Yesterday, I was thinking about our neighborhood - the community here, the culture that has developed, the things we've appreciated, the things we desire, and the things we would have done differently.
We know a lot of our neighbors. We're not the garage-up, garage-down kind of people. We spend a lot of time in our front yard. We walk through the streets every day, especially in the early evenings before or after dinner.
Even so, I wish we would have been even more intentional about forming relationships from day one. I would have hosted a meet-and-greet at our house or at a park when we moved in. I would have invited a few moms over for scones and strawberries. I would have said, "Come on in!" when people stopped by to chat.
It's funny how we often overlook the people who live the closest to us. We tend to make friends at church, at work, at school...and we're always driving places. Here. There. Everywhere.
And yet, how cool would it be if we were strongly interconnected with the people right next door and down our street? Imagine the beauty of that scenario.
Recently, we had a big group of people (+ kids) in front of our house. A neighbor pulled his car over and said admiringly, "you guys are always in your driveway!" When he said that, I smiled and realized it's true.
Even so, I feel like I could have done so much more. I could have been better.
Next time around, I will BE a friend right from the get-go. I will say, "Would you like to come over for dinner on Tuesday?" instead of just smiling shyly at the other family on their evening walk with a stroller and dog. I will drop by a loaf of bread when the woman five houses down has a baby. I will write down names so that I will remember them. If I forget to do that (or if I lose the paper I wrote the names down on), I will ask a second time (or third time) without being embarrassed.
That is my pledge.
Do you know your neighbors? Are you friends with your neighbors? How have you created a culture of friendship and trust on your street?