Recently I saw a meme that made me burst out laughing: “Like a good neighbor, stay over there.” I really did laugh out loud.
But, I couldn’t disagree more! Since moving out of my parent’s house 14 years ago, I have encountered all types of neighbors. The good, the bad, and even the naked (I’m not kidding.) But two years ago when my husband and I purchased our first home, we really struck gold with our neighborhood. We have been embraced by many neighbors who have become close friends, some even like family.
I know that being neighborly isn’t everybody’s thing. My own sister would rather drop dead than socialize with her neighbors, which I find to be hilarious. Others have told me that it’s just easier not to get involved with neighbors because what if there is a falling out? Then you’re stuck living next door to them and how awkward? I totally get that. I’ve been there and done that. So this time I’m doing it differently and I want to encourage others to do the same. Let’s make Mr. Rogers proud.
With the winter weather on it’s way out, and spring at our doorstep, our neighborhood is about to come alive again. Let me convince you why you should get out there and meet some new neighbors this spring and summer. Here are a few reasons why its essential to cozy up to your neighbors…and not just wave awkwardly when you’re both bringing in groceries at the same time.
Help a Neighbor Out
The old scenario about borrowing a cup of sugar? Seriously ya’ll. I have borrowed the most random things from my neighbors. From a blow-up air mattress to extra coolers when our refrigerator kicked the bucket. One time, I locked myself out of our house while my nephew was asleep inside (whoops!). I didn’t have my anything on me, including a phone. Thank goodness a neighbor let me borrow her phone to call the fire department so they could come to the rescue. And yes, my nephew slept through the entire ordeal. Running late and need someone to get your kiddo off the bus? Going out of town and need someone to grab your mail or take your trash bins out? I’m telling you, I don’t know what I would do without my neighbors!
Set An Example
It’s no secret that these days, we don’t interact with people the way we did 20 years ago. Text messages have replaced most phone conversations. Emails have replaced snail mail. Our children aren’t as socialized as they once were. I want to set an example for my daughter. I want to show her the importance of making eye contact, speaking to someone face to face, and introducing herself to new people. I want my daughter to instinctively wave hello instead of simply turning the other way. I want to teach her the value of creating a support structure for herself and meeting new people. Neighbors are such a wonderful way for us to show our children these long lost social skills! And they’re right at our fingertips.
Sense of Community
At the end of last summer, we had a block party. The first for our street but also my first ever! We were able to meet new neighbors and enjoy a fun evening with the ones we already know and love. We have a neighborhood garage sale weekend and last year was our first year to attend. I met one of my newest and most awesome mom friends at her garage sale (and scored some killer deals on toys!) Fundraisers? We have a host of them and by donating even a small amount to the kids that come around, we are showing them that we support them and each other (even if it does result in a pantry full of thin mints). This winter we had kids coming by and volunteering to shovel driveways, people out clearing the sidewalks and looking after our elderly neighbors. Being neighborly has truly made me feel like part of our community. It has made my house feel more like home in the short time we’ve lived here.
What are some reasons why you love your neighbor?