Neighborhood Connections

For the month of July, I am going to attempt (with a big emphasis on the word attempt) to participate in Blogher’s NaBloPoMo. NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Post Month and the site Blogher sponsors a one every month, each month with a different theme.

The theme for July is Connections and although it is not yet July, as I toured my neighborhood this morning during my C25K (couch-to-5K) run, I got to thinking about neighborhood connections. So I thought I would do a little warming up for July’s challenge.

I grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. In my childhood neighborhood, everyone knew everyone else up and down their own street. My mom would regularly get together with some of the other mother’s on our block for “coffee klatches“. At least until high school, my closest friends were kids who lived across the street or three doors down. All summer long, there were neighborhood pool parties and backyard picnics. It was a delightful way to grown up.

While raising my own kids, we lived in two different communities having moved to the stateline after eight years in one of Chicago’s Northwest suburbs. By that time, the coffee klatch was a thing of the past, however both neighborhoods were no less friendly and enjoyable. Bon fires, neighborhood picnics, weddings, birthday parties, we were one big happy neighborhood family. Those connections have left a lasting memory in my heart.neighborhood pix

The neighborhood I live in currently is pleasant but even though I have been here for over 12 years, I don’t have the kinds of connections that I’ve had in previous places. I know the neighbors next door, we chat sometimes when we’re both out getting mail or working in the yard. Others I will wave at but that’s the extent of our interaction.

My home is an empty nest now as seem the majority of other houses on my street. I can’t help but wonder if that is the main reason for the lack of connection. Kids seem to have no problems finding and developing friendships which usually leads to the parents becoming acquainted as well.

I look back now and realize that I should have taken the lead long ago and made the effort myself to introduce myself, but I didn’t. It’s never too late though to make a new acquaintance or an old one for that matter. Perhaps the July NaBoPloMo challenge will lead to more than simply writing about connections. Perhaps it will inspire me to make some.

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