Two and a half years ago, Les and I made the move with our daughters from The Big City (where all of our family & friends live) to the small town where I grew up and went to school, but hadn't lived there for a decade. Granted, this town is only 25 minutes away from where we lived for the first 4 1/2 years of our married lives, but it was still an adjustment as it got trickier for us to just pick up and leave to go hang out with friends or family members.
It was a bit of a difficult thing for me to get used to at first. I loved my brand new house, and the peacefulness of the small town life...but I'm very close with my friends and family, and I wasn't used to the longer periods of separation in between visits.
But God has been watching over me, and He has been showing me that even though I had to give up some things (including the conveniences of the city -- I miss Wal-Mart...sigh...), He has been giving me new things to enjoy and appreciate.
And the biggest of those things is my neighborhood.
My neighborhood is a new development (we were one of the 'original settlers') consisting of mostly young families. I'd like to tell you a little bit about this wonderful neighborhood.
This is where...kids come out of every crack and crevice, providing constant playmates for my own children.
This is where...stay-at-home moms get together for play-dates on a regular basis.
This is where...a group of wonderful young mothers get together one evening a month for a game/social evening called Bunco (a group that has up to 20 interested participants).
This is where...when a neighbour is building a garage, fence or deck -- neighbours will willingly say yes to a request to help, or even just volunteer all on their own.
This is where...the families who are being helped prepare a thank-you meal for the volunteers.
This is where...if a family goes through a death in the family, a birth of a new baby, or other big life changes, people band together to provide meals, or fruit baskets to show their care and concern.
This is where...when neighbours go on holidays, someone else will look after their plants and gardens (but they don't ask me...you know -- with my not-so-green-thumb and all).
This is where...BBQ's are had for no reason other than to have a good time with friends.
This is where...if someone is on their own for a weekend (due to a hubby gone fishin') and there is a bad storm brewing, they keep tabs on that neighbour and make sure everything is alright.
This is where...if someone needs to run an errand or head off to a doctor's appointment, another neighbour will look after their kids.
This is where...if someone needs to borrow a cup of flour (or milk, or corn starch, or eggs, or tomato soup, or Pepsi), they have many people to go to and they will gladly return the favour the next time around.
This is where...if someone is in their front yard and another neighbour is passing by on a walk, they know they will be welcome to stop for a bit of a visit before continuing on.
This is where...neighbours are not only your neighbours. They can become some of your best friends.
This is where...I want to be!