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Friday, May 14, 2010

Unexpected Gatherings

(our new hummingbird feeder)

One of the things I love about summer is how a normal night turns into a backyard gathering in a matter of minutes.

We love our neighbors. We all "wander," meaning if someone is outside, we just wander over. And before you know it, you have a full-fledged gathering.

Last night after dinner, Chris was outside putting up the hummingbird feeder we bought. As I washed dishes, I looked outside and saw our neighbor in our backyard. The girls and I walked outside and before I knew it, the two families who live behind us were on our back porch. We told stories, the kids played, and we laughed out loud until I suddenly looked at my watch and realized it was 9 p.m. and my kids were filthy.

So we dispersed and said, "See you later," knowing in a day or so we'll be back in each other's backyard doing it all over again.

No invitations. No preparations. Just hanging out.

My mother always talks about her childhood and how, each night after dinner, everyone in the neighborhood would go to someone's front porch and they would sit out there until bedtime. This was before television took over everyone's lives. You just sat and caught up with your neighbors. I always thought that sounded so wonderful.

In the winter, we hibernate just like the animals. We finish dinner, put the kids in the tub, put them to bed, watch TV and go to bed. We have to really work on our relationships with other people.

Not in the summer, though.

Not when you have good friends and good weather.

I love this time of year.

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