Leaving home

Rebecca Kelley

Wed June 25, 2014 2:43pm

After calling east Chula Vista my home for nearly eight years, Scripps Ranch will now be my home. My husband Ron was one of the original homeowners in the Winding Walk community of Otay Ranch. Our next door neighbors, the Armendariz family, have been with us since the beginning. They too are original owners. Throughout the years, people have moved in (and out of) our community, mostly due to military deployments.
The Armendariz family is the epitome of ideal neighbors. They’re every homeowner’s dream. They keep their yard tidy, they park their cars in front of their own home and they are respectful of “quiet hours.” Above all, they are caring, genuine people who have become friends (who are family). Unlike my family, the Armendariz family is large. I have one daughter; Elizabeth and Robert Armendariz have three children. Holidays, birthdays and celebrations never pass in my household without a gift from the Armendariz family. Whether it’s a homemade platter of lumpia or Ni Hao Kai Lan pajamas, they never forget my daughter.
Like me, Elizabeth spent years of her life working in politics. She now devotes her time to volunteering to support Olympian High School’s clubs, including the football team. Robert is active duty with the U.S. Marines and is based out of Camp Pendleton.
Elizabeth and Robert have three amazing children: Angelica, Alejandro and Joshua. Angelica is everything a proper young lady should be. She’s educated, works hard and is family-oriented. Alejandro will be entering his senior year at Olympian High School this fall, setting his goals on West Point or the Air Force Academy. Last but not least, Joshua. Joshua, who will be entering second grade at Camarena Elementary, is a ball of energy. He’s the friendliest youngster you could meet, and hearing Joshua greet you with his small but mighty voice, “Hello, Ms. Rebecca,” warms the heart.
There’s only about 10 feet (and a fence) that separate my home on Honeybee Street and the Armendariz’s home. With that said, compassion is what is shown from their family that I appreciate most. From bath time negotiations to potty training persuasions, our next door neighbors have heard it all from my house (and my mouth). Being parents of three children, they understand what I’m going through when I say, “Reagan, it’s really bedtime,” as the clock shows 11 p.m. Their kind words at the mailbox of “It’s OK, we understand, we’ve been there,” mean a lot.
Therefore, as I say farewell to Otay Ranch, I also am saying goodbye to the best neighbors one could ask for. What I challenge my community members to do is be a good neighbor. Be the first to extend a wave and a smile to the new family moving into the community. Be understanding that Otay Ranch is a community for families.
Rebecca Kelley is South County regional director of marketing, media and community relations at South Bay YMCA.