Please don’t laugh at my niavete or scorn my belief without basis. (The real word that should be inserted here is prejudice but I just couldn’t bring myself to say it.) We used to live in an historic neighborhood. Some renters. Some restoring old homes to their glamour of yesterday. A mixed neighborhood of color and money. It’s what we wanted. We’re a mixed race family. We’re educated but chose professions that don’t bring in tons of money. We made the conscious decision to be where we were. And most of the time, we loved our neighborhood. But the school system wasn’t stellar. And my husband’s business was growing. And, frankly, I just didn’t feel safe anymore. I was tired of going to neighborhood watch meetings and talking about the latest gang markings. I was home alone with two infants and my daughter was starting high school – no longer to be homeschooled. We decided we wanted idyllic suburbia with people “just like us.” Ha!
We searched and searched. We thought that by living in a neighborhood where the homes were of a certain worth we’d fit in and feel comfortable with everyone. We looked high. We looked low (but not too low.) The higher we looked the more promising we felt the neighborhood would be. One woman (a neighbor) saw us looking at a home and she came over and introduced herself. She alerted us to another home down the street from her. The husband was being transferred to Singapore. “I want neighbors who are moving to Singapore!” I said to my husband. I felt that if you were willing to move to exotic locales you would be worldly, educated, open-minded and interesting. We looked in another neighborhood where the price point for the homes was wide. The only homes we could afford were in a section called The Commons. “Oh look, Honey,” my husband exclaimed, “We can be commoners!”
Ultimately, we chose a beautiful neighborhood with lots of amenities, homes priced close together so we’d be with like minds (ha! again), sidewalks, front and back porches, neighborhood activities and get-togethers. It’s also closer to a major city and a large Korean population which is what we wanted for our kids. Don’t get me wrong, we love it here. We’ve met some amazing people who are now close friends (Hi K and A!) but some of my neighbors are not what I bargained for. One neighbor gets caught up in gossip and helps to spread it like wildfire on Facebook. One neighbor gives my daughter the creeps with his leering and creepy comments (don’t worry, we stay away). One neighbor bragged about cheating the bank/government/us by walking away from their mortgage. Another grabs a few clubs and he and his kid sneak onto the golf course at the 5th hole at dusk without paying. So much for like minds. Another lesson learned.
I’ve called this place where we, the bloggers, reside as Blog World. And a dear reader commented in a private note to me that I’d make a great neighbor. I thought, this is what I’ve created here for myself – a neighborhood! And I LOVE my neighbors here. And I like it that we all live here together. How cool is it that we get to pick and choose our neighbors? Our neighborhood here can be as homogenized or eclectic as we want it to be. In case you’re wondering, mine is pretty eclectic and I like it that way! I thought I might introduce you to some of my favorite neighbors! I won’t be able to get to all of them today so I’ve decided this is going to be a series of posts, hopefully without end because I seem to meet kind, creative, interesting, and amazing people every day. This neighborhood is as large as I want to make it and we’re all within walking distance of each other. How perfect is that?
Submom at Absence of Alternatives – This is the kind of neighbor when you go next door to borrow a cup of sugar, you start talking and talking so she invites you in. You keep talking. And talking. You finish your conversation. Go home and realize you didn’t get the cup of sugar. So you go back, laugh about the forgotten cup of sugar. It reminds her of this funny story so you start talking again. And talking. You go home and guess what? Yep. But it’s a great excuse to go next door again for more great conversation! When she moved in I found my new best friend!
Steve at The Planet Harris Blog – There is a pond in my neighborhood and he lives across it. (Smiling at my feeble little joke) As you enter his home to the left is the library. To the right is the dining room but the table is covered with books and a laptop and has been turned into an office. You step into the family room and there are floor to ceiling bookshelves with a handy little ladder on wheels. His wife is baking biscuits. You can smell sweets baking and coffee and tea brewing. They are warm, welcoming people. The couches are comfy and there are always interesting people popping over for good conversation. I like it here!
TKW at The Kitchen Witch – She lives right next door, too. Which is a good thing because when I’m in a pinch and have NO idea what to bring to the neighborhood BBQ – she’s got the recipe. Snowed in with the kids for three days? She’s got the recipe. Husband home sick and whiny and you just want him to shut up get a good night’s rest? She’s got the recipe. But better than her recipes are the stories behind them. She’s the best kind of neighbor because she doesn’t judge, she laughs at herself and she’d look out for your kids like they’re her own.
I have two neighbors (they live in the bungalows just up the street, downsizing since the kids have moved away) that I go to for advice, Robin at Passions and Soapboxes and Mary Lee at MerrilyMaryLee’s Weblog. They’re wise and they’re hip. They’re sweet and they’re funny. But they’ve been there, done that with child rearing. They’ve lived it and they’re willing to share what works and what doesn’t. And they’re living a life right now that is packed with fun and interesting adventures.
Five houses in my neighborhood. I’ll tell you about more of them another time. But to all of you out there – thanks for living in MY neighborhood. Thank you for allowing me to live in yours. I never realized how attached I would become to my bloggy friends. What started out as a little experiment grew into something I never imagined. I’m glad I live here!
(P.S. Don’t forget about our get together Friday, November 13th. Collect the craziest search terms for your blog and we’ll all share them on Friday. You can write them in the comment section or blog about it – but don’t forget to link/comment here so we can all see them! See you Friday!)