The best thing about spring, summer and fall in Minnesota is that we constantly get to see our wonderful neighbors. We are all out and about, working in our yards, walking down to the coffee shop, just hanging around. We’re able to keep up on the neighborhood news and socialize informally because we actually SEE each other during our breaks from the tedium of home maintenance.
The worst thing about winter in Minnesota is that we never see our wonderful neighbors. There’s the occasional glimpse when everyone is out plowing out after a big snow, but everyone is so bundled up and anxious to get inside out of the snow and cold, there is never any time for chatting or catching up. Unless you count the annual holiday progressive dinner. But one night in December is not enough, even though we have a ton of fun with this party.
In our neighborhood, not seeing each other is a bummer. Unlike so many neighborhoods in America today, we know our neighbors and really like them. They’re fun, interesting people. We enjoy each other’s company and care about each other.
Two neighbors in particular I will miss this winter – our little friends Delaney and Griffin. Delaney lives next door with her parents, Doug and Becca, and is two years old. And adorable. She is enamored with Fred (who isn’t!) and curious about everything. Griffin, her little brother, arrived last spring, and he is really cute, too. My favorite thing this fall has been watching this delightful little family as Doug and Delaney rake and play in the leaves while Becca sits on the front step, holding little Griffin, and watching them play. Delaney follows her daddy around as he gets the house and the yard ready for winter. It evokes a lot of memories for us.
Last year, when we saw Delaney for the first time after winter, she was so big! Walking, talking – a real person ready to interact with us. Next spring, when everyone and everything has thawed out, Griffin will be walking and talking, too. And I have a feeling they both will be running their parents ragged. And there will be two little people following their daddy around next summer.
Delaney and Griffin are in our garden as a frog with a tiny frog on its back. They sit in the garden right by the firepit where we have our evening cocktails. Several times during the summer, Delaney and Griffin have been there in the flesh with their parents, enjoying the evening.
We are blessed to have these children in our lives. I’ll miss them over the next four months!