Moving to a new community is like placing all your chips on one number and giving the wheel a spin. You might luck out and win big time or you might strike out and lose everything but more often than not you end up near the winning number and break even.
In our previous neighborhood we had some really good neighbors, a few tolerable neighbors and one or two neighbors that made us crazy. We broke even. When we moved here we spent nearly as much time looking at the neighborhood, the neighbors' houses and yards and repeatedly asking our realtor what he knew about the area as we did looking at the houses for sale. We wanted to get a sense of the people who would be living beside us before we made our decision. But all of our stalker like research didn't garner us very much information so in the end we do what most home buyers do...we pick our number, make our bet and cross our fingers.
This time it looks like we hit the jackpot!
We have been getting to know our neighbors little by little over the past couple of months but yesterday evening we were invited to a bonfire with several of our neighbors. We happily accepted and arrived with our troop at the appointed time. I knew who had been invited and was looking forward to connecting with everyone again but sitting around the fire, with the kids running in and out of yard in the setting sun I had a moment of unexpected bliss.
To look at the dozen or so people sitting around the fire last night you might scratch your head and wonder what this group would have in common. There were grandparents, empty-nesters, stay at home moms, working dads all with very diverse backgrounds and life experiences. When we first arrived I was a little unsure of how things would progress but my apprehension barely had time to form before I was engaged in a fantastic conversation with someone, who on the surface, couldn't be more different than myself. And that was the trend of the evening, it didn't matter who I spoke with, we very quickly and easily found common ground or took a genuine interest in the differences we had. Never once did I experience a moment where the conversation lagged or seemed awkward.
Call it luck, call it small town charm...I don't really care. This is my neighborhood, these are my people and I love it.