Thursday, July 17, 2008

Block Party

On Tuesday night, I was sitting at home after work when there was a knock at the door. It was Susan, my neighbor from down the street for whom I'd been dog-sitting the last few weeks. She and the family were back from Disney World. 

We ended up visiting for about a half an hour to an hour, when there was another knock at the door. It was my Dad, bringing over the dinner he had made that night that he was quite proud of, wanting me to taste it. My mom came soon-after, and we were all visiting when there was another knock at the door. Michelle and Chris, my neighbors from next door stopped by, which was typical of pretty much every night of the week. Then Matt, Michelle's friend. Then Robby, Michelle's brother. Soon my entire living room was completely full of people, all talking at once. Susan and I were talking about Disney World, while my Dad talked to the Bedenbaughs about Hawaii, then Chris and I would start talking about something else while my parents started talking to Susan about teaching. Then there would be times when everybody would stop their individual conversations and start one big one together. It was chaotic yet seemed perfectly natural.

I once talked about our neighborhood to my friends at work, who were astounded that I even talked to my neighbors, much less that we hung out on a regular basis and did things for each other. Susan and Chris planned my bridal shower (the best one ever, by the way). We take care of each others' houses and dogs while one of us is away (especially during an emergency, like when my grandma had her heart attack and my parents left town abruptly). Michelle and I are always willing to babysit the kids when Susan needs to be somewhere, assuming we're not at school or work. I get at least one phone call a day from a neighbor saying "We're going to [insert something like "the grocery store, take a walk, Sonic, take a bike ride, pick up Robby from x, etc." here]... Do you want to come?" The answer is almost always yes. Also, it's a sin to see a beautiful sunset or rainbow or have
a black belt testing at the taekwondo school and not call Chris, go to the vet without calling Michelle, or see an open garage door without calling the neighbor whose garage door it is (usually the Seiberts). There aren't many nights, in fact, that one of them doesn't feed Jack and me dinner.

As I looked around the big circle of people that night, as everybody was talking and more people kept stopping by, I couldn't help but feel very blessed. I love this family.