One of the main reasons I moved to Delaware (four years ago this November 17th) was to move in a friendly neighborhood.
In the forty-six years that Bill and I have been living together we have lived in a garden apartment complex in Pennsauken, New Jersey.
We moved to a two story apartment complex in Roxborough (Philadelphia), PA in 1966.
When the rents went up, we decided to buy a house and we moved to a cute little 16 foot wide town house in center city Philadelphia in 1969. We lived there for eleven years until I grew tired of the constant wail of police sirens and the lack of green space in the city.
In 1980 we built a two story gambrel roofed farm house on 7 acres of wooded land we purchased in Chester County, PA. For twenty-five years we enjoyed the sylvan splendors that only a Pennsylvania landscape could provide, deer included.
As much as we loved our Pennsylvania home in the woods there were several problems.
We had homophobic neighbors who made our lives a living hell for many of those twenty-five years. We only got relief when I called the police and threatened to take action with the recently enacted Pennsylvania Hate Crimes law. Our homophobic neighbors finally backed off but the tenseness never went away. Even though we built our house there first, we were made to feel unwelcome in that "family friendly neighborhood."
Some of the other problems with living in Pennsylvania were the high school and property taxes and the isolation of living in the woods.
Late in 2005 I made a decision to get out of that mess we were in Pennsylvania and move to the more tax friendly state of Delaware.
That was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life even though I ended up with a $100,000 mortgage (first mortgage we were carrying since the early 70's) because of the crash in the housing market.
We had a house built in a planned community (Ryan Homes) with only one tree. I had enough of living in the woods. We were also now living in a neighborhood. We have neighbors. Our neighbors are great!
We have a diversified neighborhood.
Straight families and gay families live in this neighborhood. There are two gay male couples and two female couples (that I know of).
Black families and white families live in this neighborhood.
Retired couples live in this neighborhood. A lot of retired couples.
Families with small children live in this neighborhood.
Families with teenage children live in this neighborhood.
We are a diversified neighborhood. We all get along together. We're all in this together.
This morning Bill and I were headed out of our development to do some shopping (actually, I do the shopping. Bill was driving because I'm still not driving because of my injured arm - more about that in a future blog posting.)
As we turned the corner there is Marti and Jane. They were weeding the plants and shrubs around the entrance to our little 57 unit development called Covington Chase. They belong to our garden club. I'm a member too. But for my still sore arm, I would have been right out there on this sunny, brisk and windy morning pulling weeds along with them.
Bill stopped his Jeep and I rolled down my window so we could say "Hi!" Seeing those smiles I couldn't resist taking the picture you see at the beginning of this blog.
Folks, this is what it is all about, good friends and neighbors.
It doesn't get any better than this.