Since moving to our new home six months ago, we've become close to two sets of neighbors. One family has four girls, ranging from almost seven-year-old twins to a 15-year-old. The mom is an awesome baker with a small dessert catering business. The other family has two girls: one in elementary school and one in middle school. Both families have been a godsend since we moved -- lending us household appliances, helping the husband move furniture, providing much-needed "new homeowner" advice and, most importantly, babysitting the kids. They are very different families -- the one with two girls are fellow Obama supporters, the one with four girls are apolitical; the two girls go to a posh DC private school, while the four girls all attend public school, etc -- but they are all amazingly caring and generous, and they have made me (especially since the husband works long lawfirm hours) feel at home on this block.
Twice a week, my neighbor L -- the baker -- has her 15-year-old daughter pick up the kids and walk them across the street for dinner and a playdate. It's not only a two-hour break for mama, but it's a great time for the kids, who are quite attached to the twins. One of the twins has even decided she and E are a "prince and princess." The regular visits often end in a doggy bag of food for the husband and me and home-made treats by a professional baker. What could be better?
My other neighbor, M, was so concerned about me one day she brought me a take-out dinner. When I called her later on to ask how much I owed her, she shushed me and said "Don't even think about it. We're neighbors!" Since I'm usually on the receiving end of the favors, I was thrilled when in one week M and L needed to borrow sugar and milk, respectively, for recipes. A couple of afternoons later, when I was feeling particularly energetic, I hosted the twins for a playdate while L delivered desserts to a VIP client. The girls were great, and it was good to repay the generosity.
As much as I loved living in New York, we never had the stereotypical "cup of sugar" relationship with our apartment neighbors. We were friends with various building mates, but we didn't rely on each other on a regular basis, so this sense of community is all new to us. What I love about my neighbors is that they aren't necessarily people we would've seen ourselves bonding with, but here we are, forever in debt to the way they've treated us since the day we moved in!
Do you have amazing neighbors? Tell me about them.