Here are some things I will not miss about living here:
1) Helicopters buzzing my house at 3 a.m.;
2) Wailing sirens at all hours of the day;
3) The incessant, high-pitched barking of the asshole dog across the street;
4) Shopping carts parked in the middle of the sidewalk. In a residential neighborhood. Far from any grocery store.
Here is something I will miss terribly about living here:
Our gardener, Venancio. We had to hire one a couple years ago since the time it was taking Derek to handle it was just becoming overbearing, and given how much time he has to spend away from home, his time at home was just too precious. And so I was lucky enough to find Venancio.
His skills in the yard are nothing to sneeze at, but it's just his presence that I love the most. He has the kindest, gentlest, calmest aura about him. He always has a smile, and though there is a language barrier (my Spanish sucks, and his English is good but not great), he likes to talk a little bit and find something to relate to or sympathize with, some common ground between us. He is a good listener. He looks you in the eye when he talks to you.
My kids worship him and watch his every move while he works, and this amuses him. I will miss how McLean runs up to him and hugs him like a long lost friend and yells "Hi VENAN-CITO!" every time he sees him every two weeks. And I will miss the kind look in Venancio's eyes as he hugs him back. He is just so special. And I will miss him.