"If you want to have a friend, be a friend." That's what my mama always told me. But since we moved into this neighborhood just over a year ago, I have been so busy flying out the door every morning to go to my JOB, that I just didn't have time to be "neighborly." Of course, I'm always friendly when I run into one of the neighbors at the grocery store or the local diner, but I just didn't have the time or energy to reach out to my new neighbors. Fortunately, many of the people who live around us here in our little lake community have taken the initiative to get to know us, so that has been really nice. But for me, one of the best parts of life is meeting new people, making new friends, and connecting with others in my neighborhood. So, now . . . . . I am having so much fun with my new-found freedom to do things like bake muffins and take them to the neighbors.
The neighbors just across the street from us immediately jumped in and offered us all kinds of encouragement and help shortly after we moved in last fall. Within days of our arrival in the neighborhood, they popped by one afternoon with a batch of homemade cookies and a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" card. Then, just a few weeks later, they stopped by for a visit and brought Christmas gifts for our girls. Just like living across the street from our favorite Aunt and Uncle! And of course, birthdays are remembered (not sure how they even knew when the girls' birthdays are . . . . . ), Valentine's Day, and most recently they dropped in with some fun Halloween treats. Oh, I almost forgot . . . . last summer they came over one Saturday with a brand-new swingset for the girls! Apparently they had purchased the swingset for their grandkids about 10 years ago, and Mom and Dad never got it set up. So, it was still in the box! The girls were delighted with their new treasure, and helped Daddy put it together that very day!
Other neighbors have invited us to go out on the lake on their pontoon boat, for the Fourth of July Boat Parade and pancake breakfast. Another family helps mow the lawn when our Daddy is out of town . . . . . and others have invited us to go swimming off of their dock. So, when there was a tragic hunting accident last week and the son of one of the neighbors lost his life, it was such a gift to be able to reach out and offer a bit of love and support to the family. I know that a basket of muffins and a card are so simple and so insignificant in the face of tragedy . . . . but that little basket of muffins represents so much more. It is the simple things in life that mean the most, especially in difficult times. It means that we are here for one another, and that, together, we will get through this. I am so thankful for this opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger and significant than just my own self. Life is good . . . . but so much better when it is shared with others!