By Rhonda Cage
This summer, my family and I will have lived in Meadows West for just over 10 years. It is truly hard to believe.
Prior to moving to Meadows West, we lived for eight years on a busy Arlington Heights street in a 1922 Tudor house with one tiny bathroom. We were struggling to accommodate our family in the small 2/1 home.
When we stumbled upon this neighborhood during our home search nearly a decade ago, I was shocked this hidden gem existed in Fort Worth. Without seeming dramatic, it took my breath away as I drove through our neighborhood for the first time. Between the proximity to the Trinity River and Trail, the expansion of Waterside, the exclusive entry and exit, the Chisholm Trail Parkway and Clearfork, I think we may be one of Fort Worth’s best-kept secrets.
Our proximity to the Trinity River and bike trail has to be one of the highlights of our neighborhood. Within minutes of leaving the neighborhood, we are on the trail, with the options to ride all the way to Benbrook Lake or really work our legs and ride east all the way to downtown. Bellaire Drive South’s walkers, bikers, joggers, bike lanes and Trinity River Trail certainly help motivate even the most half-hearted exercisers.
In addition to the amazing location, a great portion of our neighborhood backs up to a city of Fort Worth green space. This tree-lined park area is home to coyotes, hawks, bobcats, raccoons, armadillos and numerous other creatures. It is almost unbelievable that in the middle of a busy city we have this amazing wildlife in our backyards.
As our neighborhood transitions between original owners and new families, we are bridging our new neighbors with the existing in an effort to preserve the beauty and pristine appeal of our treasured community. Many of the homeowners in our neighborhood are the original owners of their homes built in the early 1990s.
As the neighborhood was imagined, the homes were constructed with private garage entrances in the back of the home and the majority with pools and cabanas. This logistical setup keeps the majority of residents focused on backyard living. This tends to lead to neighbors not congregating as much as some extroverts might like.
One of our neighbors read an article online about a “turquoise table.” Basically, the concept was to paint a picnic table a turquoise hue and place it in the front yard for all the neighbors to meet and gather. When our friend told her husband she wanted to do this, he initially cringed and told her he wasn’t about to put a picnic table in their front yard.
But three months later, there it was – the neighborhood beacon, the turquoise table sitting right smack in the front yard of the Chaucers’ home. It became a place for the cul de sac to meet for dinner, desserts and late-night beverages. It was a kid hangout for painting, making gingerbread houses and hosting birthday parties. It truly became our meeting place for years, and I am so thankful this will be the memory our kids will have as they become adults and raise their own children. A community of old and young, babies and grandparents, all coming together to raise each other’s kids. As they say: “It takes a village.”
Finally, our Fourth of July bike parade has all the vintage feels: no cars, no floats, just good old fashioned red, white and blue streamers and American flags. Bikes, scooters and decorated wagons filled with bright cherub-cheeked toddlers holding on to shiny pinwheels and balloons fill Bellaire Drive South. Fire engines and face paint, watermelons and snow cones take over our family friendly neighborhood with American pride.
I have opinions of all the places I have lived. Each place has its advantages and disadvantages, and, while no place is perfect, it is comforting to return home each night to a neighborhood full of loving and giving people.
Rhonda Cage is a speech therapist in Everman ISD and has lived in Meadows West for 10 years.
Total population: 1,354
Female: 56% | Male: 44%
80 and older: 5%
No degree: 1%
High school: 6%
Some college: 12%
Bachelor’s degree: 47%
White: 76% | Hispanic: 14% | Asian: 5% | Black: 1% | Two or more: 3%