As I watched Emily and Anna say good night to the girls who live across the streetneighbors who are more like cousinsI thought about next year. Sara will be settled into her new apartment and will begin her new job in Indianapolis. Emily and Jules will graduate in the spring, and who knows where life will take them. It is bittersweet. Twenty three years in this house; I haven’t lived anywhere that long and probably never will.

One of the greatest gifts we gave our girls is our neighborhood. We moved into our home in May of 1992 along with many other couples our very same age. In 1994 Emily arrived; Anna soon followed in 1996. We weren’t the only family having children, just about everyone at our end of the court had children during the 1990s. We all grew up together. It was a bit Norman Rockwell-ishEaster egg hunts, pre trick or treat parties, visits from Santa Claus, progressive dinners andsleepovers, not to mention lots of cops and robbers and kickball games in the court.

It was difficult to see the sign go up last week. One of the original families is moving. They are headed back to Pennsylvania. The kids are in college now; no need for a big house. It’s time to downsize and start “life after raising kids.” Jerry and I have been talking about this same transition. Years ago, he wanted to move, but I held my groundtheneighborhood was too much a part of our lives. Now, the house is bigger than we need for just the two of us. It makes sense at this point to downsize, and yet there are so many memories in Floris Downs and so many good friends.

We’ve had many good years in our house. Maybe we’ll stay, maybe we’ll go. On Sunday, Rev. Ashley Allen used an illustration that reminded me that at times like this, when the future is uncertain and it’s scary to take that next step, we just need to look up. God is presentin the past and in the futureand God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. So, I just need to look up and take the next faithful step.

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