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The Kindness of Strangers

Since my feed has decided to randomly re-send old blog entries, I took it as a sign to finally complete the draft of a new one I started two months ago. Enjoy!

Since moving into our new house, we’ve had a surprisingly lovely welcome to the neighborhood. A shame, really, that the lovely welcome is surprising, but it seems in this day and age, there’s not frequent evidence of the kindness of strangers.

The city we moved to is a beautiful seaside community where many people have lived for quite a long time. So, one can’t help but wonder how a very established neighborhood of long-time residents would take to some newcomers.

From our experience, “welcomed” doesn’t even seem like a strong enough word. Our very sweet neighbors, John and Linda Lu, chose to host an open house in our honor. They mailed out invitations to everyone on the street, and we all gathered on a Sunday afternoon to get to know each other a bit.

Now I must admit, we were a bit hesitant about the idea. We just weren’t sure what to expect. We knew that most, if not all, of the people on the street were quite a bit older than us, and, from our experience, the older generation is not often on board with the same-sex marriage concept. How would they take to their new neighbors?

We get to their house and hear Linda Lu proclaim, “Oh, they’re here!” As we ascend the stairs, all eyes are on us. And we immediately feel… fine. Better than fine. Eager and honored. Everyone has name tags on (at first thought… dorky, after a few minutes… adorable), and quickly we have tags stuck on us. Neighbor by neighbor, they come over to present us with gifts, welcomes, glad-to-meet-ya’s, and if-you-need-anything-we’re-right-nearby’s. It’s as if we’re in a room filled with parents and grandparents happy to take us under their wings.

Since that day, it’s been great to be able to say hello to everyone, by name, who walks, jog, or bikes by. We’ve met their adorable dogs on their walks, borrowed ladders and yard tools, and retreated to a neighbor’s house for a much needed glass of wine during some unexpected construction at the new place.

While we’ve had some glitches and too many initiations into home ownership, we feel blessed and lucky to have found the neighbors we have, and we wouldn’t change a thing.

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