’s quiet and you’re the first to make tracks and the snow is all powdery and perfect and sparkling in the street lamps.

The courtyard of the school where, in the summer, I used to go to read and enjoy the weather on my lunch breaks from work.  One late afternoon, I hid out under the roof for nearly an hour while the most insane thunderstorm I’ve ever seen raged around me.  There was so much lightning and thunder and rain that I had to wait it all out before safely walking home.  Lightning hit a generating station a few kilometres away and the resulting sonic boom was terrifying and awesome.  And…then there was that time I was reading and I heard a noise nearby.  I looked up to see that something…someone…had opened the window of the classroom next to me and stuck a hand out the window.  To say I was freaked out is an understatement, as the school was closed for the summer.  Sure, it could have been a janitor (that’s what I tell myself, anyway), but in truth, there were no cars in the parking lot and the hand sort of just “felt” the air and went back inside, leaving the window ajar. Not really the behaviour of a janitor, but how else to explain it?  And no, I wasn’t reading Stephen King at the time.

The neighbourhood Korean barbeque place that doesn’t have an English name, where my co-workers and I delighted in some really delicious, cheap meals for birthday and other celebratory lunches.  It has the plainest decor and you can seat perhaps a maximum of twenty people in the place, but the food is really stellar.  Sometimes those tiny hole-in-the-wall places are the best.

The community arena where my hubby and I occasionally watched junior lacrosse games.  It’s one of those places where the reek of sweat has completely saturated the entire building, from the floorboards to the ceiling, and you can probably get athlete’s foot from merely sitting on the spectator bleachers, but it’s so fun to watch Canada’s national summer sport grow with these kids.  Sometimes, if we were lucky, we caught a glimpse of one or two well-known professional (current and retired) lacrosse players coaching their students in the field outside the arena.

If you had to move today, what are a few of the things you’d miss about your current home and the community where you live?  

 

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24 thoughts on “A very short list of a few of the things in my neighbourhood I’m going to miss…

  1. Moving is never an easy adjustment Sher, especially after so many wonderful years of memories that you have made. But like you said, and I agree, you and hubby will both make lots of new happy memories in your new surroundings. 👍😊😊😉😎🚛🏠🏡. Good luck and please let us know if you need any help or just want to chat and need a shoulder to lean on.

  2. We just listed our house; I’ve been here 17 years, my partner for about 37. We are moving from a 4 bedroom home with a ‘study, ‘ and three outbuildings on an acre, on a tidal river to a 2 bedroom condo in a treed, mature neighbourhood in Charlottetown. I’ll miss the garden, the river’s moods, bald eagles, osprey, ducks, geese, and birds. I won’t miss the mosquitoes, or the commute to town for all services. My partner will miss swimming and the view.

    I hope you settle in easily. Nice post!!

    • Thanks so much, and likewise, I hope everything is falling into place for your own move! You are going through a huge change in space and landscape – but you’ve listed some very positive factors for the new place.

  3. My garden. The neighbors. The neighborhood hot dog stand and Thai restaurant. The big old trees. The public library. My garden. Fortunately we have no intention of moving.

  4. Moving house is never easy especially when we feel we’ll be losing more than we’ll gain. I had a move like that 13 years ago and it took me a while to settle down. Eventually I discovered all sorts of good things about my new home and the area we moved to. I hope you settle in quickly and enjoy your new place.
    Like you, I would miss my garden if I had to move. I would also miss the quiet and the local wildlife.

  5. Since being married, we’ve lived in 11 different places. When we moved here, it was with the idea that it will be the last move. We downsized living area, minimized all of our stuff, but I’m lucky that I have a lot of gardening beds and a sewing area. I wish you all the best with the move and hope you fill all the gaps. 🙂

  6. That’s not such a short list–you had set down firm roots where you were! I like that you recognize and can name what you’ll miss. When we moved last, I thought I wouldn’t miss a thing from the old place (Buffalo, NY). Now I look back with real nostalgia to my time living there!

  7. I feel your pain as I recently moved from a 4 bedroom 1 acre house to a 2 bedroom (plus office) condo with a yard managed by the Association here. I miss my gardens; flowers, herbs and veggies and the daily enjoyment of going out every day picking, pruning or even mowing my lawn. So proud of how my beds/yard looked after 12 years of love and hard work. I definitely miss it…

  8. Such a bittersweet post. And, yes, you will find new things to love. I would miss our backyard, which abuts a big woods. Our yard is filled with the song and flutter of birds. We are a short distance from water, and we can hear loons at night. Our patio, edged by flowers, is a second living room, where we not only relax but entertain friends as well. Fortunately, we are not planning on moving anytime soon.

  9. A lovely, bittersweet post as Laurie says. I still miss perennials in gardens that are long left behind, especially those grown from seed or carefully acquired.

    I spend part of the year in Mississippi, which makes for plenty of leavings. Skype helps, but there are lots of things I can’t get (or get so easily) in one place or another such as potato pie / chicken pot pie; sunshine / cool, fresh breezes. I find each move difficult beforehand, as there is so much to miss, but know that life is best when you find ways to enjoy where you are and try not to linger too much on the place you are not. Easier said than done though!

  10. Well, I hate where I’m living now and so my list will be of things I still miss after moving from my previous house 2.5 years ago. I do miss the garden itself, of course but other than that I miss the smell of the saltwater bay whenever the wind was from the south. I’m now 15 miles inland, so no marine breezes. Also one of the nearby homes always had a fantastic (though completely illegal) fireworks display every 4th of July that could be easily seen from my 2nd floor window. Many others things as well but to end on a prosaic note, I miss the weekly “garden waste” trash pickup! In my current locale they only pick up every 3 weeks or so, on no set schedule, so piles can sit in at the curb for weeks if one doesn’t time it well!

  11. I think my next move will be into assisted living as I plan to stay here until that becomes necessary. From my last neighborhood, I still miss being able to walk to the grocery, (which has since closed) and other places. I can get a shuttle when the time comes to get to the store later but for now I can still drive a little. I do miss the walk-ability of the old neighborhood.

  12. Sheryl, this sounds like a difficult move in many ways. Are you moving because of a change of jobs? I’m sorry for all the wonderful things you’re leaving behind. I moved around a lot in my youth and my early twenties. It’s been wonderful moving to this house and staying put for 21 years. Prior to that I never lived anywhere for longer then five years. I would desperately miss my garden, as well as the general familiarity of all the shops, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. that are now so familiar. Best of luck with the move. I hope you find many new things to make it just as special. xo

  13. Hi Sheryl, I would like to thank you for following me! I moved into my current home in 1992 when my girls were very small. Then in 2006 divorced and moved from that home for 4 years, I was miserable. I missed the feel of my house, the flowers I had worked so very hard on, the sound of kids playing in the neighbor, all the familiarity of home as well as so many, many other things. I had purchased another but, when the opportunity to move back into the house presented itself, I jumped on it so fast it made my head spin! I hope to never have to leave my home again. I understand your pain and sadness. I can only hope you can find peace in your new location and will be able to call it home, I wish you the best of luck!

    • We’re finally settling in a bit…we’re so relieved not to have to do the long commutes any more. We’re starting to learn where everything is in the neighbourhood…it will take time, but exploring is part of the fun! 🙂

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