Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Small Town Elements: Block Parties

Until I moved into our house last year, I had never really lived "in town".  I came close, when in grad school, but it was not at a place that had a real sense of community.  The town I live in now is a real small town, with a very real sense of community.  The very day we closed on the house, we were invited to the upcoming block party.

Last weekend, it was our second chance to participate in the annual block party.  It is still a little odd for me, having neighbors that actually talk to you.  Growing up in a rural area, that was pretty rare, we knew a handful of neighbors, mostly from church, but not many in a social manner.  And apartment dwelling did not really provide me any opportunities to get to know my neighbors.  So, I am still learning how to be neighborly, and finding it is not a skill that comes real natural to me, but I do try.  The neighbors on either side of us are simply wonderful, and lately, the whole street is really pulling together, as we are facing some upcoming construction at the end of the block that will mean big changes for us all.  So, little by little, I am feeling more a part of the community.  And liking it.

We did not stay very long at the block party, in part because we still do not know many people, and in part because we had other plans for the evening.  I did make Hungry Girl Scoopable Macaroni Salad for the party, and I think people liked it ok, it's pretty yummy.  Hubby ate, I did not (will power, go me!), instead I took Dexter out to mingle a little, which was a good way to talk to people.  I learned that we have a new couple moving onto the block, and they are getting married on our first anniversary.  This makes me happy!  Not only are we not the newbies, but we have more new neighbors to get to know.  Also, they have an adorable little doggie!

We left early into the party, and got home much later that night.  The party was still in full swing, but it never got loud or rowdy, no one bothered us, there was no trash left in our yard, and early Sunday morning, everyone got up to help clean up.  By 11 am, all evidence of a party was gone, it was amazing.  There is something truly special about my block.  These are good people, who look out for each other, and stand up for what is right.  I could not be happier that we ended up where we did, and look forward to getting to know my neighbors even better over the years to come.