Consider Yourself at Home

When we lived in Lynbrook, we barely knew our neighbors. Some we would nod to, maybe one we would talk to but after that, we commuted to the city and they stayed behind closed doors. It was a house but never felt like home for those eight years.

After fifteen years in Fairfield, it’s home. We know our neighbors, we see people we know at the supermarket, the movie theater and around town. I can name our neighbors and like that most have been here as long as we have. In fact, our home, built in 1945, was inhabited by the daughter and spouse of our next door neighbors, the first occupants of their home when it was built. Sue and Glenn have been wonderful neighbors, telling us stories about the street and the town; befriending the children and making their backyard pool available to us.

Sue turned 80 last week and today her daughter Bonnie, who lives a few blocks away, organized and threw her a surprise luncheon. Nearly 40 of us crowded into a portion of the restaurant and the look of shock on her face was priceless.

Everyone settled at tables and we wound up with people who live in houses behind us, one couple we knew through Sue and Glenn and the other we really just met. It was terrific hearing about the area from these long-time residents and we were certain made to feel like a part of the area, despite our relative newcomer status.

I even met Sheldon, the man whose junk mail I still receive. Sheldon and Dennie, who lived in this house for years before selling it to a couple that were moving through and only lasted about three years before we arrived. I’d seen Sheldon around, most certainly on the train, so it was great to put a name to the face .Dennie has a brother Dave, who met Sue & Glenn’s daughter Bonnie and they eventually married so it really is all in the family.

Bonnie introduced me to a couple who live next door to her and did so by saying, they live in the district but don’t vote. Which broke the ice and we had a lovely chat about tour kids, the schools, and the neighborhood. They couldn’t have been happier to meet someone new.

The three hour party was terrific as people table hopped with a nicely varied buffet and Sue delighted in the company. She and Glenn like to eat out so most of their gifts were certificates to many local eateries, meaning we all supported the local economy, which was a plus. The surprise worked, much as it did for Glenn’s 80th a few winters back. We should all be so lucky to have loving friends and family and to be healthy enough at 80 to enjoy the surprise, the food and the chit chat.

2 comments

  • Susan O

    This is how we felt with the difference between our recently-owned house (to finally be sold on 12/31), and the one we left and returned to. Although the neighbors walked by twice a day and were friendly and welcoming, it wasn’t a homey neighborhood. Outside of school hours, you never saw a soul. Our house of before and now may be on a road where there are no sidewalks and the cars fly by 30 miles an hour over the speedlimit, but everyone knows each other, watches the communal kids, knows who’s wandering pet is who’s. You can walk the block and spend a half hour talking to someone in their yard. When something good or bad happens, everyone gathers on the street and it becomes a party. That’s what makes community, and that makes all the difference.

  • Paz

    Sue is 80 years young!!??!!
    I can believe it! I have very nice memories of her. As an au pair for the Greenbergers she took me out for lunch when I first started nannying for Robbie and Kate. Lovely lady with a wicked sense of humor!