End of an Era
The recent history of the land that I currently live on is that there used to be a big old wood construction southern plantation home that caught fire in the early '80s. There wasn't enough insurance money to rebuild the home to its original splendor, so the former owners sold the 0.75 acres to a developer who divided up the property into 5 lots with a home on each lot. At the time when the developer came in, the neighbors in their 1944 stone home (sort of arts and crafts style home) were sick to have 5 bad 1980s construction homes go up next door. They eventually got used to the homes instead of the lovely plantation home, and became friends with the neighbors. There was one unusual thing in between the 1944 stone home and the former plantation home property, and it was the brick grill that was said to have been shared by the 2 properties.
As we were considering moving into one of the bad 1980's constructed homes, the outgoing residents said that they had Sunday dinner potlucks around that grill with all the neighbors, and it was kind of a stress relief fun thing to do before the new work week started. The outgoing residents were saying how much they were going to miss the neighbors, and how awesome each neighbor was. As we were being told that, some neighbor's kids went rolling by on their bikes yelling, "Hi Jack!! Hi Jack!! Can you play later?!!" and waving furiously. Skeptical, thinking were getting a "hard sell" on location location location and neighbors neighbor neighbors, we moved in anyway. Wouldn't you know it, Jack wasn't fibbing. When we 1st moved in here, the neighbors were all really nice, and we did have potlucks most every Sunday for a few years, and the kids went by on their bikes waving hello, the neighbors always stopped to chat when walking their dogs, and on some weekends, the kids would have a lemonade stand to raise money for the pets at the Human Assn. It was like we moved to Mayberry, and it was perpetually a cool summer day when everything is right with the world.
Then, things started to unravel. Some neighbors had to move out of state for a job, some neighbors moved to make room for an in-home business, some neighbors fell into financial problems and had to downsize and move, some neighbors got divorced, and some neighbors got very sick and died. As the neighbors came and went, the grill stopped hearing the laughter, conversation, and life on Sundays. The grill went silent, and the new neighbors never got to see the grill in its full splendor. Last year, the 1944 old stone home was purchased and fully gutted for the soon to be wedded new neighbors. Everyone is different now.
The new 1944 stone home owners did not get to pet the neighborhood dogs, did not hear the laughter, did not wave to the kids on bikes, and did not participate in conversations to solve the worlds problems that the grill has witnessed. They just saw a broken brick grill standing in the way of putting a fence up. So, last week, the brick grill was brought to the ground and is now a pile of rubble awaiting removal to the land fill.
This is all that is left where the neighborhood grill once stood. All that is left are my memories of my old neighbors, delicious potluck food on the grill, the kids running around with the dogs, and great chatter about what we were going to make for the next week's pot luck.