I always run very early in the morning, when the streets are quiet and so are all of the homes on them. Aside from the occasional baby cries from an opened bedroom window and the early-bird dog walkers, there isn’t much to see and hear. That’s why for two years now I’ve long held the belief that I moved to a very quiet place. I’ve even told people my “new” neighbors keep to themselves and aren’t all that friendly.
Then last week we took in two four-legged guests (see last week’s Wordless Wednesday photo) and it turns out I am the one who keeps to herself and isn’t all that friendly.
These two miniature Yorkies need their exercise, so instead of cocooning each evening, we now take them for walks and I’ve discovered my neighbors do congregate nightly in driveways to share gossip and police children at play. Couples often sit together on benches in our greenway, and young dads like to use a wide dirt path to teach their preschoolers to ride a two-wheeler. And all wave, say hello and, if they are under 13, request to “pet the puppies” (even though they are 3 and 5 years old). Their moms ask me how long we’ve lived here.
Once your children leave for college, you lose a connection to your community and must find a way to maintain those ties or establish new ones if you relocate. I now realize I spend too many evenings watching “Seinfeld” reruns, rather than ending the day with a nice post-dinner walk, maybe even one interrupted by an impromptu chat.
I think I may just have to walk myself after these Yorkies go home next week. Who knows what I’ll discover about my neighbors, or me.