Here's a little background on my hubby's situation. He grew up in a pretty large city, a suburban setting, with lots and lots of neighbors, although I don't think he really had much of a relationship with any of them. Then he went to college and did the whole apartment thing where everyone is pretty much in their own world. After college he got an apartment on his own ... and then that's when I showed up! : )
|Summer of 2012|
My background is pretty different. I grew up in the country. We had two neighbors, about 1/4 of a mile away or more. The neighbor on the left was older and had always been there. He was someone who would come down and plow the driveway when it snowed or bring us veggies from his garden and stop to chat on his way out to the fields. But the neighbor on the right was whoever happened to be renting the house. So we never really got to know any of those people. I went to college and stayed in the dorms for a while. I have to say I have never hated anything more. I am someone who enjoys her privacy, and there's no such thing as privacy while living in the dorms. So I went to an apartment as soon as I could and never really got to know any of the people around me. Then I graduated and found Hubs and eventually moved in with him.
|From Thanksgiving 2012|
In our first apartment together, we knew the lady next to us because she happened to be a coworker of my hubby. But really we all kept to ourselves and did the polite nod or "Good morning!" if we happened to run into each other on the way out.
In our second apartment, we knew no one. We eventually learned the name of the guy across the hall, Dennis. He was a nice guy; Hubby always called him the sheepdog of the apartment complex because he'd been there for over 10 years and was always keeping an eye on everything and everyone. He didn't talk much, but enjoyed helping people out. But again, he was a loner and the nods and polite greetings were as far as we got into it with him too.
Ok, so now fast-forward a couple of years and we have a house. Our first house. Hopefully, our ONLY house. We're not "starter home" people. So, since we've never really had much of a relationship with any neighbors growing up, because when you're young it's your parents who have the relationships with the other adults, but we were expecting to go introduce ourselves to our new neighbors and that'd probably be the last we heard from them.
We never even got a chance. I can't remember now how many days we'd been in the house, but suddenly there was a red pickup in our driveway and a man at my door. It was our new neighbor. He stopped by and chatted and offered help any time we needed it and even invited us to attend his church some time. He was very nice and I was excited to tell Hubby that one of our neighbors was friendly. Then a couple of days later, another couple stop over and we find out that it is our other neighbors, who live just across the road from Neighbor #1. They brought us cookies and were so friendly and gave us all of the numbers for trash pickup, Internet, propane, etc. Just a huge source of information and guidance to help us figure things out.
We do have one other neighbor, but they seem to be the shy ones, or maybe just uninterested. So we ended up sending them a Christmas card and said hello that way. But anyway, 2/3 was shocking!
A few days later, I found out that one of my friends at church knows Neighbor #2, and we quickly become Facebook friends. After finding out about Gus, our cuddly bunny, they stopped by with some bunny treats for us too, which was very sweet.
|Baby Gus, in our old apartment|
We eventually made some snacks for our new neighbors and left them there with a New Year's note. I also included some cat treats for Neighbor #2 with 4 felines! : )
Fast forward to the Snowpocolypse #1 for our area and we were completely snowed in. I had to go out and help Hubby shovel the driveway a few times because he couldn't get out or in. But shortly afterwards, Neighbor #1 came back with his tractor and dug a path for us in our driveway. And he's been doing it every time it snows since then too.
So the whole point of this post, I guess, was just to say that I freakin' LOVE our neighbors! We were worried that we'd be a pest or that we'd be a bother or even just be completely ignored by all of our neighbors since we are younger and just starting out, but it's been completely the opposite experience. We've gotten a few different invites to church (which we haven't been able to attend since Hubby plays in the band and I teach kids' church where we go) and we've been invited to dinner. Even on New Year's, when we were all alone in our house, Neighbor #2 decided to switch their lights on and off at midnight and we did the same, just for a sense of companionship and community.
I have recently found Neighbor #3 on Facebook and have made a little progress there, and we probably should just go over and introduce ourselves properly, but we'll get to that some day. It's all been a little overwhelming so far, but interesting to see the differences between neighbors throughout our life. We'll get over to Neighbor #3 soon, but since this is our Forever Home... we've got a while! : )