Friday, June 3, 2011

I Have Good Neighbours

Sometimes my husband and I feel a bit like outsiders on our street.  Our neighbourhood was built about 15 years ago, and most of the people on our road are the original owners.  They moved in together, watched their kids grow up together, and developed some strong friendships over the years.  My husband and I moved in almost two years ago, at the end of July, with a new baby in tow.   We were in a very different place than most of our neighbours.

A few weeks later, we received an invitation to the annual street party that takes place on Labor Day weekend.  We went, and it was a blast.  Although we had only met a few people by then, our new arrival was announced to all present, and we were welcomed officially to our new home. 
Waiting for dinner, annual street party
Etienne "driving" the fire truck that stops by each year. 

Over the past two years, we've come to learn just what makes our street so special.  A family two doors over has almost completely clothed our son with their hand-me-downs over the last two years, on top of the toys and games they've passed down.  Our next door neighbour who shares a front lawn with us takes it upon himself to mow that lawn almost every week.  On several occasions we've awoken after a snow storm, headed outside to shovel the driveway and found that one of our several neighbours with a snow blower has already done it for us.

The guy across the street checked out our car for us when the check engine light came on over a holiday weekend and we couldn't find an open mechanic shop.  Another neighbour helped us fix our stuck door handle after we mentioned it in passing. 

My husband has been invited to play in the weekly basket-ball game the guys on the street have held at the local school for the past ten years, and the annual golf trip at the local course.  

When our cat was hit by a car last fall, a neighbour moved him off the street and came over to see how she could help as I dissolved into a sobbing mess on my driveway. 
The last photo of Minuit, our cat.

And yesterday, my husband was stopped on the sidewalk by another neighbour who offered us a kids' picnic table that his children have grown out of, but that is still in great condition.  He was going to throw it out when he thought of us.  It's a little thing, I know, but it got me thinking. 

We've been very fortunate to be surrounded by a street full of people who, for the most part, get along and like to share their time and resources with each other.  Not everyone is best friends- there are definitely groups of people who are more friendly with each other than others, and being a large crescent, neighbours whom we've never even met.  But overall, there is a friendly vibe to our street that I like, and that I hope continues for a long time.

The dynamic is almost old-fashioned:  kids out on the street riding their bikes or playing street hockey while the parents hang out on someone's driveway to keep an eye on the proceedings; everyone pitching in for the annual street party; the neighbour who provides homemade apple cider to the parents on Halloween (seriously- it's fantastic).  People say hello to each other as they pass by on the sidewalk. 

This summer, I'm going to make an effort to repay some of that kindness back. 


  1. I wish our neighborhood had an annual street party -- that sounds so fun!

  2. It is actually a lot of fun!

  3. Hi Kathleen!
    Your neighborhood and street sound wonderful. There's nothing like knowing that your neighbors are not only kind and supportive, but will look out for you and your kids as well.I'm fortunate to have the same where I live and wouldn't trade it for the world.
    Thanks for sharing the pics :)