A New Year in the Neighborhood
Neighborhoods form their own personalities. I don’t know who started the cycle in our watershed—which person reached out and did a little more and her neighbor in turn helped someone else—but we have a wonderful place to live. We have our own small (10 kid!) community school that my husband went to when he was a boy, that I taught at for years, and my littlest goes to now. We have a volunteer fire company with new trucks and our own EMT! We even have a group that keeps the road in good condition. Other people tell me how lucky I am to live in such an exceptional community but I don’t have to be told, I see it in action.
Last night, many gazed up at fireworks cascading down into the yard of one household on our hill. My neighbors understand that gathering together creates warm feelings that translate into great communities that get work done (and, besides, it’s fun to hang out!).
Our area attracts people like these–people who grab a shovel and start digging if that’s what needs to happen. They don’t stand around waiting for someone else to do the work. These neighbors have a yearly firework bash on New Year’s Eve that lights up the sky for everyone to see. They not only fundraise for, but are part of, the volunteer fire department. They are always willing to lend a hand. Their house is point central for the phone tree if anything goes wrong.
I remember, as the fire two years ago swept over the mountain in front of our house, standing shaking in the driveway, buckling my littlest one into a car seat to be taken down the hill for safety as my husband and older sons frantically set up a pump to fight the fire. This wonderful neighbor called me gathering information to relay to others about how close the danger is and where the volunteer firemen need to be. Her voice expressed what her family (and this community) delivers—“We’ll be there if you need us.”
On New Year’s Day, I’m not only celebrating the New Year but I’m loving living in a neighborhood with people who give a damn.