Building a Community

Growing up, I knew nearly every single one of my neighbors. The family with three girls, a few houses down, who my sisters and I played with daily + The neighbors up the hill that everyone knew to avoid at Halloween because they handed out toothbrushes instead of candy + The older woman next door with no kids, who kept mostly to herself, so all of the kids in the neighborhood swore she was a witch + The friendly older woman across the street, who was like a grandma to all of the neighborhood kids + The one family on the street that let their kids run wild and seemed to never be home to supervise.  My point is, we all remember that one neighborhood growing up where everybody knew each other. 

For me, it was a cozy neighborhood in Charlotte with an elementary school nearby and an abundance of families with kids my age. I want this same type of neighborhood for my daughters. The thing is, how do you connect with your neighbors if all they do is commute to and from work, spending free time behind their tall backyard fences or closed up inside their homes. When did our neighborhoods become more of individuals and their separate houses and less of a community?

Ironically, I was hiding out in my own home just waiting for these neighbors that I have never met to spontaneously start a community when I read this article. It talks about the community that just one family created by simply playing and hanging out in the 'front yard' of an apartment complex. It's so simple. 

Looking back, my parents spent endless summer nights hanging out on our front porch. Neighbors taking their nightly walk would occasionally stop by while neighborhood kids ran around to the backyard to play in our treehouse. 

It's up to us to create our own community. So, my goal for the summer is to spend as much time as possible in our front yard getting to know our neighbors. I'd love to be the people in the neighborhood that everyone has a connection to and everyone knows our name. 

Go outside!  Spend the rest of the weekend in your front yard and create a community!