Block party offers a chance for fellowship and new friends

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 23:00

Over the weekend my neighbors hosted a neighborhood block party. They went up and down our whole street inviting everyone to a get-to-know-each-other potluck. The church that both our families belong to provided a sound system, grill and bounce house. However, the real attraction was fellowship with those who live near us.

The first neighbors I met introduced themselves as one of the first three families to live on the street. That wasn’t so new to me. I’ve lived in just-built neighborhoods before. Someone is always the first to move in. What struck me was the length of time they had lived in one house. In military neighborhoods the folks that have been there for two or more years are the old-timers. After doing the math in my head, I realized that these neighbors moved into their house the year I was born. Though I don’t remember it, I moved that year myself, and I’ve been moving ever since.

Back in high school my parents moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere. The people there hadn’t just lived in the same place for decades; they had lived there for generations. I met people who lived in the same house their grandparents were born in. They never chose to live there, they just did. Before living in Eagle River that is what I saw living in one place as: never having been anywhere else, not really choosing to stay, but just being stuck.

Being stuck is not what I see from my neighbors. They have come from all over the United States, some even all over the world. They have traveled, seen what else is out there, and choose to live here, in Eagle River. Their love for their state and their neighborhood is evident.

Having chosen to live here, my neighbors remember what it was like to be new. The years of living here have given them experience and knowledge that they translate into great advice. Relating to being new here, they give their advice freely.

They shared what they learned about the outdoors. We were told the best places to fish, along with advice about taking young children fishing. My husband, who would really like to go out on a hunting trip before we move, spent his time picking the brains of those who have hunted for years.

They shared their love of the community. We were told about all the activities we must not miss. One lady on the Bear Paw committee reminded us of all the events we should take our children to at the festival. A parishioner of the Greek Orthodox Church told us about the Greek festival that is held yearly. Her description of the icons on the walls had me adding visiting the church to my list of things I want to see before we leave.

We had such a great time getting to know the people around us. We may just have to do the block party thing again.

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