Every morning I'm at home, I drive my son to school (about 2 miles away). These days he actually does the driving to the school and I drive back home without him.
This morning as I re-entered our development, I passed the woman who just moved into the house on the corner closest to mine. A frail, elderly woman had been living there for years, and then a month or so ago she and her visiting nurse and meals-on-wheels no longer appeared. Next, new stakes at the property corners showed that the property had been surveyed and then I saw evidence that the garage had been cleaned out. Now toys are in the yard. This is the first I have seen the woman and preschooler headed out in the morning.
As I drove the last quarter mile home I looked at each house on my street and mentally surveyed the ones I was familiar with on the adjacent properties. A handful are owned by retired widows and two or three are retired couples. Every single other house save one is empty all day as the parents of the children in the homes are working every day. I guess that's the way it is these days, but how lonely it must be compared to the neighborhoods of a few decades ago.
I certainly wish I had more time to just be at home with family. Maybe my new neighbor feels that way too. I see she's one of "us"--out at work all day. I wonder if that one stay-at-home mom, now that her kids are both in school, notices how empty the neighborhood is during the days. I imagine the widows and elderly couples notice it more. The home is "the heart of the family" some say...I wonder if these lonely houses feel that way.
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