Would You Be.... My Neighbor

When I was growing up, I could name, and knew, every single person on our street. Well maybe even close to 3/4's of the entire neighborhood. Seriously. I put some serious miles on the Schwinn back in the day. I loved growing up like this. It gave me a sense of security and maybe even a feeling of safety if you will. At least it made home more, well, homely.

When I moved to Chicago, I didn't know a soul in either of the apartments on my "side" of the building. I knew several gals in one little corner on the "other side" and frequently shared many bottles of wine with them; one I am friends with to this day. Fast forward to my second apartment in the city, I knew the gal below me and maybe made eye contact/the very infrequent convo with a few of the fellow folk around me. Mostly because I got myself a dog that didn't know how to do anything. This made for a comical scene so I am sure many folk felt obligated to politely wave as they stared at me lugging a 60 lb bulldog down the street/up the stairs/out of the intersection/around the corner.. you get the picture.

That brings us to Northwest IN. Land of the cornfields and tiny townships. It's a quaint little place and really not THAT big. Except it is big. I have lived here for roughly 4 years now so you'd think I'd  have had some time to adjust to my surroundings by now.Maybe share some vino with a few gals and at least on a first name basis with our neighbors, right? HA! Not a chance. First of all, wine days were left in the city about a year before my departure otherwise this story might have a different twist. Then there was the whole working in the city/commuting-is-my-life phase. Throw in a couple kids and then things start to get nuts. Meet neighbors? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Yet, I SO WANT TO!!!! I want to know my neighbors. I want to be on a first name basis. I want them all to be like our good neighbors next door. I at least want to know that we can all hang and maybe share a bonfire, or sumthin. I mean seriously... we are LIVING in the same area. Come on people! I am not asking to start a block watch but would a recipe swap or maybe a cookie switcharoozal party (do they have those?  because that sounds delicious!) or sumthin.

Here's the inventory of who//what we do know...

To the right, Uncle Ryan & newly crowned Aunt Britni (they just got engaged); He's our "guy." You know, the kind that gets you things? Well, he's ours. Our go-to if you will. He doesn't get us anything crazy, but he has supplied my kids with over half of their playroom contents; my husbands endless number of Hoop-d's, our dog walker, electrician, handyman... you name it. He's a great neighbor! We love him. Hence why he is labeled Uncle to our kids. Britni also shares the same maden name as I so I am quite sure we are cousins in some lineage. She has fam in KY, I am from KY and you know what they say about people in KY... yup.. we're all related. I digress. I'd be proud to call her a cousin because she is a DOLL and we love her too.

To the left, Um.. Awkward. We don't make eye contact. She avoids our house at Halloween. It's a long story. To make it short, we had an incident a few summers ago. Well our dogs did. Our dog is still here, her's isn't. End of story. (to be fair, our dog has turds bigger than her dog was... Just sayin.) movin on.

Two doors down on the right, just met them last month and they are great. They have a little gal only a few months younger than LB and she's a doll. They even came to LB's birthday party when we only knew them for a whole day. She's a stay at home mom too so I see playdates on our future.

Score. 3 Fam's in for a cookie switchy-doodle-whatever.

In the front, skinny dipping old people with inground pool and no fence. Not. Kidding. These are the folks that sent the Bolden Girls into Summer Swim lessons. They decided it would be a great idea to get an in-ground pool this year and a fence for it, NEXT YEAR! Still not kidding. We have at least 12 houses on this street with the same kids water table. Not sidetracking.. just saying, that's at least 12 houses on the same street that have a small enough kid to have a water table. You have a GIANT water hole in your yard. Thats big enough to swallow all of said children.  Movin on.

Scattered about, there are a few families that I have met and some that I have liked. There is the lady about 5 houses down that I met at her yard sale. Bought a bunch of stuff. Then saw her again at one of LB's music classes. She has 2 boys and here's the kicker, preggers with twins. Yup! Poor gal. She's nice though. But I am sure we may never see her again. Sanely anyway. Not sure she will have time to make cookies.

Next to mother of boys - is another mom that just gave birth in July. I know this because we shared a nice exchange while I was walking our beast dog. This one has potential. She might be up for cookies by the time the holiday's roll around... keep her warm.

Big kicker- husbands cousin just moved in 2 houses in front of ours - we stare at his FENCED in ground pool ALL DAY! Still haven't met them either. Cookies might not cut it there...

That brings us to today...

The fam and I were in the playroom, minding our own biznas... chillin, if you will, when we heard a loud crash. Now what do we do? First - look at each other to make sure the other didn't cause such rutcus, second - inventory of all humans, then furry friends - check. OK. What the heck was that? J was kind enough to survey the situation from LB's window. When he didn't see anything, he non-chalantly asks me if I remember him parking his "hoop-d" in the yard? UM.. no! I quickly head to check out the scene for myself.. we all know the woman will figure it out. When I see a GIANT van in the middle of the street with smoke coming from it.

Me- J, whats that van doing in the middle of the road?
J - What van?

Classic. Mind you, this is a LARGE van. It's not a mini-van but a large, 8 passenger van! Smoke is roaring from the front of it and the tire is flat. Said van begins to move to the side of the street out of our sight as we see our "guy" walking to tell us that someone just hit our hoopdee. Lovely. Good morning! Nothing like surveying the situation with "I just woke up, still in my robe, haven't brushed my teeth and my kids are covered in oatmeal" appearances. In our defense, you just slammed our car.

So now we have met another neighbor. She is a mom. To 4 boys. What's with this street, by the way?! She may or may not have just become newly single.. but had a ROUGH week. Basement flooded then she hit our parked car in the street, totallying it and her GIANT van. I'd say that calls for me taking her some cookies.

Gotta meet em somehow eh? I am determined to know them all. If it takes me many years. Heck, we'll be here a while. Might as well start baking!

Until next time...


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