Today’s assignment is to identify your audience, to publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, AND include a new-to-you element in it.
In a comment, Claremary P. Sweeney of Around Zuzu’s Barn wrote “I love that your cafe is in your driveway. It brings back memories of our neighborhood when I was growing up. People spent time with neighbors then.”
Have we as a society become so self-focused that we are oblivious to our neighbors? Have we become so paranoid that we don’t reach out to get to know our neighbors? Have our lives become so busy that there is no time to get to know our neighbors?
I guess I’m extremely old-fashioned, as are several of my neighbors.
When I was a kid, I was allowed to rid my bike as far as the Rungren’s driveway; since we lived on a corner, that meant I could ride past the neighbors directly next door and pass three other driveways before I needed to turn around. My mom always knew if I had over-ridden my boundary; not because she was watching, but because the neighbors were all watching out for us kids. My mom shared garage sale space with one of our neighbors, I babysat for one of our neighbors, I walked to school with several of my neighbors.
After I graduated from high school, I went to college and moved into a dorm. There were four rooms in an “L” shaped hall, and we shared a bathroom suite. We talked to each other, did homework together, and I even talk to some of them to this day.
When I moved into my current neighborhood, I found a group of people that walked around the block and greeted you, stopped to talk to you, and watched out for their kids and yours. In the back of our neighborhood, there was an easement between two homes where the homeowner had set up a ball diamond for his own kids and anyone in the neighborhood who wanted to get in on the game. If my kids weren’t at one of the neighbor’s on our street, I knew I could find them down at the ball diamond.
The year the people we have as current neighbors moved in, they held an outdoor movie night. They set up a huge outdoor screen and showed a couple of movies. The entire neighborhood was invited. It reminded me of the old-fashioned block parties people used to have. You know, the kind where the street was blocked off, picnic tables were set up in the street, and your address determined what type of pot luck dish you were to bring. You don’t see many of those anymore.
Just this past month, those same neighbors had another cookout. They invited some friends and neighbors; we sat by a bonfire roasting marshmallow and drinking beer until after midnight.
Instead of complaining about a neighbor, talking to them might give you an understanding of why they act like they do.
Because my neighbors and I know each other, the summer my mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, I was left with a large house to clean out and take care of. That September or October, I found myself walking out of work wondering how I was going to get some of the stuff home from my mother’s house and get the grass cut before the sun set, and then have the energy to grade papers. (I was still teaching high school English at the time.) There were at least two times when I came home and found that the grass was already cut. My neighbor had seen me struggling to get things done and continued her lawn mowing from her yard to mine.
What can you do to get to know your neighbors? How can you make a new neighbor feel welcome when they move in?
Here are some ideas I found on Pinterest