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Monday, January 08, 2007

The Community

Saturday afternoon a woman showed up at my house. I have met her before when my son was selling popcorn around the area. She was having a community meeting at her home on Sunday, handing us a flyer, she asked us to attend.

On the flyer it informed us that they would be discussing the neighborhood covenants and voting on them. What covenants ? We were never informed of these. So we attended the meeting.

I was handed a copy of the covenants , and I read through the 5 page lawyer speak to discover the last line. We did not buy our land from this company, and therefore can not be held to it.

We were also there to discuss what should be done with an abandoned lot of 5 acres. I knew we were there so she could convince her neighbors to allow her to run her horses on the land. She had to have their approval to set up anything the was non-residential. She sugar coated it by suggesting a community center/saddle club.

A community center in our area is actually a good idea. 4-H, animal husbandry, cooking, day care, playground, lending library, vet clinics, first aid classes were things that were suggested.

Unfortunately our hostess was a chatter. On the covenants issue, only the couple that had lived out here the longest had a say, keep it residential. On the community building idea, not much was said. But I did learn all about our hostess past, her husband's past, and what kind of injuries she has sustained, all in a two-hour period. The up side of this, was we got to meet some of our neighbors. We chatted and learned who had the community storm shelter, who had moved in after we had, who had recently passed away and how. I learned of my neighbors plans for their land, and left with many business cards. Funny, everyone there knew who we were, though I didn't know them. You're the ones with the motorcycles. When we first moved out here, our closest neighbor was afraid to meet us, she was scared of bikers and assumed we fit that profile. But after her dog discovered ours, she had to come and meet us. We became good friends until her husband died, he was only 45, and she moved away.

Now that we have met many of the land owners in our area, my husband and I have decided to throw a community b-b-que once our house is finished. I know that community is important and that we should know everyone, we just haven't had the opportunity.

A community that is banded brings in a fuller life. I learned this growing up in the suburbs. Children could play anywhere, and there was always someone keeping an eye out so every parent didn't have to worry. There was this one yard we loved to play in, besides the big ditch. A tight community offers chances at bartering, and shared help. It gives you a unique opportunity to learn new skills. I am disappointed that I didn't take the time to meet the people here before now.

If you haven't yet, no matter what type of dweller you are, it might be a good time to meet a neighbor or two. I am certainly glad I finally did, and plan on keeping up with the introductions.

It has been very windy here the past several days, and I am having problems staying online. It has taken awhile for me to get this posted.


Caroline said...

I think that in our neighborhood, we're the strange ones - mainly because we have livestock, and don't worship at the God of Lawn. No covenants, though, thank goodness.

Cheryl said...

How nice that you got a chance to meet some of your neighbors. We've gotten to know some of the people in this neigborhood, which is a nice change from condo life, where nobody ever talks to anybody.

Billy said...

I will be acquiring new neighbors soon as well. One neighbor that I know of had cameras around the outside of his house. Makes you wonder.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about our neighbors this morning. We have many of them, but never see them as we are always busy at work and then busy at home and rarely do we cross any of our neighbors paths. We do sort of know them as they are all from the plain people and so we just know who they are, but we should make more effort to really get to know them I guess. It is just the time factor. It is nice that you found out who your neighbors are and now you want to invite them over. Must be you really liked them.


Stephanie Appleton said...

I had to laugh at "Funny everyone there knew who we were, though I didn't know them." That has been exactly our experience. Here on the ridge they all know each other, go to the same churches and a lot are related. (really it isn't a WV joke!) Everyone knows about "those folks who moved behind the Shaffers!"

Bob Westbrook said...

Coming from the city where you guard and distrust we haven't been quick to meet neighbors. The exception was the closest house to us (80 acres away) when I went and told them not to ride their ATV's on my property. However several have pulled into our drive to say hi. They don't know who I am till I tell them who my grandmother was. Then they know my whole family tree and thus who I am. Sort of. It's takin some getting used to but it is good.

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