Monday, September 21

"These are the people in your neighbourhood..." your neighbourhood, in your neigh-bour-hood, oh these are the people in your neighbourhood. They're the people that you meet, when you're walkin' down the street, the people that you meet each day."

Where in my childhood is that song from? Some TV show, I think, although I can't totally remember. Mr. Rogers? I just remember him singing "Won' neighbour?" If you have any leads on that one, I'd be thrilled.

Back to the topic at hand. Neighbours.

James and I got our new house last Wednseday (YAHOOO!!!!) It's amazing to me how block by block, every little mini-neighbourhood has its own little community culture. The street we're on now is a keep-to-yourself, cut your grass regularly and don't bother anyone street. There is one neighbour who says hello to people, but other than Dave the wonder-neighbour, I don't know anyone else, and we've lived here two years. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. I know the name of the reclusive woman who lives next door, and have had maybe 2 brief conversations with her, and I know the name of Steve, the single dad who lives across the road and down a bit, who bought James' old guitar from us for his daughter at a garage sale we had in the summer. That's 3 people in 2 years. I'm sure there are reasons that this culture has developed, and I'm sure I don't help it any by being shy (although I do TRY to smile and say hello - I just have a hard time jumping in with my "Good Morning!" when people won't even make eye contact. We struggled with this in our condo too.)

As we were preparing to get the new place, I said to James "We have to do a better job at meeting our neighbours this time! We need to be upfront and introduce ourselves at the first chance we get." It was agreed. We would be pro-actively neighbourly.

We didn't need to.

Within a few hours of getting our keys, we were chatting with Isabella and Frank, an older Italian couple who have lived next door for 45 years. The friendly Spanish family on the other side told us about how she was expecting when they bought their house, and that she actually gave birth on the closing date (I'm so glad that's not me...oy). Crystal from two doors down said hello and if we ever need anything, she's at #84 (ironically her son's name is what we picked out for our boy's name, and then I saw somebody's baby pictures on facebook with that name - and I thought it was fairly unique! grr.). Mike and Debbie and little Keyana from across the road wandered over and welcomed us to the neighbourhood, told us they really like it and hoped we would really enjoy it. The neighbours mingle and gather to chat in one another's driveways, kids are playing ball and rollerblading up and down the street. It's lovely.

I am so excited to have "real" neighbours, although it certainly takes some getting used to. Anything outside takes a little more time when there's always someone to say hello to. I think that's good - and I think the time to build those relationships is well spent. I just need to adjust my mindset about running out to the shed - if Isabella's in her garden, I just might be out there for awhile.

1 comment:

  1. YAYYY good neighbours!! It was definitely one of the reasons we didn't move in the end... they're hard to find. It does get annoying, though, when you just want to nip out to grab something from the car and you get stuck in twenty minute conversation :D

    Have I ever mentioned I never buy baby clothes (okay, I don't NEED to, ahem) because my neighbour constantly gives me hers??


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