Today was one of those days that resembled what I think Norman Rockwall would have conjured if he was looking for a subject to paint:  beautiful sunny, summer day, the kids all playing together outside with nary a disagreement to be heard, the grownups watching from a safe distance while enjoying some banter of their own.  Everyone was getting along.  The neighbors were being truly neighborly.  It was blissful.  It was one of those days that made me absurdly happy in spite of it being perfectly ordinary and uneventul.  It made me smile even with the knowledge that all of this would soon be a memory to me and my kids.  The “For Sale” sign in my yard taunted me a bit, but rather than feeling bittersweet about the scene laid out before me, I simply savored the moment.  I am so unbelievably lucky to live on a street where virtually all the neighbors not only know each other’s names, but also know their kids’ names, their pets’ names and even truly care about them beyond that.  When I see my neighbors outside, I actually want to go out and join them (as opposed to some other places I’ve lived, where depending on who was out there, you’d stay in and pray they didn’t come knocking on your door).  In our kick-ass cul-de-sac, all it takes is one person to be out there, playing with their kid, and before you know it, there are 10 people and their kids outside, all wanting to hang out together.  Maybe this is nothing unusual, but to me it feels special.  These people are like my extended family.  We all look out for each other.  We cheer each other’s accomplishments and offer a shoulder in times of trouble.  We bring gifts and meals when a new baby is born (once we all happened to be standing outside when one of us was heading to the hospital to give birth–she got quite the raucous sendoff!).  Sometimes we are even  catty and judgemental, as close friends and family are often prone to be, but even the gossip has a bottom line:  we are part of each other’s lives because we need each other and we sincerely care about one another.  You don’t blather on about people you don’t care about.

These people are like having a family that I got to handpick.   Yet even they were the (true) luck of the draw.  Just as some people are stuck with parents who are the pits, and some of us have neighbors that make you consider sticking a “For Sale” sign in the yard, others of us are blessed with earth angels next door.  So even if every neighborhood is great like this, I still believe that I am the luckiest suburban housewife in the world.  I love you KPC.  My neighbors are the BEST.

Much gratitude and love to:

Colleen, Hampton, David, Jack, Dave, Lindsey, Lacey, Andy, Leigh, Jeff, Stacey, Abigail, Caroline, Jenny, Andy, new baby Will, Michelle, Scott, Madison, Nicholas, Lesley, Chris, Julia, Jude, Will, Trish, Ann, Cantor, Gracie, Chuck, Louise, Charlie, George, and everyone else that makes this end of our ‘hood such an amazing place to live.

I’ll never forget any of you.