This Neighborhood

Updated 3-22-16

It’s changed – this neighborhood of mine

Gone are the tall Doug Firs which used to blot out the sky

Gone to the windstorms of November

and the chain saws of urban foresters.

In their places are the dogwoods, the flowering plum, the Japanese Maple – – the people friendly trees, with their splashes of spring colors.

Gone as well are the two bedroom houses, with their one car garages – – replaced by the needs of growing families.

Now asphalt driveways go nowhere, garages have been turned into rooms, and cars park on the street.

Gone also are the blond-haired couple who lived next door – with their two blond-haired children.

Gone to new neighborhoods, and new houses with two bathrooms, on cul de sacs with their concrete light posts and communal open spaces.

Gone also are the couple on the other side who often proved that good fences do make good neighbors.

The family that lived directly across the way has moved on.   I saw their children grow up from tots, who rode their Big Wheels on the street, to teenagers who roared up and down the road.

The man across the back fence is still there, but he has cut down the decades-old apple trees which used to hang over my fence.

Now, the only thing that separates my yard from his house, is a view of his camper, covered most of the year by a blue tarp.

Just like people – neighborhoods change with time.   My neighborhood has changed.  I have new neighbors.  They’re often of two types – – young and old.

The young ones bring enthusiasm, energy and young children – who once again fill the streets with laughter and large smiles – and who often plan to move on, once they too can buy a larger house.

The older ones bring a sense of finality – as though they’ve settle in and aren’t leaving.   They dig up old lawns composed primarily of old grass and dandelions – – and replace them with new grasses – – dark green and spelling sweet.    

They plant roses and rhodies and roots, and introduce themselves and offer to help when they see you outside working a project that appears too much for one.

It’s changed – this neighborhood of mine.   

And, when I think of what’s missing, I think of what’s been added, and I think – – this is a pretty good neighborhood – – even if there is too much sky.

The views and opinions in this blog do not necessarily represent those of the SouthSoundCommunityGuide. We do however value your opinion.

About Ken Balsley

For more than 20 years I was a Democratic Precinct Committeeman. One day I looked up from trying to make a living and saw that my party had deserted me. I was standing in the middle and my party was heading towards the left. I took a look at the Republican party and found that it was too far to the right. What could I do? I was stuck in the middle.
Since that time my political bent has stabilized. It contains some elements of the old Democratic party. It contains some elements of populism and it contains some elements of libertarianism. When it comes to national defense it can also contain some elements of nationalism.
My political philosophy can be sumed up with the comment “I’m against the Big Five.” The Big Five are Big Business, Big Labor, Big Media, Big Religion and Big Government. As long as these five bigs are in relative strength against each other, then everything is generally alright with the country. But when one of them gains too much power and begins to overwhelm the others, then we have problems.
My goal is to point out when one or the other of the big five has increased its power and explain how that affects those of us just trying to eke out a living.
I have a secondary goal. I also like to educate and inform, particularly as it relates to the history of our community.

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