Quiet Silence …

God recently moved us to a lovely neighborhood filled with huge custom homes. We are a bit like fish out of water here since we have 5 loud kids, cozy coupes on our un-manicured lawn that we cut ourselves and a 2003 Excursion in the driveway. Get the picture? But when God forces you out of one home and gives you only one option for a new, you move. (We are renting right now as we pay off our land to build, hopefully debt free).

We are accustomed to our little cul-de-sac where all the kids ride their bikes, run in and out of the houses and share plates or dishes of food with one another.

The quiet of this new neighborhood is deafening. And I hated not even knowing my neighbor’s names. So, after 3 months of waiting for at least a walk over for an introduction, I took the bull by the horns. I made a big batch of my whole wheat bread, wrapped it up and took a loaf for each of my neighbors (across the street and next door). Both were not home, so I left a note with our names, our address and my cell number.

The neighbor (husband) across the street called me and was dumbfounded. He was so embarrassed. I tried to just thank him for the call and welcome him over, but he could hardly utter the words of thank you. So strange to me. Are people not accustomed to good ole thoughtfulness?

I do hope I broke the ice and we can have some sort of community. However, I fear this is not possible. Most of the people in this area make their mass exodus at 7:40am to make it to work by 8am and return at 6pm and run errands during the weekend. I see more of their landscapers and housekeepers than I do of the people that live here.

At any rate, you continue to inspire me to reach out to others. Thanks!

I couldn’t help but share this powerful story that my friend Polly sent to me. I couldn’t help but think that her kind gesture could actually be changing the lives in her “cold” neighborhood.

So I wrote her back after she sent me her story, to encourage her that she was doing the right thing. Loving people! And to assure her that she is making a difference!

Three years ago we had the opportunity to find a bigger home to move our family into after we sold our house that we had lived in for 10 years. We chose to buy an older home that was perfect for us, and that was totally in our price range. (Not what the bank said we could afford, but what we wanted to afford!) Our neighborhood is simple with lovely people. Very down to earth. I’m so glad we are here.

But the “quiet silence” Polly is talking about keeps ringing in my mind.

There shouldn’t be deafeningly quiet neighborhoods. We should know each other, be there for each other, help each other – we should be reaching out to one another.

Do you know your neighbors?
Do your neighbors know you?

(Top photo: My cousin Joy’s adopted and foster children – in their not-so-quiet neighborhood! Joy has a huge ministry of loving kids!)
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Yesterday we harvested and pulled out our garden. It was a bitter-sweet feeling for me, and here’s some photos of the beautiful bounty.

Naked beds (and Pupalicious Haggis, our Cairn Terrior)

Humongous sweet potatoes

Beautiful potatoes

Scrumptious tomatoes

Pumpkins, stunning in color

30 comments on “Quiet Silence …”

  1. Pingback: Favorite Things: Beauty, Food, and Friendship!

  2. Wow. I am so saddened by this post. I kept thinking you were going to have this great ending about your neighbors coming together and making you all feel welcome. What a bummer! I commend you for being the better person and reaching out to them. Will you be my neighbor? :)

  3. This story really strikes home. I live in a neighborhood that is “quieter” than it should be. I’m lucky to have become close friends with my next door neighbor and know a few others. Can’t seem to get the community feeling going, though. I even invited all nearby neighbors to my house last Christmas and a few came. I guess it helped a little. I hope the neighborhood will grow closer little by little. We Americans–especially in suburbia–aren’t all so good at community. (I know some are, of course!)

  4. I enjoyed browsing through your blog. This was a great post, and BEAUTIFUL pics of the fall harvest… fall skipped us this year (Alaska) straight to cold cold cold!

    Thanks for stopping by my wee corner. I’m a little scarce these days!

  5. Yes, this does resonate-at least it does with me. We are blessed with a great neigborhood, but we have worked to meet and connect with everyone. We’ve had open houses, bbq’s and all those. They’ve been great ice-breakers.

    The remarkable thing about where we live is that there is so many kids who truly like each other and watch out for each other. Just last night one of the neighbor girls fell and got hurt pretty badly. Four kids ran to her house to get her parents and my husband ran to her to help her up. As he was doing this 10 other kids gathered around her to help and encourage her. It brought tears to my eyes to see how we all take care of each other.

    But this post was also a great reminder to reach out to those I haven’t seen in a while. I’ll be bringing some muffins around this afternoon. Thanks for the nudge!

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