You all remember that Mr. Rogers song played so many times on television. Well I actually live in a beautiful neighborhood. Every year at around the holiday season, I and a bunch of our neighbors set up tables and chairs in front of our homes or driveways and offer the most incredible assortments of food you’ll ever see.
Some go so far as to roast a pig, others make some incredible foods, unlike any that you might find in even the finest restaurants. Why do we do this? It allows us to get together at least once a year and get to know one another in depth.
Yes we see our neighbors on occasion as they get in the car and drive to work or the grocery, and then see them again possibly when they return, but that is hardly getting to know your neighbors. Our neighborhood is expanded and we send flyers out to all the nearby neighbors, not necessarily on our street inviting them to come as well… and they do!
The kids running up and down the street having a wonderful time, and this year one of our neighbors brought a beautiful set of large wooden blocks allowing the kids to have fun on their own without adult supervision. I even got into the act by building an extremely high block tower for them to destroy and that they did.
My new neighbor, who we are just getting to know, created the most incredible seafood dish many of us have ever had and of course he is now an official member of our “beautiful neighborhood.” Most of us have lived in our homes quite a few years and have gotten to know each other quite well in that time. One neighbor in particular, a retired fireman, refuses to allow me to do any form of manual labor in or around my house. He won’t allow me to climb a ladder or anything that might lead to me falling or injuring myself.
You have no idea how comforting this is as I begin to age and doubt my own abilities. Both he and his son are quick to come to the rescue whenever they see me trying to do something that I shouldn’t attempt
Our block party seems to get bigger each year and people come from far and wide to share in our joy and see the incredible lighting displays that my neighbors put up. One of them even had an actual snowmaking machine this year which of course the kids could not get enough of.
On occasion the golf cart gang makes a pass on our streets with beautifully decorated carts in the Christmas theme. For some reason we missed them this year because of some confusion about where golf carts can be but I think that will be resolved fairly soon.
If I didn’t know better I would think that we had gone back 50-100 years, to a time when neighborhoods really meant something. Everyone got to know everyone by simply walking down the street and waving to people sitting on the front porch or driveway. This is something that is missing today and hopefully will be brought back soon.
There is one downside to all this, especially when you reach my age, and that is when the little kids that used to run around the street and play in the backyards are all in college or about to graduate from high school; when the last time you remember seeing them they were mere toddlers. It kind of serves as a reminder of how many years have passed in your own lifetime, not that I am unhappy with having had all these years but I would certainly like them to continue for many many more.
My special thanks to all my wonderful friends and neighbors who made this night particularly wonderful and I look forward to next year with even more participation.