The neighborhood

My neighborhood has certainly changed in the 10 years I've lived here. When I bought the house, the neighborhood was mostly older people who had bought retirement homes here in the 80's. There were very few people under 60 and those were in the few rental properties scattered around. But, as happens in older neighborhoods, the original owners have aged out and moved to retirement communities or passed on and property values have increased to the point where landlords had to sell to owners. Younger folks have moved in. In those 10 years, property values have almost doubled, but the neighborhood is still a great buy compared to the surrounding areas. The homes around us are newer. This neighborhood was out in the "country" at the edge of the city limits when it was new and now it's considered close in. We're about 5 minutes from one of the small "city centers" that Austin is made up of and about 15 minutes from downtown, thanks to new and bigger roadways.

But, the most intruguing part of watching the neighborhood change for me has been the people that have moved in. It seems that the neighbors, while very diverse, are made up of folks that want to spend money on their hobbies rather than their houses. For example, there are a lot of very expensive cars here (jaguars, lexus', mercedes) and there's lots of remodeling (as evidenced by the large amount of building supplies put out for "big and bulky" trash days) and a lot of gardening. I like that. I'd much rather live in a neighborhood where folks don't spend so much on a house that they can't enjoy their lives. We fit right in.

We're able to pursue hobbies, including my quilting and Rob's lawn, and we were able to afford to bring Sydney to live with us. Sure, we've been hit by the economy just like everyone else, but because we've always lived within our means, the economy isn't making us crazy like it is lots of people. Sure, I had to cut back on buying fabric I don't need and I don't get new clothes as often as I'd like, but my shoes don't have holes and my kid is well dressed and well fed. There's not as much going into savings as I'd like, but we're not exactly broke and we should be able to afford to retire at a reasonable age (barring many more shenanigans on the stock market).

I guess what I'm saying is that life is good for us. And I like our culturally diverse neighborhood, and while there's one set of neighbors I'd like to see move on, for the most part, it's very quiet and comfortable here. Sometimes I just need to focus on that and let the worries of the world pass me by. So, today, working from home, I'm focused on peace and prosperity and the feeling that I'm blessed and comfortable.
I hope you also feel blessed today. And, if you don't, I hope this post will help you see what's around for you.


Quiltluver said...

Great post, Lane. I feel the same way. I feel grateful every day that I have a job, a home, a good marriage, and a life that is pretty good. Karen

DeAnna S. said...

Thanks for posting. I think we all take advantage of what's around us and the importance it plays in our lives.

Kim said...

Yep, great reminder. counting your blessings everyday is a very healthy habit to get into.....sometimes I forget and I've got a great life! thanks for putting it front and center again.