Anna June and I attended our neighborhood's annual block party last night. We have been several times, and each time seems to get better and better. I don't think I posted about it last year, but I bet we went then, too.
The party is part of National Night Out, an initiative brought to us by Neighborhood Watch. The day is usually in August, but in Alabama, it is dreadfully hot then! Some folks in Texas rescheduled their NNO date, and Crestwood South thought it was a great idea, too. It turned out to be a fantastic idea.
Here's where I talked about it in 2012. That was the year I helped deliver invitations door-to-door, which is trickier than it sounds.
And here's where we went back in 2009 - when AJ still had to ride in a stroller.
One year I pulled AJ up the hill in her red wagon. That was a mistake not to be repeated.
This year, our neighbor who is in a band brought them along to perform. I've actually been a casual fan of Marian McKay and the Mood Swings
for a while - I had no clue someone on my street was in the band! This
addition elevated the party to new heights. I don't know if we're going
to be able to top that. I hope they come back next year!
It was pretty much the same bunch of folks, but some neighbors have moved, and some new ones have moved in. Three new babies have been born on the next street over in the past year - all boys! I offered to hold my pal Christina's little one, Tre, while she ate a bite. He's seven months old and so sweet and adorable. I danced him around to "You Don't Know Me."
AJ's favorite part was the door prizes - she won a giant pot of mums. They will bloom soon, and I think they're going to be a rich red color. We had to go get the car to transport her winnings, and then, of course, we had the opportunity to talk about the electric car.
My favorite part was that Ben was able to join us briefly. He had to work late on an after-hours server upgrade and I didn't know when to expect him.
The food was great. If you've never been to a Southern potluck, you are missing out. Our neighbors brought their A game! The table was about half dinner and half dessert - perfectly balanced, in my opinion. I brought haystacks. They got rave reviews from everyone except the two non-butterscotch lovers in my house. More for me.
Lessons learned for next year:
1) Bring water to drink. Everyone brought beer, wine, and caffeinated sodas, but AJ was out of luck until I made a quick trip back to the house.
2) Bring chairs. AJ and I skipped the chairs to travel lighter. Our sweet neighbor Sandy M who is recently retired and coordinated the event, had a rug laid out for AJ, complete with a blanket in case she got cold. There was no danger of getting cold. We were sweaty, but not unbearably sweaty.
3) Get nametags. This was an omission that does not help me at all. I forget people's names, especially if I don't see them in person for a year.
4) Bring Radar! I took him back for a second at the end, because I forgot my Tupperware. He stayed home because of a tummy ache, but he would have loved some of AJ's leftover hot dog or meatball that made its way to the ground
5) Take more pictures! I think someone else was doing it, but I have no idea.
Overall, I really enjoyed talking to my neighbors. It's certainly a diverse bunch! Although we may not have much in common at first glance, we have this community together. It's great to know our neighbor's faces and which house they belong to - we try to look out for each other. It's crime prevention and generally a nice thing to do all in one. Plus, some folks asked AJ what kind of candy she prefers for trick-or-treating - there are some advantages to being the only kid who can walk on our block!
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