“Distant relatives are not as important as nearby neighbors.” -Anonymous
This is my beloved neighbor and friend, Colette. I have spent the past 4 years in her delightful company. She has been more than a neighbor to me. She has been my family. She has been my support system, my advisor whom I have grown to trust explicitly. I have laughed with her, I have cried with her. I love and admire this woman so much and feel honored to have had the opportunity to live so closely to her these past 4 years. She is moving this weekend. It is bittersweet indeed, for although I know this is an important move, a life changing move, my selfish heart is in mourning. And as I prepare to watch her drive out of that driveway for the last time, I have also reflected upon all the moments of goodness that have been spent between these two little houses, all the love that has been shared between these two hearts. As well as the memories we will have in the future, for even though I cannot have her as a neighbor anymore, she shall forever be my friend, my family. And I shall visit her in her new home, and it shall be my second home, as her home always is. It just isn’t going to be AS convenient. And how did this lovely friendship develop, you ask? Better put a pot of tea on, lovey. It’s a bit of a story. You see, it all began with a cat…….
This is Mr. Bean. Now when I first moved in to this house, Mr. Bean did NOT look like this. He was a scroungy, mangy looking beast. Skinny, scabby, and had the horrific yowl. Like someone was murdering a cow. Apparently he had lived at Colette’s house for years before she ever arrived. The previous owners had fed him, but when they left, they left him there with the hopes that she would continue to feed him. She didn’t want anymore animals, and neither did we. So we tried to ignore him. TRIED. But to no avail. He is not a cat that will be ignored, you see. So Colette and I began to get acquanted over the fence, finding out that we both had caved and were starting to feed this strange animal. The more we fed him and loved him and gave him flea medicine, the healthier he became. Long story short, he turned in the fat, sassy, hilarious, amazing creature you see above. He is an incredible and unique cat. A cat that brought two neighbors together. Before you know it, she and I were sharing coffee on Sunday mornings.
She introduced me to chickens.
Her little Marie…..
and the delightful Miss Eva Gardener. May their souls rest in peace.
We formed a bookclub together……..
Britt, myself, Donna, and Colette. You have one person from each generation here on the dot. Britt (in this picture) is 20, I was 30, Colette 50, and Donna 60. It makes for a very eclectic conversation to say the least. But we are each others’ support group. Not to mention therapy group. Comic relief group. We-love-wine-and-fabulous-food group.
She threw me a “Happy 30th Birthday party at her house.
It was perfect. I had all my beloved friends there. She and I made a fabulous 5 course French meal together, learning how well we pair together in the kitchen. There was wine, there was laughter. It was exactly how I had imagined my 30th birthday would be.
We have spend many a lazy afternoon in her garden……. drinking coffee, discussing life and loves and struggles and fears and triumphs.
I shall miss the spontenaity of those afternoons. Her garden has been the inspiration of much of my photography, her beautiful flowers and plants too lovely to pass up.
She introduced me to Khalil Gibran…….
and organic gardening………
The moments of goodness I have shared with this woman cannot be complete summarized in one posting. It goes on forever. So I will conclude with these words: I love you, Colette. Thank you for all you have done for me and shown me and inspired me to become. I look forward to seeing where your new adventure will take you and the new friends you will meet along the way.
P.S. We had best talk at LEAST once a week, though, or I fear the withdrawals will overtake me. 😉