The new house has been everything I hoped for and more. We’re fitting into it perfectly now that we put up a storage shed in the yard. Looking out through the back windows to see all the trees, with the shadows of their leaves dancing on the skylights back there, lifts my spirits so easily. The open layout makes the most of the space we’ve got, and it feels cozy, not cramped at all.
But the biggest difference I’m feeling is from our location and our neighbors. We’ve got tons of families with young kids on our block. The kids play together outside just about every day. It’s like my own neighborhood was when I was a kid, except with more parental supervision. But the parents cover for each other all the time, which gives more moments of freedom than I’ve had in years.
We also walk the kids to and from school. I love doing that so much. We get to stretch our legs in the fresh air instead of creeping the van along a line of cars at a dropoff point. It’s a privilege I’ll be exercising at every opportunity. Maybe I’ll change my tune once winter digs in, but I really hope not.
I really can’t overstate how this neighborhood changes the whole game for me. I already know more people here, within a half-mile radius, than I knew in Knoxville and Fayetteville put together. I’d even call some of them good friends already. And now that the loneliness of the past few years isn’t gnawing on me all the time, I’m kind of amazed to see how much of it I tolerated.