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Enjoying the Auburn Glow of Autumn Friends in the Neighborhood

In Lens-Artists Challenge #123 – Found in the Neighborhood, Anne Christine invites us to write about our neighborhood since we are all confined closer to home these days. Terri Webster Schrandt highlights the theme of autumn this week. Cee Neuner, FOTD give us the opportunity to show off leaves and flowers every day.

Since we are between neighborhoods, I have included pictures from both.

I’m ready to drive 9 hours to Prescott AZ and pause to take a picture of the home we loved and remodeled for nearly 20 years. Our banana shutters are auburn, as is our front door. Do you know what it means when you have a red door?

Amy wrote about her wonderful neighbor which inspired me to start to compose how amazing my neighbors were to me in these final days in my neighborhood.

Puppy Girl is not about to be left in the old neighborhood. She waited for at least an hour in the car while I packed in and around the cats.

During the last month since we sold our house, Jean, the woman who adopted this young pastor’s wife and stranger in the neighborhood as her friend, had us to dinner more often that ever after hard days of packing and making repairs. We didn’t have to dress up or pretend that we weren’t tired to enjoy the informality and closeness that 35 years of friendship brings. She is the sister I never had by birth.

Jean hated me to take her picture and usually turned away. But we had great walks together all over the neighborhoods between the CA Central Coast and Arizona.

Sally apologized for not being able to do more to help. She only hauled off furniture we couldn’t take with us to store until we could, bought tons of stuff at our garage sale, and let me bring my dog and two cats to stay in her bed and breakfast house on my final night. I can’t even name all the things Sally does for me. Mostly, this normally unemotional woman tells me that she can’t stand that I’m moving. I already miss her and my other Kiwanis friends.

Sally’s middle name is Service. She dreams ways to better serve people and wears herself and others ragged doing it. No one knows what makes her go over and above consistently as she does.

Carmen is like a daughter/friend/neighbor/travel buddy/garage sale organizer/woman who calls at 9:30 am the day the movers are taking out our remaining furniture and boxes and says, “Can I bring you some breakfast?” Homemade egg and cream cheese bagel sandwich – delicious. I was so hungry, and except for a few snacky things, I didn’t eat again until about 8:00 when Sally fixed pizza made with her neighbor’s homemade crust. So yummy! I am super blessed.

Carmen, her mother-in-law, Janice, and me – friends and former neighbors vacationing in Florida.

Monica is one of my newer friends, a great contributor to my only professionally published book – Images of America – Woodlake by Arcadia Press. Monica apologizes for pestering me to spend time with her. Can you imagine?

When we couldn’t squeeze in another social evening, so that she could see us more before we left, she brought a blow up bed and bedding for my sister-in-law after Vince hauled Cindy’s bed off to Arizona to her new home. Monica brought me an ice chest so I didn’t have to throw out everything in my refrigerator and freezer, and she kept us supplied in lunches and dinners during important days like the garage sale and hard work days.

Monica and Jack enjoying a fund-raising dinner at the Woodlake Botanical Garden under the banana trees.

Patty is my newest friend and our California realtor. She told me what I could and couldn’t do to get both Cindy’s and our house sold for the best price in the shortest time. I have to admit that I got mad at Patty a few times and she wore me out with her expectations, didn’t care much for my driving, but she delivered on all her promises, then went WAY over and above, so many times. I have to tell you about two of those times.

Patty asked all the right questions. She could have been my advisor on House Hunters.

When we first decided to move to Arizona, Vince had found several houses to look at but had no time to go see them. I was going to drive nine hours by myself and stay several days scouting things out then drive back. Patty offered to go with me. I took her up on her offer and her real estate advice came in so handy as we wracked up 15 houses in one day and about 6 the next.

But that wasn’t the only time when her professional help went farthest over and above the call of duty. As the final departure day for Prescott neared, Cindy and I got more and more nervous about Cindy driving herself and her two animals for nine hours. She had never driven more than an hour at a time in any one direction. So to say this trip was going to be a stretch was an understatement. Patty asked her husband to drive Cindy to Prescott and rent a car to come home. He agreed, and relieved so much anxiety from both of us I can’t even begin to thank her and Jesse.

I littered trying to clean up before I left town. What I littered the most were the many, many dear friends I had to leave behind after living in Tulare County for 35 years. I love you all, and even if you are not featured in this post, you are in my heart and thoughts. Thank you for being in my neighborhood. I will miss all y’all, as Paula T says.

Finally, for those wondering where the autumn color of auburn comes into this post, I took a few shots of our new neighborhood on my first full day here. This adorable pathway is just across the alley and visitor parking lot from her condo in Tanglewood Hills. Puppy Girl is in heaven. She went on two walks today. The cats are also in heaven. They have to be inside cats until they are fully adjusted to the new house. They are sleeping on the bed all day long.

I hope you enjoyed the final episode in my old neighborhood in Elderwood, CA and my premier episode in my new neighborhood in Prescott, AZ. Come visit me. 🙂

To enjoy other responses check out Sunday Stills and Anne Christine’s Lens-Artist Challenge #123 and Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge. And if those are not what you want, Cee keeps a list of all challenges, any kind of challenge at your fingertips.

22 replies »

    • Thank you, Amy. I enjoy having the Lens-Artist Challenge to showcase not only photography, but my stories. Thanks for all the work you all do in keeping it going.


  1. Marsha, What a wonderful tribute to your dear friends. I already miss you soooooo much but I am anxious to hear all about your new adventure in AZ. When you get settled – We will gladly bring you your yard tools and anything else you may need from Woodlake. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely post, friends and neighbours byo cherish. It’s hard to move but sometimes it has to happen. You never lose real friends.
    The photos are gorgeous 💜


  3. Wow – OK forget my question about how the house situation is going, I now know the answer. So glad it all worked out for you and your realtor sounds like an unbelievable person! All of your neighbors seem wonderful as well, I’m sure you’ll miss them. But knowing you you’ll have lifelong friends after just a meeting or two! Best wishes for years of happiness in your beautiful new home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A tour for your long life friends – and I understand you will miss them. Love all the smiling faces and their stories. Your new neighbourhood looks great, and I am sure your new life and friends will be just great as well! Just rest for a while on the bed and you will all be fit – cats, dog and people. Thank you for taking us!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Aww, what a wonderful post to read about your cherished neighbors and friends, Marsha! And definitely a set of beautiful images depicting the auburns of Autumn. I know you will miss all of it, but your new adventures await you, Vince and Cindy!

    Liked by 2 people




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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