I did. I moved a lot. A move was always bittersweet -- filled with the promise of new beginnings as well as sorrow for friends and familiar places left behind. Today, my dear friend and next door neighbor, Carmen dropped a bomb on me: she's moving.
Carmen is one of the most generous, gracious and genuine (though perpetually cheerful) people you'll ever have the good fortune of knowing. She's the call-at-three-am-neighbor, the one in whose kitchen you cry, the great mom, the good wife, and the on-par with Martha Stewart hostess that I used to think only existed in 1950s TV shows.
This evening she called and asked me to come over and give her an opinion on the granite she's chosen for the counter tops. I set the stew meat to thaw in the microwave, grabbed what was left of the Tequila she "loaned" us and ran over through her garage. The granite is perfect, of course, but that was just a pleasant pretense. I asked, "Are you getting ready to put the house on the market?" and she simply said, "I am." And then I cried in her kitchen, as I have many times before.
"The Carmens" as Reese calls them, will be leaving in a few months when school is over. I didn't have an answer for Connor when he replied to the news -- "But what if we run out of vanilla?" I don't know. I don't know what we'll do. I suppose we'll just be without vanilla or tomato paste or half a dozen other staples mid-recipe because no matter who moves in next door, they won't be Carmen. I miss her already.