Monday, July 21, 2014

Grateful for Good Neighbors

I love Durham. If you read my June Superromance, Weekends in Carolina, it should be obvious how much I love my adopted hometown and one of the things I love about it are my neighbors. I have the best neighbors and I live in the best neighborhood.

This is on my mind recently because of a group a couple of my neighbors started: The Village People. It's a neighborhood garden club, but it's not a garden club like you normally think of them. The Village People are a work group. Everyone has those projects in their yard that would take one or two people and entire day to do, but a small crowd could knock out in two hours. This is where the Village People come in. For two hours, several of the neighbors come over and help out. It's a small commitment for them and makes a world of difference for you.

YouDee the chicken explores the newly laid mulch

It may not look like much, but all that area was cleaned out by The Village People. Because of some personal things in my life, my yard got ignored last summer and the last thing you want to do in the South in the summer is ignore your yard--nature (in the form of weeds, many of them invasive) takes over. The whole area under mulch looked like that green portion to the right: i.e. Japanese stilt grass, English ivy, and poison ivy. In two hours, with the generous help of my neighbors, I was able to reconquer most of it, put down a protective barrier and spread mulch. Come fall, it will again be ready for plants I want.

Next on the agenda of The Village People is to help an elderly neighbor clean out a carport full of...well, no one really knows what's in that carport.

Things like this remind me that I'm blessed to live in this neighborhood. I know not all neighborhoods and not all neighbors look out for each other like this. While walking our dogs, my neighbor and I like to joke that it's like living in a Leave it to Beaver episode sometimes. We often make this joke after stopping to talk to other neighbors and sharing the latest in neighborly news. I love it and have a hard time imagining living anywhere else.

Do you live in a neighborhood like mine? If not, would such a helpful (and sometimes nosy) neighborhood drive you crazy, or do you think you would like it?


Mary Preston said...

I live in a great neighbourhood. I think it makes the world of difference.

kris said...

Jennifer, that's an amazing concept/group. I love it. You are indeed blessed!

Kaelee said...

What a wonderful concept. I live in a great neighborhood. Lots of the people have been on the block for over 35 years. When someone is on holidays mail pickup, lawn and plant watering and stuff like that gets done. No big work parties though.

mary sullivan said...

Jennifer, I'm late commenting, but I LOVE this idea. Really wonderful. You are blessed with great neighbours.

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