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{September 12, 2016}   Military Wife Life: Welcome to the Neighborhood 

Not too long ago I wrote about my desire to be the change I wanted to see in the world. This concept is applicable even in the small things in life. I became very aware of that when we moved into our new base housing unit this summer. To say I was excited was putting it mildly. I grew up in base housing and now as an adult I looked forward to barbecues and sitting on the lawn with the neighbors on a random Wednesday. I looked forward to meeting the neighborhood spouses and waiving and smiling as we passed by. I looked forward to the women who come around just to say, “Hi,” and “Welcome to the neighborhood.”

So imagine my disappointed when our first week had passed by and we had yet to even see most of our neighbors, let alone be greeted by any of them. Imagine my dismay when I rolled into my second week in base housing and I had to run down one of my neighbors as she headed into her house. She looked straight at me, knowing I was new and didn’t waive or anything just turned to go Ito the house. So I literally ran up to her extended my hand an introduced myself. She was actually very nice and I don’t think she did it as a snub. I think she just was minding her own business. She said she’d noticed new people moved in and she thought I was new to the neighborhood. I honestly don’t think it even crossed her mind to introduce herself.

Maybe it’s the new generation of people.  Maybe it’s social media. But one of the best parts about living on base is that small town feel, or it used to be. As I read spouse blogs and meet more people that’s the very thing new spouses hate. They view each other with suspicion and those that do not, mind their own business to avoid intruding.  In short, when it comes to our neighborhoods, we are losing our ability to be…well, neighborly.

After talking to our housing manager during our intake inspection, I got the sense that that was “just the way” this neighborhood was. No one came out and no one participated. So what to do? Well I determined that I wasn’t going to give into the norm and be apart of the problem. Maybe people just need a reminder that it’s okay to be friendly. So I decided to become my own welcome wagon. What makes people happier than sweets?! That’s why I made really easy and cheap cookie bags for the entire neighborhood.

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Here’s the supply list and a video of how I put the simple bags together:

Brown bags

Twine

Post it notes

Marker

Hole puncher

Sandwich bags

Cookies

Normally I would make my own sugar cookies, but at the time my household goods were still lost. By making the cookies you can probably save even more money because you can control the size of the cookies and therefore the usage of the dough.

—-Update ——

Since passing out the bags, the response has been slow but heart warming.

I’ve received a neighbor at our food just to say hello

Another introduced he whole family and another neighbor as I walked by

And yet antihero sent fresh and hot spice cake down as a thank you gift.

People are reticent to speak still, but they wave.  So I keep trying. The neighborhood BBQ might not happen this summer, but hopefully there will be time for that.

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Courtney says:

Such a sweet idea. Our neighborhood is the same way, so I’ll have to try this, too!

Liked by 1 person



Thanks! It didn’t happen over night but slowly more and more neighbors speak to us or at least waive when we pass by. Funny thing is the kids in the neighborhood love us now. Lol.

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