Sunday, May 23, 2010

52 Projects Week 18: Met the Neighbors


After our offer had been accepted on our new home, and the sale was in progress, we got to come take a look again to take some measurements and remember what we were buying. Our nearest neighbor, just next door, rushed over to welcome us, before we were even living here. It was lovely and felt like a sign...this is the right choice, this is going to be a good place for us.

We don't have a lot of near neighbors, just one other house, immediately across the street, and another a little ways down, then nothing for a mile or so in either direction. We've waved at the neighbors across the street when we see them outside. It was November when we moved in, and then winter came, and I promised myself we'd go meet them when it warmed up. And six months passed. And at this point, it almost felt awkward to me to knock on the door. But then, I remembered leaving San Diego.

Our home in San Diego on a busy, urban street in an older area that was slowly revitalizing. Many of the houses on the street were rough, but had charm. Most began to look better and better over the 7 years we lived there. Our lives were busy, so, I'm sure were those of our neighbors. We knew the people on either side of us, but that was it. Then, in preparation for moving, we had a couple of big yard sales, and we met the whole block. What a lot of nice, interesting people we lived so near! And how sad that we met them all on the eve of our departure.

When we moved to upstate NY, I was determined not to let that happen again. In our most recent (rental) home, we lived in a sweet village and did know our whole block, and it was a great feeling.

So yesterday, armed with a loaf of this bread, we walked across the street and met our neighbors. They were lovely, an older lady and her son who lives with and cares for her. They welcomed us in, apologized for not coming to welcome us and we had a lovely chat. Doris has a great granddaughter who visits often and who is just a bit younger than Helena. And the clincher...we're pretty sure we met her in the park, miles away, this week! Her name is uncommon, and the description matches. She and Helena hit it off immediately, and Helena mentioned, when we all dispersed, that it was sad to make friends we're not likely to see again. But we never know what turns the path will take, and when we'll meet again.

I'm so glad to have taken this step, so happy to be in this sweet area with kind people, and glad to have met them six months, and not six years, into our time here.


Jane said...

I think this is wonderful! We've lived on our street for over a year and a half now and hardly anyone converses with each other. The sad part is that we live on a street with houses very close to each other. I've always longed to live in a place where the community is friendly and the neighbors feel like extended family. I'm so glad you took the step to close the gap!

Tom G said...

There is a definite disconnect among neighbors these days. Living out near you guys was probably the most connected neighborhood I've lived in over the past two decades. Trying to get playgroups together out here for our daughter has been like pulling teeth.

K A B L O O E Y said...

That's HUGE. Wonderful! Your project made me feel envious and guilty because I've been here eight years and barely know anyone. That said, I'm going to put a link to your post in my blogging file and do it one of these days.

MrB said...

That is awwsome! Creating community is powerful stuff.

newmumover40 (to be!) said...

That's fantastic! It always amazes me how so many people want this kind of community in their neighborhoods, but it never really happens, despite trying! I'm so glad it is happening for you.