We moved into our house in December, and as the weather has warmed and we've spent more time outside, neighbors have stopped and introduced themselves. We're on a waving basis with most of them, and a conversational first-name with others. I struggle with living as an adult in a neighborhood -- my desire to be anonymous, mixed with the question of how folks will respond to what we do, paired with really wanting to be good neighbors and part of the community. Some of our parishioners live in the area, and are friends with folks on the block, so many already knew all about us.
The woman who lives next door is maybe in her 70s, a widow with familiy nearby who are involved, and spunky and quirky. She loves our dog, appreciates the clean-up we've done to the side of our property that she sees, and will occasionally come over if she see me out.
Tonight was one of those warm, summery nights. I was away the first part of the week at camp, and now my colleague-in-everything is taking the second half of the week. After dinner (eggs for me, crackers for the boy), we started out on a walk ("a stroller 'venture"), and headed past her house along one of our regular routes. She called hello to us from the window, and then asked if she could join us on our walk, and she did, pointing out homes where she knew stories and calling out to folks who were outside. "My daughter dated their son," she'd say. Or, "my grandson stood up in their daughter's wedding."
While part of me had wanted to walk alone, chattering about to my son, her joining us was perfect.