FARMINGTON, Minn. (KARE) – For nearly 10 years, Bryan and Anika Rychner barely knew the elderly man next door.
That all changed last year, when 2-year-old Emmett decided to pay Erling Kindem a visit.
“They kind of bonded over the tomatoes in his garden because Emmett loves tomatoes,” said Anika Rychner to KARE.
As time passed, their unlikely friendship bloomed.
Soon, Erling and Emmett were racing lawn mowers, creating a fun and unusual sight for the neighborhood.
They would regularly see 89-year-old Erling, a World War II veteran who flew combat missions in Europe, racing 3-year-old Emmett on his toy riding tractor.
One day, Erling set up a croquet set to surprise Emmett; another day, it was a dusty bicycle they fixed up together.
Now, those daily visits are numbered.
A “sold” sign lives in the family’s front yard.
The Rychner family says it was time to move to a larger house, so Emmett could have room to grow.
Erling had news of his own.
His wife is ill and his children had finally convinced him to move to a senior apartment.
But for now, the goodbyes will have to wait.
Emmett and Erling have to fix up another bike as the tomatoes continue to bloom in the background.