From what I hear, they are from Greece. It's a little hard to understand them, and I'm not positive they understand me. But there seems to be a desire on both ends -- a desire to connect to neighbors, to be more than a mere "face" on the block -- to feel like we're a part of a neighborhood family.
But how do we do that, exactly?
Each of us in the house know random people here and there on the block. Some we know by first names, others we know by faces. They know us by the babies and the dog. But as much as we pray for opportunities to really connect, our conversations have remained five-second pleasantries -- a hello, a quick comment, and we're on our way.
What we want for this block is something we think everyone wants: a neighborhood family. But what does it take to get there? I think it takes a bit of a "putting yourself out there" attitude, and that can be a scary thing. It takes an effort that no one is willing to give. No one is willing to take the scary step of standing up, of taking initiative, of entering into relationships. And even though we want to, we're sort of at a loss as to how to do it.
Do we make goodies and go door-to-door to hand them out and introduce ourselves? Do we make a point to hang out on the front stoop every weekend night? How much conversation do we allow ourselves to get into with those on the block? How do we take initiative while remaining sensitive to boundaries? How do we venture out while allowing our neighbors to stay comfortable with us?
... um, seriously. Do you have any ideas?