My address has not changed in nearly 9 years, which is an amazing length of time for me to live in one place. I've lived in the same town for several years, but not ever this long in one house.
Want to know why I stay? Because I love watching the kids grow up. Tonight I attended an Eagle Court of Honor for a young man who lives one street over. I've watched him grow from a young boy to a young man as I worked with him in Primary (our church's organization for children). Once, while I was a cub scout leader, I called this young man to see if he would organize a Color Guard for the flag ceremony at our Blue & Gold Banquet. It only took one call and it was done. That was impressive. It was so much fun to see him receive his Eagle tonight!
A young lady who lives across the cul-de-sac from me once told me "You are like the neighborhood aunt!". I like that. (Thank goodness she didn't say "neighborhood grandma" -- I am NOT ready for that yet.) This is the first time I've lived anywhere long enough to watch the kids grow up, and I LOVE it!
Want to know why else I stay? Because I have fantastic neighbors. They watch out for me and my house and bless my life continually with their many kindnesses. They have winterized the swamp cooler in the Fall, gotten it going in the Spring, tilled my garden, figured out I have bugs in my lawn, removed a live bird from my furnace, replaced a cabinet door hinge, replaced a disposal, shoveled snow, cut down and hauled away two massive trees (and a few small ones) and more. When I am sick, they take excellent care of me. When I am here for a holiday, I have more invitations to join family celebrations that I can possibly accept. When I am hungry, I can drop in at dinner time at any one of several households and a place will be set for me at the table. When I am tired of my own company, I can wander to any of several homes and find companionship.
I used to worry about the fact that I seem to need so much help, but then a friend pointed out that we each help out in the ways we can by sharing our talents. This has taught me to watch for ways I can help others so that I can try to pull my share of the load.
Hopefully it all balances out in the end!
Update on Monday -- I thought of another one. One of my kind neighbors convinced a fledgling robin to vacate my garage last June. The bird had taken refuge while I had the garage door open as I finished my outdoor chores before leaving for a 10-day choir tour. I noticed him in there, and thought "Oh...you do NOT want to be in here my friend -- my garage won't be opened again for a long time". So, I called across the street and got some help from a pro. He poked and prodded and slowly shooed the bird out of the garage. Success! I closed the garage door and the back door and did not open them again until I returned from my trip.