December 15 – the people in your neighbourhood

144/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Most groups of people you associate with, you don’t get to choose: your family, your co-workers and your neighbours being three of the main four – friends being one as well but luckily you have a say there. The group you have the least input into being associated with is your neighbours but they do have an impact on your life. Whether you live in a basement suite, apartment or condo, townhouse or detached home, your neighbours can make your life awesome or miserable. Do they kindly bring in your empty garbage/recycling from the curb? Do they play their music at all hours of the day and night? Do they keep an eye out on your property when you are away? Do they cause you stress over little neighbourly things? I am very fortunate having great neighbours and I can say this from comparing them to the neighbours I had growing up as a child/teenager. Living in a detached house, the interaction is less so with my neighbours than living in other arrangements but their impact is still felt. Yes, there are those nosy neighbours who need to know what is going on in the hood and I guess that keeps the gossip mill running and in turn keeps the social interactions going. There are also those that will lend a helping hand fixing a fence or walking the dog, buying your child’s sports lottery tickets, or just chatting over a beer. I can admit that I am not the most social one of my neighbours (which is a surprise especially if you know me). I do like to keep a healthy distance – maybe it harkens back to my earlier (negative) experiences with neighbours growing up – but even with that aloofness, my neighbours still make an effort to include me and my family into the neighbourly activities from the annual Hallowe’en party to the Dine N Dash to block garage sales. I can’t say that I have had a single negative experience with my neighbours and that is a rarity I’m sure. Thank you neighbours for making the last 16 years in the hood a pleasant non-event which is actually a great thing! In your honour, I keep an eye out for your kids/dogs/cars as you do for mine.

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