Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Neighbor Project

Right before the New Year I read this book, in which the author tries to get to know his neighbors in an upscale suburb by going on sleepovers to their homes. It made me think that, even after living in the same house for almost 6 years (and in the same neighborhood for 10), we don't really know our neighbors.

So I'm making a real effort to get to know the people who live near us. (We're not going to do sleepovers!) Most of our neighbors seem to work rather long or irregular hours, plus the weather hasn't exactly been conducive to either being outdoors in the yard or walking around the area, so we've gotten a bit of a slow start.  I have hopes, though, that as the weather improves and folks start mowing grass, sitting out on their porches and taking walks, that we'll be able to actually meet the people who live near us and put names to most of the faces.

We do have new neighbors across the street from the back of our house, and I took them a loaf of homemade bread a couple of weeks ago.  I got to see inside their house, which has beautiful (original) narrow pine tongue-and-groove flooring, a rather outdated kitchen, and a gas-fired steam heating system with real radiators.  They're doing a bit of remodeling in the (outdated) kitchen, installing new light fixtures to replace the ugly utilitarian ones in the dining room and living room, and the husband tells me that the big project for this summer is to replace the hideous stoop in the front with a real, usable, as-near-to-original-as-possible front porch. The family is pretty nice - parents and two young-adult kids (upper high school age).  They were enthusiastic about the prospect of buying eggs from us when we have them, and seem to be making great progress on the house.  I'm thankful that the house wasn't bought by a landlord, chopped up into apartments and rented out to college kids.

We're going to start with the houses we can see from our house, then branch out from there.  Homemade bread, fresh eggs and maybe some goodies from our (hopefully soon to be started) garden will make good icebreakers, I think.

I've been thinking of what to call these neighbors when I post about them; I think I'll call the husband Handy Man (he seems to be pretty competent at a lot of home improvement tasks).  Then I guess logically there would be Mrs. Handy, Son of Handy and......what to call the daughter?  Suggestions welcome!

Do you know the people in your neighborhood?  Do you live somewhere that it's hard to get to know the people near you, and how do you deal with that?

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a nice thing to do. I know about 5 of my neighbors who live the closest to me. Maybe I will try to get out this year and meet some of the others.