When we buy or sell a home, we are getting or losing a neighborhood. Both are momentous decisions.
We saw our neighborhood months before finding our home. It called to us, even before we met the wonderful people who live in these 30 homes.
The decision to live in Hickory Station Estates in southern Chesapeake was a really good one for us and, even those who have moved away in these last 10 years still visit these neighbors.
There is something about Hometown Americana that makes a house a home. Everything in our busy lives moves quickly and getting together with a group of neighbors - sometimes just the ladies, other times everyone, gives us a sense of belonging.
The neighborhood is 12 years old and many of the original homeowners are still here. One empty nest couple with a very large home is ready to downsize but is waiting for a smaller home within the neighborhood. There are three sizable family homes on the market at the moment - most unusual for this neighborhood where even one for sale sign is unlikely. One had a sale pending in a few weeks. All will sell soon.
I've thought there should be open houses here where we neighbors attend. Could any potential buyer resist us?
Maybe small town America isn't lost.
Maybe it keeps getting better.
Maybe we know how very important it is.
What have we experienced here? When someone is ill, neighbors sign up to bring meals. When a baby is born, to even a new neighbor, a wonderful shower materializes. When out-of-town, mail is collected, packages received. Homes are watched over.
I remember my grandmother's home where everyone knew everyone else. America Street. And it was. And I remember Wagon Wheel Road where I lived in a small New England town. And Argyll Street where we sold our 7 acres after 28 years and downsized to our current home. All these neighborhoods led me to expect congeniality, respect, loyalty.
Maybe small town America isn't lost. Maybe it keeps getting better. Maybe we know how very important it is.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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