For me a new year sometimes just seemed to be a continuation of the year before. The only thing that seemed different was that I had to remember to make sure I wrote the correct year on the checks that I used to write to pay bills. That is not true for the start of 2022 which marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life as I begin living in Little Elm, Texas.
When I moved to Naperville in 1973, it was a small town with fewer than 20,000 people. Neighbors cared for each other and took great pride in their hometown. Sergeant George Pradel was Officer Friendly and seemed to remember every child he met at Safety Town each year. Later many of those children and their parents elected Officer Friendly to the position of Mayor of Naperville.
Centennial Beach was a reminder of what was possible when a community worked together for the good of all the citizens. Harold Moser expanded Moser Lumber into the construction arena and started building homes for his friends. I once heard a story that he made sure there were trees on every lot of the homes he built because young boys needed trees to climb. Those mature trees made Naperville the desirable place to live when Bell Labs and Amoco started building offices in Naperville.
My new Texas home came with two baby trees on the lot. I hope that is a sign that I will enjoy watching Little Elm grow just like I was able to watch Naperville grow.
Naperville seems to have attracted so many wonderful, kind people who I am honored to call my friends. I got to know many of them because my husband, Terry, was a Naperville firefighter.
Back in the day, the wives would bring sandwiches and hot chocolate or lemonade as our husbands fought house or barn fires.
I met some of my friends years ago when our three children were in school and participated in sports and Boy Scouts.
Other friendships were developed because Terry had served active duty and in the Navy Reserves during the Vietnam era, leading to our involvement in the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
And then there are the special relationships that are formed on the street where you live. I have so many memories to treasure.
I know I will find new friends in Texas, but I keep remembering the song I sang when I was a little girl in Girl Scouts: “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
Thank you, Naperville, for providing me with so many golden moments and memories.