Nearly ten years ago we moved out of our first home.  We were young, everyone around us was young, either in vet school or graduate school, and no one really paid attention to the idea of being neighbors or neighborly.  We were all in transition knowing this was a place to rest our heads for a few years and then move on to bigger and better things.

When we purchased our first house it was in a newly developing neighborhood. We had hoped to buy a house in an established neighborhood with a yard and trees, but there just wasn't much on the market in the small town where we would be living.  We bought a new house, planted grass, put in bushes, put up curtains, and tried to turn this house into our home.  

The day we moved in to our house there was a HUGE thunderstorm that caused us to loose power for almost 24 hours.  Within a short time of the power going out, we had two neighbors (who we hadn't even met yet) come to the door with power cords so we could plug into their generators to keep our sump pump running (otherwise our basement would have flooded).

We lived in that house and neighborhood for 7 years.  Our neighbors became some of our closest friends.  They were people I could call on if I was running short on kitchen ingredients or to help watch kids spur of the moment.  They were people who welcomed us home with our first two children. They were the people we would spend time with in the evenings in our backyard - pushing kids on the swings, catching them on the slide, and playing ball. 

I liked our house but I LOVED our neighborhood and our neighbors. They made our small town feel like home. There were nights spent on decks watching fireworks or listening to music from downtown during the summer festival.  

Two and a half years ago we made the decision to move out of state.  One of the hardest things was leaving my neighbors.  I knew we had been blessed to be part of a wonderful neighborhood for those seven years.

The day before we moved into our house here we met our next door neighbors.  We learned they were Midwestern transplants like us and there was an instant connection.  Within our first week here they had introduced us to their friends, had us over for dinner, and had taken us to a baseball game.  They were so wonderful about making us feel at home, so far away from everyone and everything we knew.  They graciously answered my questions about garbage pick up, where to go grocery shopping, and the most convenient places to mail packages and get stamps.

We have come to rely on our neighbors as our family.  We celebrate birthdays and holidays together, share dinners or desserts on a regular basis, and serve as backup spur of the moment babysitters for each other.  

This past weekend someone told me " I hope you know how lucky you are to have such great neighbors."  I don't think I honestly realized what a blessing it is to have great neighbors.  I just assumed it was like this for other people as well.  I have come to realize we have been truly blessed, not once but twice with terrific neighbors who are more like family to us than friends.


Lynn said...

It makes a HUGE difference in a place feeling like "home" if you can find those kind of friendships close by. You certainly have been blessed.

Earen said...

You are truly blessed. We've never had that kind of relationship with our neighbors...I hope to someday. It sounds wonderful! What a blessing!

Joy said...

we have neighbors like that as well. they have become family to us and we continually thank God for such a blessing.

Rachel Slagle said...

that is so awesome! we have lived in our house for nearly five years and don't know anyone beyond saying "hi" and waving. i hate it :(

Jessica Brown said...

just stopped by to say hi :) I check your blog every now and then but this is my first comment, i think.

we've never had super neighborly neighbors, but i hope someday we will! such a blessing.

Short Stop said...

What a blessing. We have lived in 3 houses since we've been married, and haven't gotten to know any of our neighbors. I can never figure out why because I think we're really friendly people.

It's awesome that you have had such great relationships with yours. I hope we, too, will have that one day.

Denise said...

you are blessed!
i envy your neighbor family.

we just found out our neighbors and my long time friends (she and i have been friends for 18 yrs) are moving. this is bittersweet. it is nice to know we have people we know well right next door. unfortunately they haven't desired community as we have, and so this has kept us at a distance even while being neighbors/friends (wow, i just said a lot).
we so desire neighbors we can share our lives with. we desire to have sweet community, to grow our families together, to make memories together. can yours move here... wait YOU move here... we could run together too :-).

Dave and Jenni said...

That's awesome, Kristen. It took us a while to get to know our neighbors, but now that we have, we feel very much the same way.

Joyful Weddings & Events said...

So sweet! I have longed for that for so long!

In our first apartment in LA, we did not know a soul. The whole year we lived there. In San Clemente, we got to know two of our neighbors just as we were moving. Now in San Diego, I am so excited to have a close friend living on our street. I get so excited when I can let her borrow my sugar or when I know I can drop by for a few minutes when I need some encouragement. Hopefully that will extend to other neighbors on our street. I still don't think CA neighborhoods will ever be like an Idaho neighborhood though...