Although tomorrow is Father’s Day, we don’t expect many calls from our six children. My three children may remember David, his three probably won’t. David is not very close to his children, the sad result of a bitter divorce. My daughter and her daughters have known David as a father and loved him, but these days they are busy with their own lives so we don’t see them as often as we once did.
I suppose I was spoiled for a long time because my daughter lived 10 minutes away and I saw her at least once a week. Now she is two hours away. That might not seem like a far distance, but a day trip down to the farm and back is difficult given some of our age-related infirmities.
As we age in place in our urban neighborhood, various long-time neighbors are moving away to be near grandchildren or children. The most recent potential move is David’s friend Mel. At 86, Mel is a mere three years older, and like a brother to David who has no living siblings. Mel’s children are coaxing him to leave the home where he and his wife have lived for 50 years. Mel doesn’t want to leave, but his wife has Alzheimer’s and he cannot care for her any longer.
The older children of some of the seniors we have known remain in the houses they occupied with their elder parents before they died. Our neighbor Mary two houses away is an example. Mary was born in the house where she lives and she works at our local grocery store. Mary and her husband lived with Mary’s mother before she died. When David shops for groceries, Mary walks around with him and helps him locate various “hard to find items” like carrot juice and flax oil.
Our neighborhood was lower-middle class and a more humble location, a mere 30 years ago when David and I returned from living in Fairfax County. Since then, many of the older couples have been dissolved by death and the newly single partners sold up and left owing to the property taxes. The number of never married government girls recruited during WWII is growing fewer every year. The newer families replacing these seniors are more up market so the neighborhood is gentrifying slowly. Where small bungalows once sat, huge houses reminiscent of Victoriana now reign.
Our neighborhood is a protected under a historic covenant so any ‘new’ houses must look “old.” Below is a photo I took a week or so ago. I don’t know if this is a restored house or a new one. because it sits on a back street I don’t often travel. It could be either as our neighborhood boasts a number of houses over 100 years old. One thing is certain. The older person who lived there is gone.