I’ve lived in the same town for pretty much all of my 50+ years. There were the four years of college, but I came home over the summer and on breaks. I still had my bedroom in the home that I lived in from age 6 to nearly 30. Prior to that, my family lived in a house that was several blocks away, still in the same town.
My maternal family roots are deeply embedded here. My mother grew up here. So did her mother. My great-grandmother spent most of her life here, and for a hunk of that time this town was not yet a town. So there’s a lot of history. In fact, of my years of walking, I’ve walked every street in this tiny area. If the town was bigger (like the towns that surround it), I definitely would have been able to do that. My point being that I have tried to explore every nook and cranny.
From the age of 6, I have resided on the same street in town. I lived with my parents until I was engaged. At that point my mother was trying to sell her mother’s house, which happened to be next door. (Which was an excellent idea. When my brother was born, more space was needed. The house next door to my maternal grandparents was for sale. My parents were able to keep an eye on my grandparents and they also had a next door babysitting service.) I moved in; several months later my finance moved in. We got married and have lived here ever since.
When I moved in, my mother took the house off the market. (Although some real estate agent tried to show it after the fact; not cool.) For all the years that have followed, I have rented the house from my mother.
What does all of this add up to? Nothing much other than the fact that I have been physically in this town for over 50+ years and I have lived in this home for nearly 30 years. (Yes, I am old and obviously pretty set.) However, it wasn’t until this year, 2022, that I actually became the owner of this property. My mother and I made it official in February of this year, with the deed arriving at my doorstep in March.
Here we are in April, and I am suddenly getting lots of welcome mail. There may not be anything from the Welcome Wagon. (Does that still exist? Does anyone remember that? I’m old enough that I remember including them in part of a marketing package I put together for a company that I worked for at the beginning of this century.) However, there are plenty of coupons that are welcoming me and offering me small discounts at their business. (Including one from Home Depot which came days after we ordered an outdoor storage unit from them online.) I appreciate the coupons. I really do. Before digital coupons were a thing, I was diligently cutting them out of the paper. I am frugal. I just find it amusing that I am getting offers that say “welcome to the neighborhood” when I have been here all my life and patronizing some of these businesses for decades. Thanks for the discount, but some of you already know me by name.
This is not a complaint. I know this is the result of businesses buying lists and I am now on a new one. Keep sending those coupons. I’ll be using them even if they proclaim “For our new neighbors.” That may not be so, but if you send ’em, I’ll use them and say thank you for welcoming me to the neighborhood.
Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For more than eight years, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog.