There was a time in my life where I knew I had a great family and some great friends, and didn’t necessarily feel like I needed to add friends into my life. Meeting new people was always a little socially awkward for me. However, over the last many years, I have learned that adding new relationships and friends into your life is never a bad thing. Each person that crosses our paths is there for a reason and has a place in your story…your life.
Over 11 years ago, my husband and I bought our starter home in Bowling Green, Ohio…on a country road outside of town with just a row of a few houses each a 1/2 acre apart. Within a few days, a very nice neighbor girl came down to welcome us and introduce herself. The next week her husband knocked on the door and came in…didn’t say much and was kind of awkward standing in our entryway as my husband and he carried on a random conversation.
As the weeks went on, this couple invited us over to another neighbor’s house 3 doors down, and as we sat out on their back porch for the first time, we looked into their sliding glass door and saw what looked like our missing outdoor cat, Miller!! Yup…they stole Miller. We still laugh about that today. And I remember not long after that, shyly knocking on one of their doors asking for a cup of sugar (so cliche, I know, haha).
God placed us in that house. He surrounded us with 3 of the most amazing couples and neighbors we could have asked for, adding 1 more when they moved from Colorado and ended up on “Wisteria Lane”, or as we called our row of houses, “Duncanville”. The Duncanville couples were placed together during what I like to think could have been a very lonely and difficult time. Young marriages…having children for the first time…being away from family. These couples became and still are one of my biggest support systems. The memories and friendships we have made are something only God could have intended.
4 pregnant women taking evening walks down the old country roads probably looked quite hysterical…but how amazing to go through a pregnancy right along with your 3 other neighbors? (by the way, nobody would drink the water in our neighborhood at that time). How amazing to have our children all close in age grow up together, hopping from backyard to backyard each night as dusk settled in. How great I could walk over to have a cup of coffee with a friend in the morning, or how multiple times a week one of us would send a group text to come over and share dinner.
Oh and the laughs. The BB gun injury (that required surgery), the Shadow, the removing a tattoo with a band saw, the vibrating of all 4 houses as things were blown up in the cornfield behind us (all courtesy of our husbands…why did we need to have kids??). The vacations, the first days of school, the laughter, the many many bonfires and cookouts, and my favorite, the countless walks/runs we took together each evening. And oh the support…we have seen each other through ups and downs…we have cooked for each other after babies and surgeries. The fact that when I ran out of gas, one of the other husbands came to the rescue, and when Matt was gone for a week, the other husbands would come over and mow my lawn.
At a time when I didn’t think I needed any more friends, I met some of my closest friends. At a time when I was away from family…scared having a baby for the first time..navigating a new marriage/relationship…I found others in the same part of their lives.
Though many of us have moved houses as our families have grown, we still remain inseparable. Forever our kids will have each other…forever we will have that bond as parents. As we continue to get together for dinners and fun, I just think how blessed we were that we ended up in that small row of houses together, in Duncanville. These are families that I know will always be there for me…seriously, I could call them for anything/anytime. In fact last weekend, 2 of the husbands dropped what they were doing to drive 2 hours to where Matt had broken down. Though everyday I miss having them just steps away, I am so thankful God put them in my life.
Neighbors. Be sure to go meet your neighbors. Even if it is just to ask for a cup of sugar. You never know what it could turn into.