Thursday, March 22, 2012

the neighborhood

(written last week)
We moved in on a Monday.

We decided that on (first) Saturday we would walk around and see what neighbors we could meet, hope to be friends with and hear about where kids are going to school.

On Saturday we walked around.  We did meet people, but it took some effort.  Most people have gates or fences around their entire lot.  Once you get through that, there aren't many front doors.  We already felt awkward and suspicious opening the gate and walking through.  Now going to the back of the house?

But walk to the back we did.  We knocked and waited.  We introduced ourselves and made small talk.  It was nice.  It was a start.

Later that evening I was chatting with our neighbor right next door.  We had briefly met on the day we signed the lease.  I told her about the gate and back door thing...wondering what the boundary was between being polite and nosy.

We got chatting.  She said that she loves the "pop in" but that not many people seemed to do it.  We chatted a bit more.  She has now popped in, either spontaneously or planned for the last 5 days.

Last night we drank tea together and planned a neighborhood get together.  Today, when she got home from work, we walked around and put invites in mail boxes.  We will see who comes.

I love it.  Because you never know who you will get as a neighbor.  We love community living so much, but you just never know what that will look like when you move to a new place, do you?  There is no guarantee that people will want to pop in or that you will enjoy those who do.  I'm amazed to find a sweet next door neighbor.

I want to walk down the street and know who we see.  I want to be able to ask questions about school and life and this city.  I want someone to feel comfortable talking about life or simply asking for a cup of sugar.  Or take walks with.  Or to sit around after kids have gone to bed and chat or watch tv together.

It takes some effort, it does.  But when it happens I think it is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

Seems that we are off to a start.  And I am excited.


  1. You ARE off to a great start! And, it is a most beautiful thing to meet new people. Loved this post. And, I love you!

  2. Jamie I have to tell you a funny story of walking around a neighborhood in NZ when we were in Auckland. We were staying near the airport and wanted to walk to a dormant volcano that was on a map. So we walked toward the highest point we could see (maybe 3 miles away) and as we walked we asked the people in the neighborhood that we passed, "Are we headed in the right direction for the volcano?" Literally, not one single person knew where it was, even though they could see it from their yard. It was hilarious. When we got there we realized the sign said it was a park and there were wild cows grazing there (crazy!) Apparently they knew it as a park.

    It's so fun to read about your adventures. Evee's playground looks amazing!