Last week was our first official snow day (meaning Oldham County canceled school). The weather reminded me of the drama we experienced, almost a year ago, when I left our back gate open and our Husky went on his first walkabout. Long story short: I posted his pic and last known location on Facebook, and a friend of a friend of a friend (I’m not exaggerating) texted us the next morning with the awesome news that our pup spent the night in her house – just one block away.
For so many reasons – the culture we live in, my family’s introversion, blah, blah blah – we’d never met these neighbors. We quickly found each other on Facebook and became “Facebook friends,” but that was it. Since then, we’ve had several lovely exchanges with folks in our neighborhood – one got a package meant for us delivered to her doorstep by mistake; another watched in horror as his truck rolled into our mailbox; my husband stops and entertains the occasional runaway dog, until its owner can catch up to it, and so on. Still, ours remains just a “nodding neighborhood” (nod as you drive/walk past), and that’s been fine with us.
But, something about that snow day, and remembering the kindness of others, and hearing our boys make jaded comments about the future of America, and wanting to do more (but not beyond my comfort zone), I created a Facebook group for our neighborhood. I asked my Husky-finding-friend to co-moderate the group with me and sent invitations to the handful of neighbors I have email addresses for, (thanks to school directories), then watched and waited.
So far, 20 folks have found and joined our group. Our “about” statement talks about helping each other find lost pets, being a place we can ask to borrow tools or offer to share our extras, and promising to keep posts positive. In a world and a time when it’s easy to feel like my voice/vote has no impact, this has made a difference for me. If the same can be said for even one of my neighbors, then 2017 is already a success.
Postscript: if you like the idea of a Facebook group for your neighborhood, then you’ll love the idea behind the artwork that accompanies this post. You can read about it at letsbeneighbors.org.