The NeighborhoodI saw a different side to my neighborhood the other day. I walked Gracie a little earlier than I usually do and my street was a totally different from the way that I usually experience it. There were different people out in their yards, or walking down the block and the odd thing was that they all knew Gracie.

Our street is pretty quiet. We live at the end of a cul de sac so there isn’t a lot of traffic and it would appear that most of the families here either have young children, or none at all. I say appear because I haven’t met many people on our block. When we moved in, no one came over to say hello, or introduce themselves. The people in the houses closest to us keep to themselves for the most part and we haven’t really become familiar with anyone. When our new neighbor Judy moved in next door, Holly and I made extra sure to introduce ourselves and get to know her. We didn’t want to miss that opportunity like we did when we first moved in.

Yesterday I got home around 6pm, instead of the usual 7pm. I always walk Gracie first thing when I get home since she’s been in her crate all day. As I walked down the street, it felt like any other time I’ve walked her. Halfway down the block, there was someone mowing their grass and they stopped to say hi to Gracie. Gracie is one of those dogs that just loves to meet people. After she runs up to someone, she usually rolls over on her back so that you can pet her belly. When she does this, I usually introduce her to the person, so I said “Hello, this is Gracie.” The man with the mower said, “Oh, I know. I’ve met Gracie before.” I just grinned and said “Oh?” and then we walked on a little further.

Not five seconds later, two people came up the street as if they had just gone for a jog. When they came up, they said “Hello Gracie” as if they knew her. I was befuddled. I had met three neighbors, that I had never met before and yet they all seemed to know Gracie. For a second, I had a Frasier moment – could it be that my weblog is that popular with my neighbors? 😉

The female jogger began talking with me and somehow in our brief conversation, she asked who was walking Gracie two weeks ago. That’s when it hit me. “Oh, that was my Mom. I was out of town.” The mystery solved! When we were in Destin, my Mom had stayed at our house to take care of our pets. She gets off work much earlier and must have met all the people I was meeting when she walked Gracie.

As I was walking back to the house a little while later, I thought about how different the neighborhood is depending on the day, or even the time of day. Everyone has their own routines and mine simply never occurred at the same time as the folks I met that day. Although at first, it was a little like being in a Twilight Zone, it was fun to see this new side to our neighborhood. Being the community guy that I am, it makes me think that we should have a block party one Saturday to bring everyone together. Heck, if I’m not careful, I’ll get everyone name tags and create a web site for the block! Hmmm, I’ll have to think on that one. 🙂