You may refer to them as the people next door, our next door neighbors, or our friends who live next door. We refer to Adrienne and Jeff Nichols as our friends who happen to live next to us on Selborne. So when the call came from our friends to say they were moving, it was sad. We knew it had nothing to do with us. They felt it was time to “downsize.”
When Jeff and Adrienne moved from Oak Park 14 years ago, an instant friendship was forged. We enjoyed talking over the bushes, or sitting on the bench in front of their house with Adrienne as we shared many thoughts, good and bad. It was fun to bring them pastries, a holiday tradition. Zeppoles, aka St. Joseph’s cakes, were a big hit. Sharing ears of corn when a dozen ears were certainly too much for the two of us. Joe’s ribs? Jeff was always ready to have some.
Adrienne Nichols was the outdoor girl and when she would be out in her yard with her hands on her hips, we knew she was thinking of some project, which one year came to be a fountain. Her plantings have led to a picturesque backyard that we have been able to enjoy. We were happy to share the hosta plants, which now have grown quite large between our houses.
Jeff was the chef who unpacked the trunk of his car after shopping excursions. He is also an ordained minister, and many times he would be in working on his sermon, which was given at various places. While we never heard one of them, we can only feel it would be good.
Together they enjoyed tea, going to plays, going out to dinner, particularly in Riverside, Aunt Diana’s candy, and visiting their family, both in the Chicago area and out of the area.
We would watch each other’s houses and check on each other because that’s not just what neighbors do, it’s what good friends do.
They had hoped to stay in Riverside, but it didn’t work out. However, as we well know, one never completely leaves Riverside.
Our friendship will continue as they start another chapter in their lives just a bit west of here. When we look over at their house, we will have many pleasant memories of our good friends who lived next store.