Jewish Journal


June 26, 2008

Welcome to the neighborhood



When I moved in to my husband’s house, I became a full-fledged member of a community I knew nothing about. The house we live in has been in my dear husband’s (DH) family since his grandparents lived there. When we were dating, I scouted out the important stuff: the grocery store, the gas station, the drug store and, of course, the Starbucks.

My DH knows all of our neighbors, their kids, pets and jobs. I know there’s one guy on the street who gardens every morning, and there is family who has been offering Lambada lessons in their homes in the afternoons.

There are very few Jewish families in our neighborhood – at one time, when Lawrence Welk was on the air, there were more.

Last week, a yellow newsletter appeared in our mailbox informing us that everyone in our area was invited to a Neighborhood Association meeting. I had never been to one, so I had different vision in my head of what to expect.

I had a flash to the tenants meeting I remember seeing on “Will and Grace” and to the town meetings on “Little House on the Prairie” where everyone would gather at the church and Mrs. Oleson would gossip and scowl.

So this week, we went to the meeting – at a church. Big crosses. Hymn books. The whole-nine yards. The neighbors who came were very nice … and informative. It was like having our own Mrs Oleson, except without the scowl.

We learned all about disaster preparedness – emergency kits and what to do in the event of a natural disaster (fun stuff, right). The entire time the fire department rep was talking, DH kept leaned over to me and whispering: “we need that, we should do that, we have to have that.”

I looked at him and said: “You do know the odds of an 8.0 quake hitting in the next five minutes are really slim.”

Then the subject came up of Neighborhood Watch. Now that was something I could get behind. I learned we have two halfway houses, in the southern part of our community; a graffiti problem in the northern part; a bar that, because of grandfather laws, is down the street from a daycare; and, best of all, a crack house of — as one person put it — “Nazi lowriders.”

They never had to deal with that in Walnut Grove.

Before the meeting ended, the coordinator mentioned that we had a great turnout – and that if the block captains could be the point people for their areas, maybe we could get more people involved.

Since I love being the center of the action, DH and I signed up. Cpt. Jewlyweds reporting for duty!

Although, it looks like if we want to get more people to the next meeting, I better brush up on my gardening and get some rhythm.

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