Sense of Community

Side view of Front Pergola with Orchids, Hydrangeas, Geraniums, etc. photo credit (c) Likeitiz

Side view of Front Pergola with Orchids, Hydrangeas, Geraniums, etc. photo credit (c) Likeitiz

Not long ago, when we realized that we were true empty nesters, we took a hard look at our surroundings.  Certainly, the house was a little too big for three (hubby, me and the dog) for most of the time. (We’ve since had a regular parade of guests coming and going! ).

The expanse of the yard was becoming quite the dreaded chore.  We love it when we see the blossoms and lush foliage (photos here) but the clean-up, controlling the “residents” above and below ground, the planting and replanting —-it was all getting a little too much for the size of the yard.

Walking Path on the Reservoir, 10 minutes from home, photo credit (c) Likeitiz

Walking Path on the Reservoir, 10 minutes from home, photo credit (c) Likeitiz

We decided to scour through other neighborhoods to relocate. We went as far north as Marin. Mill Valley. Belvedere perhaps? Or further south like Menlo Park. Palo Alto. Saratoga. Or right into San Francisco. Maybe we could get to know the city not as visitors but more as residents.

We took our time, browsing online, attending open houses, driving around neighborhoods, even attending some local events. We talked to some acquaintances who lived in these parts.  It made for some great conversations.

After about two years of searching, comparing, analyzing, we came to the following realizations:

  • We like where we live. (I had posted photos of my neighborhood before here.)
  • It’s not just the house itself. It’s the familiarity of the streets we walk (and hike up and down). We get a kick out of watching the people in these homes evolve from a distance, from young families to seeing the kids grow up to young adults. We even enjoy witnessing the physical transformation of some houses, without having to endure the headache that always comes with renovations.

    The scene at The Counter in San Mateo, photo credit (c) Likeitiz

    The scene at The Counter in San Mateo, photo credit (c) Likeitiz

  • My dry cleaner knows me by my first name. Over the years, we have shared bits of our lives while we mark stains and count pieces: How her son went to Malaysia to work for two years and her daughter got married and moved to Las Vegas., only to get divorced two years later.
  • The butchers at the local grocer know what cuts of meat I like to buy. We exchange recipes and techniques for moist tender bites. They warn me in advance of upcoming special offers.
  • We buy locally farmed produce from our favorite vendors. In Tagalog, we use the term, “suki,” to describe this relationship.
  • We like the hair salon we frequent. We imagined the angst over the not just right haircut from unfamiliar shears.

    Favorite Ramen to order at Ajisen Ramen in San Mateo, photo credit (c) Likeitiz

    Favorite Ramen to order at Ajisen Ramen in San Mateo, photo credit (c) Likeitiz

  • We have our creature-comfort nearby eateries for whatever “fix” we need: Mediterranean Kebab, La Boulange or Stacks for breakfast, Ajisen Ramen, Santa Ramen or Himawari for our ramen fix, Barracuda or Tomokazu for sushi, Stella Alpina for Northern Italian, Narin for Thai, Le Petite Camille for Vietnamese, Mingalaba for Burmese, Jeffreys or The Counter for burgers, Osteria Coppa and Il Fornaio for Italian. Blue Line Pizza, Hong Kong Flower Lounge for dim sum.  And so on and so forth.
  • Our favorite hikes are anywhere within 10-30 minutes drive. Fort Funston, Sealpoint Park, Oyster Point, Coyote Point, Windy Hill, to name a few. They have to be dog-friendly, of course!

And of course, the dear friends and relatives nearby. The neighbors who our daughter grew up with, whose kids we fed many a scrabble night or driven home after volleyball practice.  All these comprise the community that is familiar, embracing, and comforting.

We know that people will come and go. We know that nothing is permanent. But through all the movement, some things remain constant, for a little longer, to maintain that sense of community. Warm. Reassuring. Familiar. Just like the back of one’s hand. Just like the row of tall Eucalyptus trees that line Ralston Avenue, before it forks to Chateau Drive and takes me home.

Beau taking a break at Sealpoint Park, (c) Likeitiz

Beau taking a break at Sealpoint Park, (c) Likeitiz

This post was inspired by the Michelle W.’s Daily Prompt: Community Service. “Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighborhood, your family, your colleagues…”  See what others have done with their posts too!

This entry was posted in Daily Prompt, DPChallenge, Home, Neighborhood and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Sense of Community

  1. Madhu says:

    Suki is important! Pave the garden 🙂

    Like

  2. Having someone to share life with…conversations, a walk in the park, over a delicious meal and so many more is what adds spice and substance to our days. Inspiring post my friend.

    Like

  3. patriciamoed says:

    It must feel great now that you’ve made a decision and that you’ve committed to making your home a permanent landmark in your lives!

    Like

  4. frizztext says:

    I like THE COUNTER in San Mateo! Nice location!

    Like

  5. nothing better than home i guess……
    home is not only where our haousess but also the peole and scenery surrounding it…..
    nice perspective of you!

    Like

  6. seeker says:

    Well, if you have “suki”, better stay. smiling…

    Like

  7. Pingback: Stop. Look. Listen…In Song Titles | Cheri Speak

  8. auntyuta says:

    The beauty of Beau takes my breath away! 🙂
    I very much enjoyed reading this post for I can relate to quite a lot about what you have written. We also thought about moving many times and were contemplating where we could move to to make life easier for us. We always came to the result for the time being it’s best to stay in the place we’ve been in for nearly twenty years now. Well, next year, when I turn 80, it’s going to be twenty years! There are too many good things about it and we do not want to move! 🙂

    Like

  9. Lucid Gypsy says:

    It sounds perfect, if it’s not broken don’t fix it! If the garden is hard work streamline it 🙂

    Like

  10. munchow says:

    I think you are absolutely right. Nothing is as important as the community surrounding you. The house can be old and run down – or too big – if only you feel welcomed and like a family in the immediate community.

    Like

  11. The Hook says:

    Nothing compares to home, right?

    Like

  12. A place to call home 🙂 You could say that your home and surroundings is your home. Part of you. Your dog is very beautiful. It’s all so welcoming. Thanks for sharing

    Like

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