My friend’s father-in-law sells orchids and has a couple of green houses full of them. It was harvesting time and there were so many orchids left over that were “flawed” in some way that she handed out a boot load of them to her friends. These “flawed” flowers were simply amazing by the way. She came over one night and told me she went round to her neighbours with big bunches of flowers and her name on a card. She said it was a great way to meet them. What a fantastic idea! I told her I would be doing the same thing with all the flowers she had given me. Another friend brought over even more flowers…so I was all stocked up.
The kids and I got the bunches together and set out to meet our neighbours. We crossed the road and went next door and met some really lovely people. I have always found it hard meeting neighbours as people tend to keep to themselves wherever we have lived. There is always that initial awkwardness and silently hoping they don’t think you’re a crazy person.
I grew up in a neighbourhood that encouraged community. For a long time we didn’t have fences around our yard, and when one was put up, Dad built gates into every joining backyard. Kids climbed over trees or fences to reach other yards, Mum’s walked up the road to have a coffee and kids walked to school together in herds.
I’ll never forget the time I met some previous neighbours. I was mowing the lawn with a 5 month old Jack strapped on to my front. It was crazy, he was grizzly and it was hot, but I was determined to mow the lawn…on a mission…my neighbour walked over and sat on the steps with Jack while I finished the lawn. We had a great chat and it was really lovely and easy to talk after that.