Ever since your first encounter with your new house on the day you moved in, you were welcomed with a smile. You may have been too young to remember, but they day you and your family moved into the neighborhood, you were what all the buzz was about. The more you and your family got adjusted to your new house, you began to feel more and more at home. This wasn't because you finally unpacked all those boxes or you hung up family pictures; it was because of your neighbors. The more you got to know your neighbors, they became more like family. You got to know them through weekend excursions, holidays and other celebrations. Pretty soon, the families on your street felt like your own family. You knew as much as there was to know. Their house became your house after you spent countless dinners at their dining room table. Your family held multiple keys to watch their houses when they went out of town for the summer. You became super close with their kids and grew up together with them. You looked forward to the block party you had every year because as a neighborhood, you dominated the street. There wasn't a face who didn’t wave as you drove by on your way home.
Growing up, you thought, “this is what a neighborhood should feel like.” And you loved every part of it. Your neighbors were there to look out for you, just like you were for them. They supported you just like a member of their own family. They came to your school plays, mailed you a Christmas card, brought you presents on your birthday, wrote you letters of recommendation and were the first ones to show up at your graduation party. Your neighbors were like a second family to you, but better. They were an outlet, a home away from home.
Not a day goes by where you don't hear from one of your neighbors. Whether it’s a friendly “hello” while you're walking your dogs, or it’s a longer catch-up conversation, your neighbors are the ones who are always there for you. They shaped your childhood experience in the most unique way possible. As you grew up, your neighbors did, too. Both young and old, you experienced life together within the close proximity of your street.The same memories that were being made in your home were also being made a few houses down. The "home sweet home" feeling you feel from within is more that just the feeling you get when stepping inside your front door. It’s the feeling you get when you turn down your street that brings a smile on your face after a long day at work or school. It's your neighborhood combined that gives you this feeling. Without your neighbors, home wouldn't feel like home.