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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One Way to Meet the Neighbors

As I've probably mentioned before, we're not the best neighbors. Not that we're loud and obnoxious or anything, but we just have never gone out of our way to get to know our neighbors anywhere that we've lived. I've been convicted alot recently about my lack of relationships with our neighbors and so the Lord decided to take over and make it impossible for me to be strangers with my neighbors any longer.

My cleaning lady usually comes on Mondays and that was a good day for me when staff meetings were on Tuesdays. Then, staff meetings got switched back to Mondays and are at the same time that I need to take the cleaning lady back to the bus stop. Yesterday I made arrangements with a friend, we'll call her Spring, who uses the same cleaning lady that I do, to take the cleaning lady back to the bus stop yesterday afternoon around 3pm.

When I got home from picking up the boys at around 5pm yesterday, the neighbor that shares a driveway with us was sweeping the driveway and I noticed Spring's van in the driveway with the side door open and back window shattered. Oh no! From what I understand of the story, my neighbor was backing out of her garage and didn't see Spring's van parked behind my garage and ran right into it. The door was open so the hinge went into the side back window and shattered it. Another neighbor whom I met once before when we lived in our other house ended up having to take Spring and her 3 boys home and had to drop the cleaning lady off at the bus stop. I felt totally awful for Spring because she was just trying to do me a favor and now has even more of an inconvenience piled on her.

Yesterday was one of those days when I just had this feeling in my gut that something wasn't going to happen according to plan! Sure enough!!

This afternoon, I baked my 2 neighbors cookies as a thank you and as a way to say to the neighbor that hit Spring's van that everything is okay and it's not a big deal. It's just a car. Her husband is pretty aggravated with her about hitting the van so she's having a hard time letting it go. Bailey went with me to deliver the cookies and after we dropped them off at both houses he kept saying, "Cookies all gone. Cookies at friends."

I'm intent on getting to know my neighbors now. In my defense, (every woman needs a defense, right?) if you've ever been to our neighborhood, you know that everyone parks in their garages and goes inside through the garage. About the only time you see anyone outside of their houses is at the mailboxes or if they're walking their dogs. To get to someone's front door, you have to walk all the way around the huge garages. Even today, when I rang the doorbells at my neighbors' houses, you could tell it was a rare occurance because everyone who was home came to the front door! The arrangement and lay out of these houses does nothing to encourage the sense of community that our houses in the old neighborhood without garages and walled backyards did.

4 comments:

Jed said...

It would be hard for me to meet my neighbors there too.... Its hard to be friendly when its 110 degrees... I saw on the weather channel where yall got tons of rain yesterday.. Glad you didnt float away!

Becca said...

AND the way these garages face each other makes me wonder why more people aren't smacking into each other's vehicles! I hate trying to wiggle out of the garage and I'm paranoid about hitting stuff.

We do use our front door alot, because the kids are too impatient to wait for the garage door to open up when they want to go outside.

Good for you for getting to know your neighbors, even if it didn't begin in the best way. We still don't have anyone around us, yet!

Jen Dub-ya said...

say it ain't so ethel!?!?!?

and don't beat yourself up about it, either. love you. i'm still reading even when the kids don't give me time to comment!

Matt said...

I'm proud to say I have been to your neighborhood and understand what you're talking about. But it does feel good to finally meet someone that you've seen over and over but never took the initiative to do so.

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