(Sometimes it’s tough to feel at home in your own city. Which is why I’ve given myself a challenge: each day, for forty days, I’m going to find *one* thing I love about this place. And then I’m going to tell you about it. If you want to follow my journey, start here. Today is Day Eleven.)
I live in a neighborhood I love.
And when I say that, I’m not talking about school systems or property values.
I’m talking about people: young, old, married, single, delightfully overeducated, salt-of-the-earth.
I’m talking about the way we get together once a month or so to kick back, share a favorite dish or a bottle of wine, circle up our lawn chairs and watch the kids play tag as the daylight thickens to purple.
I’m talking about the ice cream truck that stops the next street over.
The swing that hangs from the ancient oak on my neighbor’s front lawn.
I’m talking the May Basket that magically appears on my front door each May Day — a cone of paper with a bouquet of homegrown flowers tucked inside.
And then there are the summer block parties: the whole raucous mix of us laughing in the dappled shade of somebody’s front yard, drinks in hands, children weaving around the buffet tables, busy dogs nosing the edges of the tablecloths while an adult hand shoos them away.
I love the master gardens.
The sidewalk-chalk masterpieces.
The white picket fence where the roses push through.
Or this memory: a small group of us huddled in my neighbors’ yard at twilight, watching their night-blooming flowers, holding our breath until each blossom shuddered open, one by one.
They say you can’t pick your neighbors, and that’s true.
I am surrounded by good people, and frankly, they just happened to me.
I am grateful.