DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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14 July 2007

Neighbours

The second stage of a revolution started yesterday. I went out to the front verandah at 3ish and found a box of food scraps. It was a large polystyrene box full of wholemeal bread crusts, beetroot tops, assorted vegie scraps and old baby spinach. The revolutionary's note was short and sweet, it said:

THOUGHT YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS FOR THE CHOOKS.
ANG

Ang, is our next door neighbour, Angie.

I have been trying to build up a neighbourly relationship with the people we share our street with. We live at the end of what most modern Australians call a cul-de-sac, and what I call a dead end. It's a tiny one lane road that further down has a small family run business for making roof trusses but across from us is just pine trees that surrounded and hide a deserted saw mill. There are four other families I'd like to be more friendly with. Ang is on one side with her husband and one ten year old son, there is another young family on the other side of them with a dad, a SAHM and two small boys. On the other side of us is a young couple who were married last year. Next to them is an older couple.

When we walk by we say hello and we talk over the fence with Angie, but that's all we do. I decided a year ago that we should be more supportive of each other - more neighbourly. So I started giving spare eggs and vegies to those four families in the hope that would spark reciprocation of some sort. That we'd all start sharing and giving, look after each other if there was a crisis, and be neighbourly. I didn't want us to be in each others pockets, I don't want neighbours to drop in for coffee every morning, but I wanted to share and I wanted all of us to know that if any of us needed help, neighbours would be there to provide it. Well, my gifts were received gratefully but it always ended there. The revolution that started with one step, ended after a walk around the block.

Until yesterday.

Efforts
will now be increased. The box will be returned with fresh vegies, a few eggs and the hope that the revolution will be in full swing by Christmas.

16 comments:

  1. I just commented on your last posting before this, but I had to say that I love this posting just as much. Community is something that I think is HUGE and that seems to be missing. Our human relationship has...changed. I am so glad that your neighbor has begun to reach back out to you as well! I hope the relationship continues to strengthen! Thank you so much for sharing this piece of good news!

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  2. I will finally get my new next door neighbours in about 2 weeks. I am going to try and foster a friendship with them too. I have the advantage that we work across the road from each other and already stop and chat to each other when we meet. Adelaide is a bit odd that way it seems, as ppl rarely know their neighbours. I want to change that. Good luck Rhonda, I would love to have you as my neighbour!

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  3. Hi Rhonda - a definite breakthough! It feels lovely to be able to give our neighbours fresh eggs, seedlings and veggies. We are very lucky to have some young families nearby - which means a constant stream of little folks to see the chooks and ducks! It also means that people have a vested interest in feeding the animals when we are away. :o) I think we might be a bit of a neighbourhood curiosity.

    Our neighbourhood was ravaged by the 2003 Canberra bushfires, and as a result, everyone really bonded and this feeling of connectedness has continued. (The fires also got rid of all the privet in the backyard, and the trumbling down fences, so it wasnt all bad!)

    Goodluck with breaking down the neighbourhood defenses - they dont stand a chance with your arsenal of cherry slice!

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  4. I think it's great that your neighbour left the box of scraps for your chooks. As a fairly new person in my street (in the little town too!) I hope to build up a good relationship with my neighbours.

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  5. Hi Rhonda,
    I've just nominated you for a bloggers for Positive Global Change Award.

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  6. Oh Rhonda that is wonderful. We are on acerage here so our neighbours are not so close.
    But my across the road neighbour and I swap eggs and veg often

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  7. What a great idea:)

    I have some carrot tops put aside for my neighbour as they have a cute little rabbit as well.

    With out neighbours the street can be very lonely place to live.

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  8. It's a good feeling to know that your neighbours are thinking about you and your chookies enough to put aside all that stuff. I often come home to find all sorts of yummy left overs thrown into my chooks and turks and I'm not really sure who it is who is so giving but I appreciate them who ever they are!

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  9. Thank you for this post and the last.

    Funny how the two houses in the picture do look very much like the place I used to live; my house and my very nextdoor neighbor's... There I had very good relations and interactions with every house on my block; and so it was a fantastic place to be. Here, with trial and error, I've tried for that for the past seven years, and I guess that I should count it as one of my gratefuls that due to my efforts it does exist in a small way tho' we rarely interact and there is a certain negative vibe in the air... Many days no one even says boo, tho' must admit that is better than being screamed at or complained about. And that has happened too. So feel a bit empty on the generosity/friendliness front.

    Anyway, feel revived by your recent posting -- and see I need to get my attitude back on right since this is the place I am meant to be. That better attitude will take some doing.

    Quite simply, you've given me an answer or two in these posts. Let's all keep on the keeping on!

    --Wildside

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  10. With a smile and a wave of encouragement or two?

    --Wildside

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  11. Just discovered your blog..love it!

    Not surprised to see some of my favorites in your links. :)

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  12. Thanks to each and every one of you for your comments. It's what makes blogging so rewarding for me - to know that I'm connecting with others, here in Australia and also around the world. I love to read your thoughts and to know you've been encouraged to comment.

    Kate, thank you for thinking of me. I've been nominated for that award before. I'm not sure that I should accept it again. : )

    Welcome Brenda.

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  13. Hi,
    From the U.S. here. I certainly wish I had neighbors like you! I must belong in an older era or something - as I long for the simple life myself, and to have people in my life that really care and are not rushing around crazy like there is no tomorrow. I guess this is not just a U.S. thing, which I am sad to hear, but God bless you for being such a kindhearted person. I'll be back to read lots more later.

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  14. Oh how you have yet again been given an opportunity to be a blessing to others...eyes are misty here...It's just awesome that's what it is.

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  15. I just noticed that this is a 2007 post, I wonder how the neighboring is coming along?
    We moved to a new place some 2 years ago, thinking we would be part of the community as we were earlier, but found the people and their ways are slightly different - but the good thing is, my new neighbor is the friendly sort, so now whenever anything special gets made at our place or hers, we definitely tell each other about it and share some portion for tasting! its a good way to talk and crib about the facilities - its always nice to know you are not the only one wishing for a better life and better facilities and community!

    offcourse, the fact that the neighbor's baby loves looking at/clapping and laughing at my dogs has been a great bonding point :)

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Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

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