What a delightful portrait of a neighborhood living in community, by Laura Grace Weldon in Ohio…
What makes a neighborhood? Sometimes that’s hard to figure out.
I’ve lived in a number of places. Not all of them seemed like neighborhoods. When I was first on my own I used to bemoan that my fellow renters could hardly be bothered to return a wave but someone kept stealing my newspaper…
Then we moved to a little house. It was silly how hard it was to meet the neighbors. They’d wave but that’s about it. It took nearly a year to meet the older couple across the street… Finally I baked a loaf of bread, knocked on their door and said I was sorry we hadn’t gotten a chance to meet. They turned out to be lovely people. They still write long chatty updates to me years after we moved away.
I began to understand that it takes effort to make a neighborhood. So I greeted everyone who moved onto our street with homemade goodies. I shared produce from my garden and offered to help others in any way I could. I also started inviting people over. In the fall we had bike parades where the kids spent a happy hour or so decorating their tricycles, scooters, and bikes to ride around the neighborhood in a grand procession before coming back to our house for a picnic. We had cookouts, Halloween parties, and Christmas caroling parties. We met up for working get-togethers such as picking apples and making applesauce.
The major neighborhood bonding events were our summer pig pen parties… [read the full post]
This jibes with what we see in dozens of neighborhoods where Front Porch Forum is used. It takes effort to breathe community into a neighborhood. FPF can help make it easier… and can help sustain those connections over time.