Friday, July 4, 2008


I have told many of you about how, when we were looking at home, our realtor asked me "So ... have you seen your dream home yet?" Now, this was after we had spent a few days looking at some absolute dumps (but, they were in our price range!) Of course, the houses were not all bad, but most needed work, which is why I replied "Ummm, I'm just looking for something that we can afford that has 3 bedrooms and isn't horrible or smelling like a litter box..."

Nah, my house is not my "dream home" in terms of its beauty, space, layout, yard, etc. In fact, I would likely never choose a house like this one again. However, this is just a house. But inside its walls reside some of the people whom I love most dearly and with whom I cherish spending my time. In the three short years we have lived here, we have made some incredible memories. We brought Carter home from the hospital to this home. We have had countless barbecues on our deck with family and friends. We have had play dates with our smaller friends. We have celebrated birthdays and holidays. We have had special out-of-town visitors like Grandma & Grandpa Smith, Uncle Josh & Aunt Molly, and the Voges family. The list could go on and on. These special memories, as well as our love for each other, is what makes 137 East Phoenix Drive a home.

However, what makes our home additionally special is what lies in the area surrounding us - the homes of our wonderful neighbors. I hope this doesn't sound like bragging, but we live in an incredibly awesome community, one that you don't find every day. The people here are kind and genuine and really fun. They are the kind of people who go above and beyond. I would go so far to say that they are like family for us Smiths.

Over the past week or so, the reality of how precious true community is became especially clear. As I mentioned in a previous post, our friend and neighbor Hilary Gorski died unexpectedly last Saturday, June 28. Yesterday Chad and I, along with most of our neighbors, attended her funeral. It was a very emotional day for all of us as we formally said "good-bye." After the funeral and reception, a group of us gathered outside the reception hall and had a time of remembrance for her. Some people had written out their thoughts, others just recounted special memories of Hilary. But a theme kept recurring, and that is how this neighborhood is a special place and we are all blessed to be a part of each others' lives.

Hilary was an important part of our community here. When we first moved here, she was the first person to invite us to a party. Anytime she heard a neighbor was going away, she would instantly offer to pick up mail, or watch your pet, or help out in some way. She always had a smile, a wave, a friendly greeting for everyone and she was so down-to-earth. A few months ago when Chad was away for a week in California, she invited Audrey to come over and eat dinner with Brianna. And when Hilary returned Audrey a few hours later, Audrey was fed, bathed, in pajamas, and ready for bed. A real treat for me during a long week of "single parenting." That's the kind of friend she was - someone who went above and beyond.

Hilary will be deeply missed by all of us here. But we are so grateful for her friendship and for the friendship of all those who live in our neighborhood here.

1 comment:

Chris Ann Schultz said...

Glad to hear that everyone is being so supportive. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
We bake cookies for our neighbors and go Christmas Caroling with our 4th Grade Sunday School Class every year. 2 years now in our new neighborhood. That's how we get to know our neighbors. The ones on either side of us are close.