“Transitional Neighborhood is a neighborhood that is “changing” it can be from good to bad or bad to good, but usually it is from bad to good.” (Wikipedia)
When our youngest daughter left for college in 1985, Hubby and I became “Empty Nesters.” We enjoyed the down sized apartment style of living until 1999. Then WE got the “home ownership bug” again.
WE found the perfect four-bedroom tri-level home in a nearby suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Originally built as a model for the Parade of Homes in 1962, this house ticked every box on “our wishes and needs checklist.” It, also, met our “must haves”?
- Quiet Neighborhood – Eight homes on a dead-end street separated by spacious lot sizes on both sides.
- Scenic Views – Rear of home backs up to wooded conservation area.
- Lower Traffic – One street entrance and exit. Limits unknown people and vehicles passing through.
- Like-Minded Neighbors – Empty Nesters
Our “Cul-de-Sac” House
Hubby and I were the newbies.” All of our neighbors were now “Empty Nesters” who had lived in the neighborhood since before the 1970.s We heard stories about how alive and active the “cul-de-sac” had been back in the day when their children were growing up. But, when we arrived in 1999, the “cul-de-sac” was an “Empty Nesters” haven.
Somewhere around 2009, the house across the street from ours sold to a young couple with a 2-year-old little girl. Even with this younger household, the “cul-de-sac” continued to serve as a sanctuary for “Empty Nesters. ”
Then, in January 2012, the neighborhood began to shift toward becoming a “Transitioning Neighborhood.” Our Son, a single father with a 4-year-old daughter, rented our home; which had been empty since Hubby and I retired to Florida in 2010. Now, there were two little girls living in the “cul-de-sac” attracting children from the adjoining cross street.
This summer Hubby and I visited our Son. I spent most of my time sitting in a wicker chair on the front porch. Watching the neighborhood children – playing, riding bicycles, tricycles, scooters, and other four-wheel battery-operated vehicles took me back to my childhood. I was not only an onlooker, but the:
ü Mediator of disputes,
ü Judge for competitive activities; and
ü Nurse with the band-aid who kissed the “owies.”
Two Car Garage: Granddaughter’s “Cul-de-Sac” Transportation
Son and Granddaughter Playing Around in the “Cul-de-Sac”
Granddaughter’s Favorite “Cul-de-Sac” Transportation
Granddaughter’s Other Mode of “Cul-de-Sac” Transportation
Granddaughter’s Front Porch Flower Garden
I enjoyed the changes in the “cul-de-sac.” But, I no longer live there. I return for several weeks each year to visit my children and the grands. However, I was curious about how the remaining “Empty Nesters” felt about the influx of children in the “cup-de-sac”. Seeking an answer from at least one of the neighbors, I approached my next-door neighbor an 88-year-old, widowed about six years ago, who lives alone. When I asked about the “changes” in the “cul-de-sac”; she said, “I love to sit at the window and watch the children play. It brightens my day.”
Like me, she sees the “Transitioning” as “good” and not “bad.” Our “cul-de-sac” is welcoming in a new generation.
Unlike, the following quote by Jane Jacobs, the Death and Life of Great American Cities:
“Neighborhoods built up all at once change little physically over the years as a rule…[Residents] regret that the neighborhood has changed. Yet the fact is, physically it has changed remarkably little. People’s feelings about it, rather, have changed. The neighborhood shows a strange inability to update itself, enliven itself, repair itself, or to be sought after, out of choice, by a new generation. It is dead. Actually it was dead from birth, but nobody noticed this much until the corpse began to smell.”