By Jeanne Reynolds
Our neighbors — catty-corner behind us to the left — are closing on the sale of their home this week.
But they are way more than just neighbors, and this is way more than just a real estate transaction. For almost the past quarter century, my husband and I “grew up” as a married couple with their generous, kind and loving example of what it means to be a family, a neighbor and a friend.
And we’re happy for them as they move full-time to their retirement dream home on the lake, near the mountains. (OK, let’s be honest, it’s not the geography but the grandkids singing the siren song.) But happy in a bittersweet kind of way.
I mean, we get it: We’ve also built our someday-retirement home, albeit in the opposite direction in the lowcountry as opposed to the upstate. But we’re still straddling both worlds — and we’re not ready for them to leave ours.
In fact, lately it feels like a stream of friends are moving on in their lives. Another set of neighbors on the same street moved earlier this year, and our financial planners who’ve also become wonderful friends are selling their Columbia house in favor of their mountain home. I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise, though. We’re all about the same age. And we’re all gradually moving to a new season in life.
My new season became more of a reality when I semi-retired the middle of this year. It’s given me the flexibility to try some new writing ventures and to spend more time smelling salt air and pluff mud. I’m still figuring it out, but that’s part of the fun.
Another change involves this blog: This will be my last post, at least for now. It’s a little bit scary to give up something I’ve enjoyed so much for the past two years. Where else will I find the creative license to write about whatever pops in my head or feels closest to my heart at that moment?
But two things: One, like our neighbors moving to the lake, it’s the right time. And two, (which I also fervently hope is like our departing friends) it’s not an ending. It’s a change of seasons.
Thank you so much to those who’ve taken time to read my ramblings. I hope our paths will cross again someday. Meanwhile, I’ll tell you the same thing I plan to tell those neighbors:
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you gently in the palm of his hands.