Friday, October 29, 2010

Would We Have Done This?

Down the big hill and towards the school, some new neighbors moved in last Spring.  I met them once, and since then, our paths have not crossed.  Nobody on my street really knows them. 

Our community holds Trick-or-Treating on Thursday night, and as we approach this new family's house last night, we are already freezing in the darkness as wind whips underneath our costumes.  Then, I see a sign in the yard.  It says: "Wecome!  Come in for Hot Chocolate, Cider, Coffee, Tea, and Donuts."  Like a beacon of warmth and cheer, that house glows from the sidewalk.

We can't resist.  We swarm the place.  We stay awhile.   

The family nobody knows cleaned out their garage and turned it into a little barn with tables and chairs for neighbors to rest during Trick-or Treating.  The couple dressed up as farmers, and as they pour cider and pass out donuts to us--strangers--they laugh and smile and introduce themselves.

The family none of us knows is now the family that everybody knows.

This family models how to enter a community with flair.   The next time I feel lonely, left out, or unknown because I'm the new kid on the block, I'm not going to wait around for the Welcome Wagon.  I'm going to make a sign, clear a space, and offer the kind of hospitality that folks can't resist.  The kind of hospitality that makes people stay awhile. 

I love my neighborhood.

9 comments:

Charity said...

You have a fabulous neighborhood because the people who live in it want a fabulous neighborhood! I've so appreciated your stories about all the exciting and intentional things that happen on your street. I especially am taking this entry to heart as I will be "new to the neighborhood" this time next year. I am already planning to enter the community with flair! :)

Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

When I moved into my new rural neighborhood, I felt welcomed, particularly as the previous owners of my home stopped by. My neighbors told me they all kept to themselves but were always available; no one looking over your shoulder but there when you needed them. Several years later, I did as I was home with a tracheotomy for 3 months. One neighbor fed and tended my horses; others stopped to be sure I was ok if I had stopped while walking my dogs. Good neighborhoods are a treasure. I now watch over one neighbor as his Parkinson's progresses :(, three have died including my best friend on whom I did CPR waiting for the ambulance. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl Barker said...

Hi Heather, I'm trying to visit a new blog every day before the end of the year, and today you're my new visit :) What a neat idea your neighbors had!

I see you're a writer. I am, too! Blessings to you in all you do!

Denise said...

Love this idea...Hmmm...wonder if I can get this together to try tomorrow night?!

Thanks for sharing!

LivewithFlair said...

Welcome, Cheryl! I like this idea of visiting a new blog everyday. Thanks for stopping by! And hello to Denise!

Shane said...

This was absolutely awesome. What a great idea. I've been wrestling with what it looks like to redeem Hallowe'en for a couple of years now. Will be linking to this shortly.

Carin said...

What a great idea! As the mother of a 1-year-old, we passed on the trick-or-treating this year, but this is definitely an idea worth trying for next year. Or maybe for next week...Why wait?

Thanks for sharing!

LivewithFlair said...

Yes! Why wait?

E.M.B. said...

Awesome!