Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Won't you be my neighbor? Wait, you already are!

Last night was National Night Out, an initiative by National Association of Town Watch aimed at getting neighborhoods together. Since the days of the welcome wagon are long past, in our ever-more-connected lives we often know the least about those who are closest to us. Even we are guilty -- and we greatly value friendship, connection, and place!

In 2005, the event was right after we moved in, and our neighbors Paul and Ester held the event. There hasn't been one since (at least not one that we've been invited to) so I'm giving a bit shout out to Jennifer for planning this one, and to Carole for assisting.

We met some very nice people, reconnected with some we haven't seen in a while, shared some big laughs, and were invited to harvest all we wanted from one neighbor's apple trees as she's sauced out. I'm taking her up on that one! We learned some great neighborhood history, such as why there is a private pool club in our neighborhood. Years ago, some families worked together to purchase a lot that was beside them, and put in a pool. They have a private club of 27 families max that pay dues toward the upkeep of the pool and have access. I'm assuming most of the families are from the Englewood area, but perhaps further. Stories of do-it-yourself cooperation like that always make me smile.

I was surprised, however, at how many people didn't attend. That made me sad. I've always been curious about our neighbors across the street. From quick peeks through the curtains from the sidewalk they have some great personality going on inside the home, but you wouldn't know it from them because in four years they haven't so much as returned a wave or a smile. And it's not just us... everyone in the neighborhood has tried and they just snub everyone. Bizarre.

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