Caring Court…


Mine was not the only marriage to fall apart on our little cul-de-sac.

Around the same time, as in…the same day, my next door neighbours’ marriage bit the dust too.

Our fabulous little street that was known for getting together on the weekends, renting cottages in the summer, throwing “survivor” parties and Karaoke nights, celebrating various events, hosting BBQs and impromptu get-togethers…it all came to a screaming halt.

What resulted was our little street being nicknamed “Wisteria Lane,” “Divorce Court” and “Dysfunction Junction.”

It didn’t help that just months before, while Little-One was attending Photography school…a group of us re-created the “Desperate Housewives” photo for one of her school assignments!

Wisteria Lane.

While others would laugh about the nicknamed street…to me, it was embarrassing. It was the fall of MY marriage that caused so many folks to discuss this place we lived. I was forced to talk about what I would have preferred to run away from as it was part of everyday commentary by complete strangers. I got to the point where it made more sense to discuss it, than to hide from it…as it was being discussed regardless.

But still, all these years later, when I tell someone where I live and I get the “Ohhhh…you live on {insert Wisteria Lane, Divorce Court or Dysfuntion Junction}”…it hurts.

It’s not so funny when it’s about you and only now, as I’m almost out of the gigantic hole I’d fallen into, can I begin to understand how others on our street may have felt about it as well.

I considered moving and yet…the people in the dozen or more houses fought to keep me here. They took care of me in those early months as they brought food, drove my children to their activities, shovelled my driveway. They continued to take care of me when they included me in dinner clubs, invited me to parties…tried to return to normal.

While I was falling apart, my neighbourhood came together.

I know that at some point I’ll leave. When the kids are raised and off to college quite frankly…this house will be too big for me. I’ll buy a sweet artist’s cottage on the Peninsula with a spare room for guests but for now…this is where I belong.

It’s where there’s nothing more wonderful than seeing the children playing basketball, hockey and foursquare…riding bikes…hanging out in the middle median…three dozen kids on one street of varying ages all growing up together. Where they gather their coins to walk to the corner store…all different sizes walking together in a line as their lips turn the colors of their slushies. Where hockey is played on a regular basis and cars drive slowly for fear of arriving on the street in the middle of a game of tag.

It’s where you’ll find a gathering of adults at the end of a driveway…beers being cracked as laughter echos through the street. Neighbours sitting on each others front porches. Looking out for one another’s children.

Last night, just as I finished pressure washing my deck..while removing a few weeds from the front flower bed…my neighbours, Bob and Susan, dropped by with some flowers they picked from their garden…along with a note pad to go in my new office…with wishes for everything that’s before me.

And I’m humbled.

For this amazing little street…and the people who reside here.

On Caring Court.

7 Replies to “Caring Court…”

  1. You’ve done well,Colleen.The credit goes to you as well as your friends on Caring Ct.

  2. Colleen I am sitting here at my computer with tears in my eyes! This is a great blog and you’re so right a very caring court for those out there who think differently. We pull together no matter what and even if some of us don’t see each other on a regular basis, we know we are there for one another! We have great kids and great parents on this ” Caring Court””.
    Happy Summer to our “Caring Court” 🙂 It is a wonderful street!

  3. This is lovely I am sorry to hear some people made light of that was happening, but very glad to hear you found a good support network.

  4. This makes me just so freakin excited to move into a neighbourhood. I hope it can be just as supportive and friendly as yours is!

  5. My sister kept asking me “Did you read Colleen’s blog from July 4th yet?” Well I did and it brought tears to my eyes. People say things without knowing the impact it can have on people, good or bad. The words are all so true/real and a reminder of how great it is to live on this street.
    I love the new nickname…Caring Court. I think this one will takeover… Great pictures btw 🙂