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Fair Weather Friends

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Boy, its been a weird spring for us.  It was COLD for a loooooooooong time. Then the weather got warm and the trees were all like take this you puny humans and dropped their pollen all at once.  I was besieged in the house for several weeks by allergen levels in the fatal zone.  So even though the weather was balmy and glorious I was holed up inside, only peeking my head out occasionally in order to grab supplies from the shed or to rescue Judah from eating too much dirt.

Nevertheless, summer is finally here, and we are spending lots of glorious time out-of-doors.  We're taking walks, playing in the yard, and meeting tons of new people!  Oh wait....actuallythey're not new people, they're my neighbors, the same ones whom I've lived by for the past six years. It's just that I haven't seen or talked to them for over eight months.  I've watched them skittering to and from their cars through the flurries of snow and wind and rain, but back in the cold days, we had no time or interest in chit-chat. A quick wave was all the friendliness we were willing to offer.  But now that the weather is sunny and warm we're suddenly best buds again.  We're SO friendly now. Hey, you got a new haircut / stroller / job / dog / minivan / baby! Cool!

Now that we are outside and tending our gardens, we are so generous too.  Here, do you want these toys? Can I borrow your shovel?  Could you help me with my flowers?  I'm sure my husband could help you with that! 

(I may have gotten in trouble for that last one.)   

On a walk last week, we noticed a "Sold" sign in front of a house on our street with some unfamiliar people sitting in the yard.  Being in the spring spirit, we introduced ourselves to our new neighbors and invited them over for dinner the next day. And the next morning, while our other neighbors were working in their yards, we invited them over as well.  Of course we did! It's spring!  Let's all hang out and be friends!  Pretty soon we had a jolly old party going, and it felt like we always do this.

 

But the truth is, we don't.  We barely know the people that spend the majority of their lives mere yards from our front door.  Are other neighborhoods like this? Or is it just us?

I pitty the person who moves to my street in the winter.  I'm telling you, you will meet no one. Don't take it personally.  My neighbor moved into her home in October.  No one even said hello to her until March.  I did try to meet her. Once. I knocked on her door, but no one answered, and it was cold outside, so I went home. Apparently everyone else on this block is as lazy as me.

So neighbors, are we friends or not?  Every summer we have a weekly play group going, and the kids run like siblings through each others' yards while we share every aspect of our lives.  But during the winter, I never see you.  I don't know what to make of this. 

I'm enjoying the fun while it lasts.  And who knows? Maybe this winter will be different.  Like that one year when someone had a dryer fire and we all stood outside in the freezing cold in solidarity as we watched the fire trucks and exchanged the news. Well.  I will not wish a home disaster onto someone just so that we can hang out. But at least we know what it would take to finally make us year-round friends.

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