The first house that I bought was with wife number one. We had been married for three or four years and were finally able to graduate from crappy apartment to small house. It was one of those neighborhoods that was turning over from older couples to younger. Not long after we moved in, another young couple, Carl and Janet, moved in next door to us. We had number one son shortly thereafter and then they had a son less than a year later.
We had a great group of neighbors and would spend much of the warm weather months outside, having fun with the kids and just hanging out and having some laughs and drinks. One year, we got clocked with a huge snow storm and when it was over, we were all snowed in. The roads were closed. It was a hell of a storm. We all spent the afternoon trying to shovel out and then we decided to throw a big, blizzard party. Everyone brought whatever they had in their house to drink and eat and we had a blowout of a party. Carl hosted the party at his house. Carl was a great guy. He played trombone professionally, for the BPO. He also gave lessons. He took the trombone very seriously and practiced all of the time. You can imagine what it was like with the windows open all summer, listening to the trombone. Still, he was a great neighbor. He always had a smile on his face.
We moved away after living there for ten years and I lost touch with Carl and the rest of my old neighbors. Then, when Facebook became popular, we reconnected there. I logged onto Facebook today to read a post by Carl’s son which said that Carl had a stroke two weeks ago and died on Tuesday. It was shocking to read that. He was relatively young. No more than 55.
Another reminder, I suppose, that life can throw you curve balls and things can change in a split second. It’s good to remember that sometimes, as we go about our daily routines.