We arranged to visit a quaint house, not knowing what a perfect place we were about to find. When we pulled onto the street of our future home, we were greeted by a gorgeous view of a lake and a blanket of trees. I believe my first comment was, "Holy S&*!, this is our house," before I even saw the property. Maybe not the most polite statement =). When we walked into the house (which was older and not well taken care of) all we saw was the view. I could't believe we were about to call a lake cottage our first home.
As soon as we moved in, I learned what it meant to be a good neighbor. Growing up, we were never close friends with our neighbors so this was a new experience for me. Our new neighbors, now considered family, greeted us as soon as our boxes hit the floor. Wallie is retired from the Army and Bunnie is a former English teacher--we were meant to be friends from the start. I even ended up teaching in Bunnie's former classroom; what are the odds?! They invited us over for dinner right away and even drove us to Austin a couple weeks later where we flew out for our wedding in New York. These people are saints!
When we returned from our wedding, we each purchased a puppy, one day apart. The dogs were raised together and became best friends. Bunnie and Wally even took care of our pups during the day while we worked. Did I mention their sainthood? Here's a grainy video of our dogs playing together at the creek. They were such buddies!
When Tim deployed, they completely took care of me--from weekly dinner dates, to home and yard maintenance, to holidays, and outings on the town. They did a perfect job of making me feel loved and safe while my husband was in Afghanistan for the year.
Moving away from Belton, and particularly our neighbors, was terribly sad. We knew we would stay in touch with Bunnie and Wally, but it was hard to know we wouldn't see them every day. We took their model of how to be a neighbor and hope to do it justice with each new place the Army takes us.
Thankfully, we've been able to see our sweet neighbors a few times since our move from Belton, between PCS (permanent change of station) moves and vacations. Recently, they drove all the way across the boring planes of west Texas to meet Lincoln. To two of the world's most phenomenal people, we love you tremendously and are forever grateful for your hospitality and love!