Thursday, March 24, 2011

Howdy neighbor!

Maybe it's the number of For Sales and foreclosures in the neighborhoods of Southeastern Michigan, but one of my favorite pass times of late is looking for houses for the people I love. No, they aren't in the market. I'm planning their moves for them! Their moves, I'm not going anywhere.
Mac and I like whiling away an occasional afternoon driving up and down the streets around our home and finding houses and then coming home to check the real estate listings to decide where people should live. Our goal is that we are all within walking distance. I told my mom the other day that I'd like for she and my dad to move into a house on our block. If they move nearer my sister, that's fine too. I just think it would be nice to be close enough to chat over the fence, or at least holler over another neighbor's yard, with one another. I'd like Daboyz to live in the neighborhood so if they need help with their children, the kids can simply walk here after school. Ideally my sister will move into the area too. I'll spring that on her at some point. I'm not talking about people who live hours away, I'm talking about reducing the distance to walkable from driveable. All of you should scan the Dearborn listings too, you are invited. Just think of it! All of us in the same neighborhood! The homes would all be maintained lovingly, the streets and sidewalks would be safe for our little ones, we wouldn't need to arrange complicated plans to see one another, we'll be sharing smiles and hellos every day!
If I buy too many tomato plants? I'll walk them over to your house for your garden. If you have too many zucchinis? Send them this way and I'll make bread for everybody! Feeling under the weather, any one of us can pick up your groceries while we're out. Go ahead and take a vacation, we'll see to your mail and your lawn and even your dog. Power out? We'll take turns hosting camp fires and making a party out of it.
And when the world gets a little too frightening and the news is shouting nuclear melt downs and so many wars we lose count and there is a daily moment of silence for the latest young man we've lost in combat, we can look out our front windows and find the good and pure things to focus our hearts on.
This doesn't happen to be one of those "let's pretend" moments. I am putting forth a thought for your consideration. No, not that you pull up stakes and move next door immediately. That's a little too Waco. But if a time comes in the years ahead when you find yourself on the market for a new home, might you want to focus on a house with a sidewalk that leads to someone you love? What have you got to lose? Think how much easier the house-hunting will be when it is narrowed down to a few blocks. Maybe moving days for you are way in the future. All the better! Start budgeting for the street you want to live on so that when that perfect house is available, you're ready.
I've heard of a lot of families over the last few years wishing they could build a compound for their family, buying acres of land and putting homes there together. That would be awesome, but for most of us it is dreaming without planning. I know of a family who all bought condos in the same complex, a kind of modern spin on the family farm! But if that is something in your heart, it really isn't such a castle (or bungalow) in the sky. It's just another of those purposeful living things that make live richer for the planning.
P.S. You do not have to be related to join my neighborhood, everyone is officially invited.
If enough of us join in, we can take turns shoveling snow and only do it once a year!

Image: Fairlane Mansion, Henry Ford Estate. Dearborn, MI. I do not live here.


Margie said...

Since I am related... I'll be picking out my house shortly. And... I'll shovel the snow if someone else will mow my lawn.

Pat said...

That must be the back of Henry's house, I don't see the driveway. Since no one is living in it...I'll take it, and on the plus side, it has a restaurant in it!

Elizabeth said...

I LOVE this idea!! And Margie, I will mow your lawn :)

Ginger said...

I guess I won't be moving to Michigan any time soon, Sara, but if I should need to relocate, I'll be looking for a house in your neighborhood!

I really like what you're saying -- that we should watch out for each other, live in community, be neighbors. We can care for each other better that way, and we can reach out to the world better that way too.

I have a couple of books you might appreciate. I just read In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time. I think you'd like it. (You can see my thought about it on my blog.) The other book is The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God. I haven't read it but just heard a radio interview with the author (Leslie Leyland Fields) yesterday. It sort of goes along with the theme of sharing our lives with others.

Hope you have some spring weather this weekend!

Mrs. Mac said...

May I bring my moose and move nextdoor to you?