It is kind of cool living where we are. I have met the neighbors on all sides of me, and they are all nice. It sure is a different feel from Idaho where everyone has their yard fenced in and people never say boo to you.

I remember in our old house in Idaho we had a couple that lived across the street from us. They were probably our age on the dot. They had a boy that was a little older than our oldest, and I remember when I was pregnant with my daughter, the woman was pregnant with her daughter too. We would go and get our mail at the same time and I saw her pregnant tummy. I am not sure if they would wave back to us then or not. We were just under the impression that they did not want much to do with us. I don't think they ever did. Eventually, during our last couple of years there, we started to go out of our way to be friendly. We would wave at them when they drove by, say "hi" when passing, etc. They would barely pay us any heed though. I remember distinctly a few times I would be outside trimming that crazy hedge and the wife would drive by (we were the very first house on the street). I would wave to her and smile. She would look straight at me and then turn her head the other way. Nice.

I started to have dreams. I had dreams that she really in her deepest heart wanted to be friends with me and she finally invited me over to her house. I remember that her walls were splashed with vibrant colors and everyone knew her. I think she had original art too. I only think I had this notion because I saw her outside painting a big wooden Noah's Ark on the grass one time. I had many dreams like this though.

The man was fanatical about his lawn. He had a perfect golf course. I think he had something wrong with him, he was so particular. Dear Sir has always been somewhat eccentric about our lawn so maybe he had an issue with how we did things. Dear Sir is a complete green thumb and does tremendously well with the yard. He just dreams big and thinks long term. He is famous for planting tiny trees and freaking out when the kids would almost walk over them. And the hedge.

I actually walked over one time to see what their exact address was so I could look them up and at least know what their names were. I know, I am weird. It took me about six years to do this. After that Dear Sir and I always referred to them by their names (he didn't think me so odd to look them up, I was so relieved) when saying stuff like, "I waved at Mrs. Carson today. She was REAL nice." "Yeah, it looks like Mr. Carson is putting in some extra fence to block us out of their vision."
So, we have not had a lot of luck with neighbors except for the few (like the Real Estate agent that sold our house that lived across the street, or the widow next door who was really nice but pretty much kept to herself for the most part). I never understood my friend Jade who had neighbors wherever she went that she remained close to. One of them became one of her best friends and mentors. Another neighbor of hers traded off with babysitting. I remember her asking me one time when I did not have a sitter if my neighbor could watch the kids for me. "What, are you kidding?" I would say.

But here it is different. Here they actually find me interesting and want to be friendly. The kids and I have already been invited to a birthday party, I have a lady who has an Asperger's kid right next door to ask questions if needed (she came over to offer herself), I am watching the other neighbor's daughter (she has given me a beautiful solid wood bed for my daughter!), and then the neighbor across the street is the Orthodox priest of the local Orthodox church. They are all very nice, very helpful, and a relief.


Anonymous said...

Rachel, it sounds like you are getting a good dose of Dixie.

I get real tired of people (especially educated Yankees) who look down their noses at the culture of the South, and consider Southerners to be less intelligent. I think that's bigoted and uninformed. My experience over fifty years is that education is overrated.

At the end of the day, pretty much the only thing that really matters (assuming salvation is assured) is how you treat others and how they treat you in return (Mt 22:39). I'm glad that the Wilhelm family is "fitting in" so well - never doubted that you would.........kk

Anonymous said...

BTW, as I'm typing this, just heard you sing "Sailing" - came up randomly on the "shuffle" setting on the iPod - 1,800 songs, and yours comes up while I'm posting on your blog - what's the chances??

R said...

Ipods and me mix well.

We have to actually play "Sailing" very soon. I am getting the itch.

R said...

I am considered a Yankee, but I am totally a sympathizer with the South. Historically, anyway. Sure, one of the neighbors does not wear a shirt all the time, but that is ok. He feels free, right? We live in the country...kind of. It is funny but a lot of people are transplants, but a few are really Southern and I like it.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding like a bigot, I have a friend in Boise with neighbors like your Nampa neighbors who would not greet them etc. It was because the vast majority of the neighborhood was LDS and they were evangelicals. It became a game for them to wave and say greetings just to embarrass the neighbors who refused to speak to them ever. It was kind of entertaining for them.

Mrs. Sinta