Celebrate: Good Neighbors

I have to tell y'all, I live in the best place.  It's a blessing! And what really makes it wonderful are our wonderful neighbors.  A little more than two years ago my husband, Labrador retriever and I bought a home on an old tree-lined street in a small Kansas town (baby came later).   Instantly our new neighbors began stopping by to introduce themselves and over the two years we've developed good friendships. 

To me being a good hostess isn't about always entertaining or throwing lavish parties, it's a way of life.  And part of that is being a good and gracious neighbor.  In the winter my husband shovels the driveway of our neighbors across the street and in the summer they invite us to use their pool.  We watch each others homes, help with small tasks, and share concerns about the neighborhood.  For instance, today I'm baking heart-healthy oatmeal cookies for some neighbors who are trying to be more health-conscience.

It doesn't take much to be a good neighbor.  Do the obvious -- keep your yard looking nice, pick up your trash, and keep your pets off the neighbor's lawn.  But do the unexpected every once in awhile as well:
  • when a new neighbor moves in take them a small plant and card with your names and contact information
  • when a neighbor has a baby drop off a basket of fruits and baked goods that will provide them breakfasts for a few days (see photo)
  • if a neighbor is sick or recovering drop flowers off on their front porch but don't ring the bell, just call and let them know you dropped something off for them but didn't want to disturb
  • if a neighbor is going out of town offer to pick up their mail or water their plants
There are a million small, generous gestures you can do to be a good neighbor.  And when you're a good neighbor, they'll be good neighbors, and it will improve the quality of life on your block.