Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mitford Moment: Know Your Neighbors

Everyone in Mitford seems to know each other! And, when Father Tim gets a new neighbor and I love to see the opportunities they have to interact as she is new to the community! It makes me long to have a neighbor who would, "pop through the hedge" to visit, borrow a cup of sugar, have tea and cultivate friendship!

I know some of my neighbors by name, a few more by face and some not even by recognition. Here is an idea that has been mulling around in my head for a while. Why not make a list of all the house numbers in our neighborhood? Then, when I'm baking - let's say banana bread - make a large loaf for us and some small loaves to share. I have been kind of stock-piling and have five or six little loaves of bread in the freezer. When the girls and I are out for wagon rides/walks - I could take a couple with me and deliver some kindness to a neighbor. I'm still pondering what kind of note I want to attach.

But, I make this challenge to myself: I will share all of the already-made loaves of bread I have (oatmeal, banana or poppy seed) with neighbors before we go out of town at the end of the month. Then I can note which house numbers I went to and keep at it until I've shared something with each neighbor. Likely most will not be home when I am out with the girls, but they will at least know that there is someone in the neighborhood who is reaching out...

Thoughts?

PS: Christy left a great comment on our Mitford post the other day, I love this idea! (I actually entered a contest through Edy's ice cream to win a neighborhood block party!)

"We live in an area where lots of people walk by our front yard on evening walks. This post gives me the idea of making homemade ice cream out front and sharing it with people walking by. What a fun way to spark a conversation and meet someone new (which being an introvert is a challenge for me!).

Also, it would be great to have all the neighbors on our culdesac get together for homemade ice cream and pull out the slip-n-slide for the kids."

10 comments:

carrie said...

Monica,

This is a great idea. You might be interested to know that Oprah of all people shared last month that she really wanted to meet her neighbors, so she dropped by unannounced. She then gave everyone on the block a patio makeover with new plants, etc. I'm not advocating this lavish example, of course, just noting that she encouraged all of her viewers to make an effort to get to know their neighbors as well!

Amy said...

I can't wait to see updates on how this goes over with the neighborhood. I bet everyone will want to know you after they sample some of your homemade goodies! :)

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing for Christmas one year. It helped to meet a few neighbors as it was not a very "friendly" neighborhood. Made a few friendships through that action. Thanks for sharing!
Elise
By the way, I loved the patchwork pillowcase dress you made. It is how I found your blog.

Craftydaughter said...

Monica,

That is interesting that you mentioned Cynthia "popping through the hedge" as just yesterday I told my mom I wondered if my sister was going to "pop throught the hedge" anytime soon. She lives next door and in between our yards is a big hedge. Now I refer to coming or going as popping through the hedge. :-D

~aj~ said...

I think it is a wonderful idea! I'm not a bread baker, so I may have to find another item to share. Everyone likes cookies, right. :)

I've been meaning to do something like this for some of the elderly neighbors we have. Have you ever noticed how older people absolutely love being around young children? I'd like to make a regular habit of visiting with our older neighbors and taking my toddler along for entertainment. I think it would be good fun for all of us.

Thanks for reminding me of this service idea!

wyndesnow said...

I have done the same thing in the past. We have moved several times for my husbands job and I found that I had to introduce myself because our neighbors were not introducing themselves. Here are a few of the notes I added. They are not original to me, I do not recall where they came from.

Banana Bread: "Banana Bread just for you,
because you have so much to do..."
Your neighbor at

Wishing you a season filled with sweetness! (I changed season to the actual season, i.e. Wishing you a summer filled with sweetness!)

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas (or time of year), from your "crummy" neighbors.

Good luck and I can't wait to see what happens!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Monica,

I was just reading about Cynthia popping through the hedge last night. :) And this morning just after I first read this post, one of our new neighbors rang our doorbell. Her car had broken down and she needed a ride to work. She noticed that Dad left about the same time she usually did and asked if he was going anywhere near where she worked. So Dad ended up taking her to work this morning, and this afternoon after work, he mowed the yard of the neighbors' house across the street.

He gets the Good Neighbor award today!

Love you -- Mom

PS: I was interested to read Carrie's note about Oprah making a point of meeting her neighbors. :)

thehomespunheart said...

Thank you all so much for your lovely and inspiring comments! I cannot wait now to get out there and start sharing with my neighbors!

Yesterday, I shared some ice cream dessert (from Sunday) with our neighbors across the street which resulted in a lovely visit with the girls and I and an invite to use their pool anytime we want!

I'm not expecting to "get" anything out of this but I would love to see more smiling and friendly faces and simply be able to greet others who are passing by.

I'll let you all know how it goes!

Mary Ann said...

I always have good intentions of doing more, but need a kick to get started. We have had several new neighbors move in in the last few months and I keep thinking how I need to take a loaf of bread over or something. We have many renters on our street so the neighbor-turnover rate is high and because they come and go so quickly means that many do not get involved in the neighborhood.

debi said...

What a lovely idea. I have bananas waiting to become bread. I found some mini loaf pans I had bought at Christmas and never used. I will be making my loaves in the morning. I cannot wait to make little notes to tie to each one. Thank you for sharing this great idea.