Today we had our 91 year old neighbor over for an informal goodbye dinner.
This is Opal posing with Data and Storybird.
When we moved into our house 14 years ago Opal and her husband Oliver were the first to make contact with us. We had a bunch of cars in the driveway with lots of loud, young help, and Oliver walked across the street. I remember him as a man with a demeanor that was easy to mistake for gruff at first, until you talked with him. Watching him walk over I was prepared to tell him we’d quiet down and try to not be so bothersome, but rather than complain he offered us the use of his front yard for parking. Once we got more familiar with Oliver we learned he had been a Baptist minister and he and Opal and their family had lived in the Holy Land for a while.
Oliver passed a few years ago, and Opal has been on her own ever since. At 91 she still drives herself around and only just this year started hiring out the mowing of her lawn. We’ve typically taken care of her driveway in the winter time, she provides the snowblower and we provide the labor. I’ve been over to fix the odd house and computer issue, and Opal returns the favors with gifts for us and the kids from her frequent travels. Just last year she travelled to New Zealand with her son.
Opal is a storyteller, both verbally and in writing. She grew up on farms in Iowa and Northern Michigan along with a sister and two brothers and has quite a recollection for farm life.
We’re going to miss some great neighbors!