Girls Write Out
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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Air conditioning was the kiss of death for connection with neighbors. No, really it was

The truth was revealed one day last week. It was a gorgeous day, and we went for a drive at about 6 pm to look at landscaping. We are overhauling our entire yard, including putting on a new porch. The above pictures is the front of our house before Dave tore out those high maintenance bushes. :)

I wanted some ideas of what to do in the yard. And I was taking pictures because we have a landscape designer coming to help us. So the window was down as  snapped pictures with my phone of yards I liked. In just a few minutes that evening, I spoke to four different people. With the window down, they turned, smiled and spoke. I did the same thing. I also stopped to talk to someone from our church who hadn't attended in a while. None of those things would have happened if I'd had the window up and the air conditioning on. 

And take air conditioning in the houses as another example. Before we had our lovely, perfectly controlled indoor temperatures, people went outside on the porch or under the shade tree when the mercury climbed. They spoke to neighbors and passersby. I think that's one reason camping is popular. We went to our son's camper at Jellystone on Saturday and talked to so many people that I lost count. Everyone is outside, interacting and having a great time.

Now I'm not about to give up my air conditioning, especially when we hit 98 degrees yesterday! But I am going to make an effort to get outside more, to ride around with the windows down, and to connect with the world out there. How about you? Are you with me? Let's change the world in small ways right in our neighborhoods. 

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 7:06 AM  
  Comments (13)
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At 8:14 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Yes! I've noticed that, too! We've been sitting in our courtyard and have visited a lot more with neighbors. People in our neighborhood sit out in their yards. Some even keep their garage doors open and sit out there, facing the driveway, so they're available to neighbors. That started more people coming out. It's kind of cool. We're getting to know our neighbors more than ever before. Love it!

Great post, C!

At 10:28 PM, Blogger Mary-Louise said...

You're right, getting together with neighbors is fun. In our neighborhood, a couple of times, we were able to do a corn roast at the end of the summer. That was great. And the relationships seem to last, when the neighbors move, we still keep in touch.

Can't help you on the air conditioning note though, I live in the land of 'air conditioning is not a necessity'.

At 6:32 AM, Blogger jel said...

cool looking house!

love sitting out on the porch,

but our nearest neighbor is about a1/2 mile away.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we moved to Pryor Creek, Oklahoma, the house we bought had a swing on the front porch.
At first, I thought it was kind of odd. After all, everyone else had their porch swings in the back.
I quickly found it was the best place in the world.
Swinging there, we connected with our neighbors as they walked down the street. We watched our children ride bikes and skate.
My most beautiful memory is the day I came home from work to find my mom and dad, snuggled up on the swing, waiting to surprise us. (They lived about 90 minutes away, so we didn't get to be with them very much.)
Open windows and front porch swings make for Sweet Small Town Worlds. :)

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Linda Robinson said...

Happy to know about this blog. I'll be back! Amazing how God works. My Bible study this morning was about having people in your home for meals and fellowship, sharing His love with others. We don't have many close neighbors either, but a corn roast sounds like a great idea, Mary-Louise.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Linda Robinson said...

Happy to know about this blog. I'll be back! Amazing how God works. My Bible study this morning was about having people in your home for meals and fellowship, sharing His love with others. We don't have many close neighbors either, but a corn roast sounds like a great idea, Mary-Louise.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Crystal Laine said...

We're porch sitters. LOL. But it's especially fun in Fairmount at Chris's 94-yr-old mother's porch (a similar house to yours, I think.)

What you need is some comfortable wicker type (and it can weather proof modern lookalikes--I have that kind and they're great!) that invites people up where they can imagine having a glass of lemonade. On my mother-in-law's porch, you can actually sit on the sides and when all the family is in for James Dean weekend, the porch is packed--and inviting.

I'm not giving up AC, either, but sometimes you just need to porch sit. It's fun. (And you play "color of the cars" with grandkids there....)

You need to go to the Schoolhouse World of Wicker on St. Rd. 28 near Elwood, too. :)

At 6:25 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I should get some porch furniture! All we have right now is an uncomfortable bench. :(

At 7:55 PM, Blogger janee_music said...

Yes, the Schoolhouse World of Wicker is amazing! Haven't been there for awhile, guess it's time for a visit.

Colleen, you are so right about a/c and visiting...or not visiting as the case may be.

One of my newer neighbors is a long-time friend. We used to sing in a trio, and all three of us played guitar. So one evening a week or so ago, I said to her that some night we should have a flame-less campfire sing-a-long on my front porch. It is pretty good sized. We could put a small sign in the yard inviting people to join in and just sit on the porch playing and singing. It would be interesting to see who might spend a little time. You and Dave could come, too. :)

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I love that, Janee! What fun that would be!

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

It is uplifting when neighbors say hi and smile back at you. Appreciating the beauty outdoors is a great way to relax and meet new people. But like you, I’m not just going to throw away my AC because it is kind of a necessity when it’s scorching outside. It’s my hero in the summer, and that’s why I keep it clean and in tip-top shape.

Naoki Dieter

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Darryl Iorio said...

@Naoki: Our air conditioning unit is mainly one of those things that I need in our house during hot or humid weather. If our AC broke down (I really hope not!), I would most likely spend my time hanging out in the mall just to stay cool during the hot weather. :p I really can’t stay in the house if that happens! Haha!

Darryl Iorio

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Take time to bond and make friends with your neighbors. It’s a good way to establish a long lasting relationship with them. At the same time, going out can also help you save on your electric bill. Anyway, you really don’t have to give up your AC. You wouldn’t know how hot others days can be. It’s better to be prepared than sorry.

-Georgia Fuller


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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