Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Good-bye Valentine

How do I say good-bye to Seminole Heights? We were drawn to the city's old houses. We had respect for the history that they evoked and wanted to be a part of the restoration process. What we hadn't anticipated was the unique population that lives here. People may come to Seminole Heights to live in charming bungalows, but the houses are not the heart of the neighborhood. The heart of this community is the bond formed between neighbors.

Seminole Heights is home to Tampa's fiercest activists, and also it's kindest souls. People here march and shout, knock on doors, and stand before city council to get their voices heard. And they open their doors, deliver food, and work long hours to help those in need. There are those who have been here sixty years. They will gladly tell you about the history that happened on these streets. There are those who are called urban pioneers. They came twelve or more years ago and took their stand against the crime that was poisoning this area. Folks, like Scott and I benefited from their work when we moved here seven years ago. We were immediately embraced by the neighbors on our street. Within the first year we felt as if all of Southeast Seminole Heights was our neighbor. After another two years, we added South and Old Seminole Heights to that category.

We've found a nice, milquetoast ranch house in Lutz which meets our physical needs. March first we'll be gone. I'll continue coming to the Seminole Heights Bookgroup because those gracious people have decided to allow a Lutzian member. We'll return for your home tours, special events and ocassional porch parties. But, oh, will we miss you Seminole Heights. No more neighbors dropping in with mid aftern0on treats when they feel we need a pick-me-up. No more early weekend breakfast chats with special friends at Nicko's. Gone are the days of walking to neighbors' houses for porch parties, and walking home on a chilly Christmas eve warmed by friendship shared over lasagna. We tried to be a good steward to our little bungalow, and we hope our involvement in the community has been useful. But we'll take away much more than we gave. As the song goes, "We Leave Our Hearts In Seminole Heights". (Not to worry, I won't write the lyrics out!)


Anonymous said...

Best of luck. Your contribution to New Orleans will live on forever. Both of you will be missed. It will be hard to find someone as dedicated to the hood. I just hope Lutz knows what they are getting.

sesh2 said...

you guys are ALWAYS welcome for lasagna on christmas eve...or any other eve for that matter. i will miss you both!


bloggerwife said...

Darn it E, you made me cry and I've been so good at not doing that until now!

We'll miss you, too.

Anonymous said...

I'll never forget the fun we had together at the HIT projects. if you need anything done way out yonder in LUTZ, let us know, maybe we can HIT you from a distance! (Thinkin your new n'hood probably doesn't have a HIT team!) :o(

Actually, we do get out to lutz quite regularly since our "other house" is out there, along with the in-laws.

We'll miss you, and you know where and when the porch parties are .... don't go huting our feelings by not making an appearance at least at some of them!!!!!


bloggerwife said...

If we say HIT in Lutz, we might get arrested! Actually, we plan to brag about your HIT Team when we get there. We did have some great times, and our picket fence is postive proof of what your idea accomplished.
We'll miss you Mrs. Shrek. You're one of Seminole Heights shining stars. Please stop in when you're in Lutz visiting those in laws. Where in Lutz are they?