I'm not a nosy neighbor. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. Except on Halloween. That's the one day a year I knock on neighbors' doors with no hesitation and for that one night I'm as neighborly as they come. But, once the candy is gone, I'm a "pull my car into the garage and close the door before I get out of the car" kind of neighbor. That being said, I'm writing because I'm concerned about one of my neighbors. I'm ready to be nosy.
This isn't a neighbor I've ever met. I don't know their names. But I pass their house every time I come and go from our little development. I used to pass with admiration. Their house is always so well landscaped. A guy would come and replace the mulch at least once a month! They have really nice cars that are always clean and parked in the driveway. It's the same model as mine, so I would sometimes peek in the windows to see how nicely it's decorated. When I did happen to catch a glimpse of those living there, I noticed they were a good-looking couple. Older, but in great shape, always in some sort of gym clothes. They have a big, fluffy, white dog that was so well-trained it never went passed the property line when it was outside. On holidays they'd usually be the first to decorate. But this year, with just over 2 weeks until Christmas, there are no decorations. Which is why I'm ready to be nosy.
Not only are there no decorations. There's no more nice cars in the driveway. There's no coming and going in gym clothes. There's no well-trained dog coming out to greet people as they walk by. There's no guy freshening up the mulch. Strangely, though, random lamps have stayed on. The furniture still sits in the same spots. I know what you're thinking, "Christina, they probably just moved!". But, the nosy neighbor in me isn't so sure. There's no "For Sale" sign. There's no lock box on the door. There's just nothing. And that nothing makes me a little sad every time I pass that house on my way in and out of my little development.
It makes me sad because maybe something happened to those neighbors I never knew. (Except on Halloween). Their absence has made me realize how grateful I am for the seemingly insignificant comings and goings that still happen at my home and those around me. Husbands and wives kissing as they go to and from work. Kids riding their bikes and my son racing me to the mailbox. Lawns being mowed, dogs being walked, swings being swung. I never paid much attention to the everyday actions that give a neighborhood life until this little house I pass everyday suddenly stopped being a home.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope they went on a really long vacation, or bought their dream house in another part of town. But, I may never know because I'm not a nosy neighbor.