Living Out Loud volume 16: The people in your neighborhood

It's been a rough couple of weeks in our neighborhood. Two of my parents' neighborhood friends have died, one after she got pneumonia that required a feeding tube that nicked an artery and another of brain cancer. Sad times all around as my parents' peers are dropping like proverbial flies. I have some great stories about both of these beloved neighbors but those will have to be blog posts of their own. For now, I wanted to ponder the significance of them being our neighbors. My mother always used to say that people who have good neighbors don't appreciate them. My parents had one atrocious neighbor who did everything from paint a keep off sign on the fence between them to hire men to climb on my mother's roof and cut down one of our trees because she didn't like it. She was, as they say, a piece of work.

We lived at our old house a mile from here for years and rarely talked to any of our neighbors. And now that we're in our new house I'd love to have a more close relationship with them, but am not really sure how to go about that. I hear about other people who have block parties and neighborhood cookouts and I can't help but feel a tinge of jealousy. Then again, our elderly dog Sarah fell in one of the footers for our deck this morning while I was in the shower and Rich was out walking our other dog and our neighbor jumped the fence to rescue her. So we're not doing so bad.

So I'm finally getting around to announcing our Living Out Loud project. I know it's the end of the month, but we've had a lot going on. I promise to be more organized going forward.

Tell us about your neighborhood, past, present or future. Do you like where you live now? Did you love your neighborhood as a kid? Can you even tell us the names of your neighbors or do you only know their dogs' and kids' names because that's what gets yelled out the back door? What is your ideal neighborhood, as far as communication with your neighbors, proximity to them and privacy? Do you have fences of both physical and non-physical variety that keep you from getting to know them? Do you even want to know them? How important is a neighborhood versus your actual dwelling itself?

Details include:

  • Write something personal about yourself using the previous paragraphs as a guideline. Do not feel that you have to address each issue above. The spirit of this project is to share something about yourself; I'm just throwing out ideas.
  • Once you have completed your entry and posted it, please email me the link at genie [at] inabottle [dot] org. Remember, if you don't email me, I'm likely to forget to include you in the recap!
  • If you do not have a blog to host your story, you can email me the story directly and I will add it here as a guest post giving you credit. The more the merrier!
  • The due date for entries is Sunday, May 9th (the second Sunday of the month) at 5pm Eastern. Note this is Mother's Day, so plan accordingly.
  • Once I have collected all the entries, I will post a wrap-up to list them all and announce a winner. The winner will receive some sort of prize to be determined but all participants will receive fame and glory and a link on our Living Out Loud blogroll.