They say all good things must come to an end. Sadly for SRP, that time is now.
For residents of two of the homes on this small street, major changes are coming since they have to move out for renovations to be done. New tenants will then move in when that is finished.
One house has been full of amazing and handsome guys. These are some of the best looking men I have ever seen and they are also some of the nicest, funniest, and most loyal to their friends. This is an amazing fraternity.
The other house is full of gals – including three sisters and other friends as well. These amazing Christian gals are fun and love to learn, be at the beach, and make new friends, as well as sing and play guitar. This sisterhood has been a pleasure to see.
In addition to these two homes are a few that are full of families – parents and their kids who have decided to make this beach community their home. That is what my grandparents also did for several years with their family. Despite these changes, these people will stay and continue to raise their families here. There are also several apartments of friends who will remain.
One piece of jewelry that I wear often is a necklace that says SRP LUV. I made it at the beach bead store the last time I was there. It celebrates my love for this place and these people. SRP is full of love and laughter, friendship, hugs, kisses, tears, dances, parties, and marriages and families – all the great and amazing things of life. These are the things in life that truly matter.
The homes are nothing fancy but you can’t judge a home by the way it looks, just like you can’t judge a book by its cover. These houses have been made into homes by those who have lived there since 2006. My grandparents knew the woman who owned them before this current landlord bought the houses.
The walls of one of the homes are covered with art by friends and family, photos of a fun group of people, a refinished wooden floor that was worked on with love and lots of sweat, a new paint job, and a deck perfect for a bonfire and late night chat. The walls of the other home hold pictures of friends, surfboards, and there are bunkbeads and comfy seats for late-night girl talk.
These are magical places. This entire neighborhood on this small beach street is magical and has been very special to me for years. My family has a beach house that I have enjoyed both as a child and growing up. And, for the last five years, I have had the pleasure to take my son and see our house and these two homes.
These two homes next to ours are filled with friends who have embraced each other and us as family. It means the world to have been included in this family of friends and neighbors. The people of SRP truly get the concept of a great neighborhood and that friends can become your family. I have been honored to be one of them.
I wish these friends well in whatever the next chapters in their lives will be. I hope to stay in touch with them and see them again. But more importantly, I hope they stay in touch with each other and can still get together. I hope that even though they may no longer physically be near each other, that they can still plan to see one another.
Over the last year, several of them have already moved away or moved to a nearby house, some have gotten married and had children and others have gone off to school. The change had already started before the news of having to move out. Yet now, it is only too real that big changes are coming.
A sad and selfish part for me is the date when they have to move out – December 1 – my birthday. My normally fun day will be full of melancholy.
But, I won’t be dealing with as much as they will —being displaced and finding other digs to live in. On that day, I will remember them fondly and thank the Lord for bringing all of them into my life. And celebrate our friendship.
I just wish I’d had the chance for one last laugh or bonfire, story, dance, or hug and kiss. Alas, that wasn’t to be. I plan to keep in touch and hope to see them again when circumstances allow. To all of you, if you are ever in the southeast or Tennessee, please let us know. We’d love to show you our neighborhood.
The song Friends Forever by Michael W. Smith certainly applies to this amazing group of students, small business owners, entrepreneurs, photographers, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, actors, colorists, hairdressers, waiters, teachers, musicians, missionaries, and the list goes on.
“Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter of your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong
And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends.”
There are few places in life that are magical. SRP is one of those places. It has meant so much to me over the years – first as a child, teenager, young adult, and now wife and mother. I have had many great and amazing times with my own family and have watched many changes with them over the years.
Even though we can’t be together as often as I have liked, this neighborhood has been an amazing gathering place. And, I am so thankful that the first 5 years of my sons’ life we have been able to spend time in the summer on SRP and get to know so many friends who are like family.
Several dear friends, including some with children will remain in the neighborhood and for that I am very thankful. It won’t be totally different, so that is good. I just don’t like change and this is a big change.
This is my Brigadoon – a place of magic that I am honored to be a part of for only a short time. For those who have lived there, may you take that magic with you as you move to another home. May you make that new place as much a home as SRP has been.
God bless you in your new endeavors. For those who remain, may you continue to enjoy it!! Hope to see you again soon. SRP LUV always!!!