A Tribute to Good Neighbors

When we moved into our 3 bedroom house in Cleveland Missouri 9 years ago we were greeted by our neighbors next door, Bill and Pat.  In fact Wes and I still to this day remember that first meeting.  We spoke with Pat for a bit out in the yard and then Bill as Pat went inside to check on dinner.  Just  after she went in we heard her yell out the back door, “Bill, the house is on fire!!”  Our meeting was cut short by a scene of black smoke pouring out their back door and Bill running over to spray the kitchen down with a garden hose.  They got the fire out and had to do some minor repair and replace some appliances, but all was okay for the most part.  Yep, we definitely  won’t forget that meeting. J  Little did we know at that time what a huge part in our family’s life these wonderful neighbors would play.    Where do I even begin?  They have been like  grandparents to my children for the last 9 years and my heart is full for all the love, attention, and selfless sacrifice they’ve rendered over the years.  I don’t think they realize how much we appreciate all that they are and do.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called Pat to come over and watch my kids at the very last minute….and I mean VERY LAST MINUTE.  Whether it was because I had to leave for a meeting or go to a photoshoot and my husband wasn’t home in time, or because one of the other kids got hurt and had to be rushed to the hospital, or something simple like needing to run and get the mail while a child was napping …Pat was always there in a heartbeat to help out. 

I can’t even count the number on times they’ve welcomed our kids into their yard for countless hours of talking, playing, and laughing.  For thousands of bubbles blown.  For hours of biking and 4-wheeler riding.  For all the playing catch and batting done.  For all the piles of leaves raked up high over and over so the kids could jump in them.  For all the gardening activities, corn shucking, and tomato picking.  For all the “campfires,” storytelling, guitar playing and S’mores made.   For the countless hours of “breaks” I got as my kids were lovingly attended to in their yard.  I know I managed to get more naps in and more laundry done and floors vacuumed because my kids had play time in Bill and Pat’s yard.  I will never take those moments of relief for granted as I know they are not something every mother gets when she is raising small children.

When my son and daughter were born it was Pat I called to come over EARLY in the morning to stay with the other kid(s) while I went to the hospital to give birth.   I am thankful for such great neighbors who always take care of our dogs and cats and watch over our home when we go out of town, for reminding me when our animal tags are due at City Hall, for teaching my kids how to ride bikes, and for taking my boys fishing and for inviting the kids over to admire the fish as Bill cleaned them.  They always thought that was so cool.   I am thankful for neighbors who attended several birthday parties, and who always gave such simple and thoughtful gifts to my children.  I am thankful for neighbors who selflessly gave to my family over the last nine years.  I could truly go on and on.  Thank you Bill and Pat for your love and friendship.  It means more than you will ever know!!





  1. kamee said . . .

    the bubble pictures… dying over them!! please put me in your pocket on your next shoot!!

    Posted June 2, 2009 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  2. kamee said . . .

    p.s. I would die to get my lens on your kids! holy smokes they are gorgeous!!

    Posted June 2, 2009 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  3. heather stout said . . .

    I know Pat and Bill truly ADORE and LOVE your 3 kiddos as their own! They have the gift of taking the most simple, everyday things and turning it into amazing fun and memorable moments for the kids (and parents too)! Thanks for sharing your 3 beautiful blessings with them and us too!

    Posted June 5, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

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