Monday, May 14, 2012

After 9 Years, finally. . .

So, after 9 years of wanting to do this, I finally pulled it off.  I had a block party! It's amazing how distracted you get with the business of life and never do things you intend to do.  I'm still shocked that it's been 9 years in Texas, in this house, and I just now put a block party on my calender and set the date in stone by handing out invitations.  So let me tell you about it. . .

We've had several new neighbors move into the neighborhood.  When we lived in Colorado, and had just moved into our first home, our neighbors behind us had an ice cream social just so that all the neighborhood could meet us.  We were so blessed by that and it spurred great relationships with many of them for the next 6 years.  In fact, we still visit them when we return to Colorado for fun!

So, I've been telling the kids for years that we should host a party like that to meet our neighbors here in Texas.  What's the worst that could happen?  Maybe only 1 neighbor would show?  Well, then you hang out with one neighbor eating ice cream!  Sounds fun to me.

Our neighborhood is extremely dead.  Everyone has their driveways in the back of their houses and so we never run into anyone.  We don't see many people mowing their lawns because so many of them have yard services.  It's hot 8 months out of the year so no one hangs out in the street playing.  We are just about the only house with kids.

Last month, we were discussing all this around the dinner table and we decided to set a date and make up some flyers.  The kids made the flyers for all 22 houses on our street, I bought ice cream and told my neighbor our plan.  She loved it and committed to coming, bringing an ice cream scooper and some sprinkles.  About 4 days before the party, we knocked on doors and personally handed out the flyers.  We only talked with maybe 7 of the 22 houses but they were all very positive and the children walked away saying, "We have some really nice neighbors"! My thoughts exactly and all it takes is a little friendliness to find that out.

Well, the night came and we wondered if anyone would come.  Before we had even finished our dinner and gotten out there with our own ice cream, a man who lives all the way at the end of our court came walking onto our lawn with his ice chest full of popsicles and lawn chair!  We all hustled outside, as the neighbors flooded out of their caves with waffle cones and ice cream to share!  We talked and visited well after dark and there was even talk of having another block party this month!  We found out that one man has lived here for 24 years!  Another neighbor discovered that she went to high school with another neighbor and they live 5 houses down from each other and never knew it!  Success is so sweet. . .

What's come of it now that we have returned to our caves?  Well, my next door neighbor called me and asked if she could use my number as her emergency contact for a babysitter.  Both Olivia and Anthony have mowing and watering jobs for the summer.  Olivia has babysat for our new neighbor who is a first time mom.  This is all more than I was hoping for.

I'm so glad I finally listened to that voice that persistently kept saying every year for 9 years, "Let's have a block party!"