Skip to main content

Settling in to a Small Town, Part 1: Meeting Friendly Neighbors

When we left the city and embarked on a new chapter in our lives in a smaller town, we looked forward to experiencing wide open spaces, a slower pace and getting closer to nature.  A benefit we had not really thought about but that we've grown to appreciate immensely is the many friendly and welcoming neighbors we've met since arriving here.  There's just something to be said about the friendliness of small towns.

The first day in our new home was on a Saturday over Labor Day weekend.  We were busy cleaning the den, where we planned to set up camp inside the house, and I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor when our real estate agent and his wife showed up with a 9x13 pan filled with homemade blackberry cobbler.  It was an impressive cobbler made from blackberries they grew on their property, and it had both a pie crust and a cake topping. They also brought a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream and all the supplies needed to eat our special treat.  I think they felt more than a little sorry for us, seeing how much work there was to be done on the house, and how much there was to do just to get the one room clean enough to sleep in. The house was in pretty sad shape after many years of neglect by the former owners.

Community barn, chicken coop and garden - a great
place to visit when neighbors come by to pitch in.
Robert, our agent, alerted us to the fact that several of our neighbors were planning to stop by that day. He was right. No sooner had he and his wife left than the next-door neighbor, Brian, came by to say hello and welcome us to the neighborhood.  That evening, we visited with Brian again and he loaned us his dolly to make moving boxes a bit easier. We also received a visit from neighbors who lived across the creek.  They were over on our side of the creek, up along the road, picking plums from trees that everyone in the community was invited to partake from.  They told us they planned to make plum jam.  They also told us a little bit of the history of the area.  

I don't recall now if it was that evening or the next, but I soon met the manager of the neighborhood's Welcoming Committee, Lora, who later shared a great deal more about our little community with me.  We met while standing over the community garden.  My husband and I had walked over there to get a breath of fresh air.  Lora invited us to participate in the community garden and the chicken co-op.  She also loaned us her pass to the clubhouse so that we could take advantage of the outdoor swimming pool before it closed for the year.

Since then, I've enjoyed running into my neighbors at the store and library. I find that I'm beginning to settle in, and the urgency of city life is beginning to leave me.  I take longer to visit with my neighbors when I come across them.  Everyone around the neighborhood smiles and waves when they pass by.  It's wonderful how a smaller town can cause its residents to become more laid-back and relaxed.  No one seems to be in a hurry.  How pleasant and rewarding it is to make time to visit with friendly and caring neighbors.