No, we’re not having one for MftBG. We’re having one on my block today. It’s an annual event in my neighborhood, usually following a block garage sale. Today it’s just the party and we’re holding the garage sale in a couple weeks.
It’s a great tradition. The street is blocked off from noon until close to sunset. The organizers bring in a jump castle for the kids to play in, and late in the afternoon, everyone brings out their best dishes for a potluck party while two volunteers man the grill.
Me? I’m bringing a fabulous lemon layer cake filled with lemon curd. Why? Because I’m the dessert maven, darlings. I also have some oatmeal cookies filled with dried fruit left over from the Relay for Life that I’ll probably thaw out and bring.
But there’s more to it than games for the kids and showing off our foodie leanings. Having this party every year means we all get to know something about one another. It builds community and friendships. It makes us think a little more during the year about who we haven’t seen lately or who suddenly isn’t doing much with their previously show-quality yard. It means we notice when someone is behaving oddly and take the time to find out what’s going on. It means we take better care of one another because we have a reason to pay attention. It means if there’s an emergency, we all know we can go to a neighbor for help.
Community is a good thing. The great thing is, all it takes is a bit of effort to create one. Say hello to a neighbor. Invite someone in your building to dinner. Make a connection.