The Fourth of July landed on a Wednesday this year which caused us to wonder if more people would be home and available. We thought this may be a great opportunity to host a block party for the 18 homes on our street.
My family agreed, and just like that I found myself going door to door greeting neighbors and asking them if they were interested in a Fourth of July block party. I am very much a visual person, so it was wonderful to put names to the many faces. One couple, Nick and Jess, modified their vacation schedule to leave a day later because they didn’t want to miss the event. Thirty minutes later I had commitments from almost everyone in the neighborhood.
My family was in, my neighbors were in, and now we had some planning to do. We supplied the tables, cups, cutlery, napkins, and asked the other families to bring something to throw on the grill, drinks, and a side to share with everyone. My youngest daughter picked out the fireworks, my oldest made up the flyer, and we all prayed for success. The last step was to put flyers in mailboxes so everyone knew the start time and what to bring.
Wow, I was amazed at the wonderful response, good times had by all! Old neighbors and new ones ate, talked, laughed and caught up with each other. One couple who had just moved from downtown Baltimore was relieved to know that people in the suburbs hang out as well. Neighbors were being neighborly, hanging out and enjoying one another’s company. Too often the relationships in the neighborhood are not much more than small talk and polite waves as someone pulls in and out of their driveway. But today, lives were intersecting, relationships were growing, and we were experiencing what it means to be good neighbors. Who would have thought that all that could come from something as basic as an idea for a block party and a simple invitation?