Where my sidewalk ends

chairsMoving to a new state, neighborhood/area filled with strangers is daunting. But, I feel like we moved here with a positive, friendly and trusting mindset…maybe a little bit too trusting.

I shared the background of this post on Facebook, so I’ll copy/paste it here, in order to make a long story short:

The other day, a group of about 8-10 teen/pre-teen girls walked by our home, on the sidewalk. I was outside, watering the flowers. “I like those chairs!!!” one of the older girls exclaimed enthusiastically, about our two orange porch chairs. “Well, thank you!” I responded, feeling very happily June Cleaverish with my hose and blooming lilies. Naive, I am…because this morning, guess what was missing from our porch? I hope they’re at least enjoying their NEW home.

What I didn’t share then, was that after finding out we had our chairs stolen, the feeling of our new, nice, suburban area with friendly people in it suddenly felt muddled, unsafe — and I even felt exposed and vulnerable just leaving my doorstep to walk Moxie. I also didn’t share that after the girl yelled to me that she liked our chairs, I did get a twinge of alarm in the back of my mind, like maybe I should be putting the chairs away at night, or something. Finally, I also didn’t share that the group of 8-10 girls ranging from approximately 13 years old to 4 years old, without adult supervision, and who were throwing expletives, including the N-word, around to each other, were black. I didn’t share this, because I didn’t think it was important. Continue reading

Are you a good neighbor?

welcomeSome people are super neighborly — popping in, ringing the doorbell to ask questions and/or deliver goodies. They invite their neighbors over for dinner, offer to watch their house/pets when they’re away on vacation and bring their newspaper over to them personally when it’s accidentally delivered to their house.

Do those things make them a good neighbor?

Some neighbors keep to themselves, only waving and slightly smiling when they see their neighbors outside, placing mistakingly-delivered newspapers on the edge of the correct driveway and no one even notices when they’re away or back from vacation.

Do those things — or lack thereof — make them a good neighbor? Continue reading