We have lived in our neighbourhood for about 15 years. Everyone has always kept to themselves although we have always stopped for a quick chat when saw each other or waved as we drove past. Over the years several houses were rental properties, these days all but one house is owner occupied so there is a quiet stability. Actually the lone rental house is owned by the grandson of the lady at the top of the street... so it is all in the family.
Something has changed over the last year or so. Perhaps it is partly due to my own desire to be more a part of the local community now that I have more time because I'm not working 3 different jobs. Also I think we have all begun to look more inwardly at our own lives and decided to become more self reliant which has brought all our interests together. Most of us now have a vegetable patch (or a herb garden) and fruit trees in our yards. We are extremely lucky that there are a few tradespeople in the street: a plumber, cabinet maker, electrician and a lawn mowing contractor.
At Christmas I gave some temari ornaments to all the neighbours and I think that was the start of something.
The guy up the street makes his own pasta sauce, and before I started making my own, he dropped some down to us, also he has offered any herbs as needed from his wonderful herb garden. On Monday he is going to help out with an electrical problem - so generous.
This afternoon the lady over the road brought us a big bag of mandarins given to them from a friend's tree... is anyone else thinking marmalade??? The mandarins were a thank you gift for some fish my DH had given them last weekend, I also gave them a jar of raspberry jam today.
One of the teenagers in our street gave Mr W all his old toy cap guns and matchbox cars etc when he clearing out his bedroom.
The fellow down the road helped us out with some plumbing problems recently.
We share excess eggs from our hens and often I've had all the kids in the street in my tiny kitchen when we are baking (cookies or brownies or cupcakes) and everyone gets to take some home to share with their own family. I've also given out home made bars of soap and will give out some lip balm soon too.
All the kids swap games between them from time to time.
A few weekends back Mr W had a sleep over with the boys at the end of the block and in the morning they all came back to our house to enjoy stacks of fresh hot pancakes with every imaginable topping on them.
We have a "bag over the fence' system with one neighbour and he has shared mulberries, avocados and advice on keeping chooks (which he also did for several years but no longer does) and we pop whatever we have in season into the bag and send it over the fence for him.
One of the neighbours will often edge our lawn on his way down the street, and has even mowed the entire front lawn for free when my DH was recovering from knee surgery and couldn't push our mower. Many of the men folk commune and discuss ideas for maintaining their vegetable patches, gardens etc and share advice on other interests such as their cars, boats, motorbikes....
We have a nice little community going in our neighbourhood. It is wonderful to be involved in sharing this way in our own street.
In my next post I'll share some crafting.