A Perfect Neighborhood

The best place to live?  It’s all down to your neighbors!

No offense to anyone else, but I live in the perfect neighborhood.

My neighborhood is not big; it consists of only one street, a circle; where you enter the street is the same place you exit.  There are only about 30 homes on my street.  None of them are very fancy or very big. Most of the houses are older.  Some need repair.  One or two are empty now.  No, it isn’t the size of the neighborhood or the grandeur of the houses.

I live close to the University where I work.  I could walk to work if I needed to.  But I haven’t needed to, except for the one time, when the Presidential debate was held on campus and security closed it down to all but pedestrian traffic.  Although it is certainly convenient, proximity to work is not the reason my neighborhood is perfect.

My girls are unlikely to agree just yet with my assessment of our neighborhood.  But they are still young, and there are no kids their age on our street.  One neighbor does have grandchildren their age who visit sometimes, but that doesn’t really count, they tell me.  Off and on, they complain and say they want to move.  My 15-year-old wants to live in a city, the bigger the better, the more people the better; my 13-year-old wants to live on a horse farm, the bigger the better, the more horses the better.

But I tell them that some day, when they are married and have children and are busy with life, they will look back on this time in our neighborhood, and will understand what I meant when I told them how very lucky we are to live here.

Because we have neighbors; real neighbors!

They welcome new families with home-baked bread; take in your mail when you are away; call to check on you when you are sick; give you a ride to get your car out of the shop; lend you their extra tall ladder.  All without hesitation and without expecting anything in return.  And they let me do what I can for them.  There’s genuine warmth and support between neighbors on my street. It’s like an extended family.

Maybe even a little better!  Why? Because they do all of this without pushing, without invading your privacy, without crossing into your personal space.  They are supportive without being nosy.  How totally wonderful:  to have support when you need it but, as important, perhaps more important, you also have your privacy.  I can’t imagine a better combination.  I can’t imagine feeling safer.   I can’t imagine a more wonderful neighborhood.   I can’t imagine a better home. My neighbors are the best.

By Sherry Jarrell

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