6/3/07

Love Your Neighbor! (and winner of Jellyfish book)

What do 12 ladies from the ages of 10 to 75 have in common? We’re all neighbors!

Last week I held a luncheon at my house with my neighbor Mary, and we called it a “Salad Social.” We kept it simple and decided to ask each lady to bring a salad; we provided a nice table setting, water to drink and dessert.

You see our main goal was to get neighbor ladies together so we could meet one another.

My daughter and I walked up and down our street and hand-delivered each invitation by meeting face-to-face with each neighbor. I believe this had something to do with the turnout. Folks just do not seem to RSVP anymore, (see my post on "Decline or Commit" here) and I did not want my party to be a flop, so I tried to think of everything I could to make it a success.

(above photo: Mary and me)

A success it was! Twelve ladies came, we ate around the table, and then mingled in the patio area while my daughter, Abby, played her violin.

We each shared where we were born and how many years we each lived in our homes, plus a little about our families and the history of our homes.

From living 2 years to 29 years in the neighborhood, we all had one thing in common: we were women with a story to share about our lives. And interesting it was, as we dove in and cultivated neighborly friendships. (photo below: Robin 2 yrs - Ellie 29 yrs!)

Abby got to stay home from school that day, as it was a true lesson of hospitality for her. She helped me get the house ready and set the tables. She sat with us and made conversation with each lady. It reminded me of something my Mom would have had me do at 10 year of age.

She was a gift to these ladies and each lady was a gift to her.

Is neighborly hospitality a lost art?

I’m out to change the world if this is true!

Ladies, help me bring it back!!

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The winner of No More Jellyfish, Chickens, or Wimps is Shannon, over at rocks in my dryer! Congrats Shannon!!

21 comments:

momrn2 said...

We do a very similar thing. I'll do a post about it in the next day or two and link back to here (if you don't mind). ;-)

Although I'm sad I didn't win... I'm so excited for Shannon!! What a fun treat!

Melissa R. Garrett said...

What a wondferful idea, Sandy!

Katybug said...

Congrats to Shannon!!! Be sure to let the rest of us know how great the book is!

Your ladies luncheon is a fabulous idea, Sandy! We moved to a new neighborhood in December, and a handful of neighbors came over and introduced themselves. We felt very welcomed, but since then we haven't seen too many. This would be a great way for me to connect with my new neighbors. I'm putting it to paper & will let you know how things turn out!

BTW, any other easy menu suggestions? I am not much of a salad eater--lettuce to me is basically crunchy water! I would imagine pasta is another easy thing to do...any other suggestions? Or perhaps is that posted somewhere else on your blog? :-)

org junkie said...

Wow, I truly am in awe of you. That is just fantastic! I just don't think I'd ever have the courage to do such a thing but I sure would like to attend one :)

Laura

Elizabeth said...

What an excellent idea! And how fun that Abby got to stay home from school!

Barb said...

Elizabeth actually did something similar in our country "neighborhood" in recent years, by hosting a get-together at Christmastime. She and her kids made this incredible table's worth of Christmas goodies, invited those who live nearby (plus thankfully us, who are over a coupla roads), and let people mingle and get to know each other. My husband and I are lousy minglers, but had a great time seeing remote neighbors up close and personal. Plus we got to find out exactly who they are and where they live and what they do, all while we munched great food and sipped fine drinks in Elizabeth and Joe's cheery home. Every neighborhood is different, but these sorts of get-togethers really seem to be positive happenings when they occur!

linda t said...

Congrats to Shannon!
What a fun neighborly gathering Sandy!
What a gift YOU are to this gals! You are a treasure!

Kathy/Lessons from the Laundry said...

I hope neighborhood entertaining isn't dead, but I do think it takes special people to instigate the get togethers. We love to have people over and with four kids we often send out last minute emails to the neighbors for a Friday Happy Hour. Children are welcome and I always have enough food that no one has to go home and cook. But unfortunately I have to admit, not to many of the neighbors ever reciprocate. People are just afraid of entertaining, even on a very simple level. They all need to be encouraged by your site!

This is my first visit...I'll be back.

Barb said...

That's typical, really. I once added up how many people over the years had reciprocated after we'd had them to our home for dinner (or lunch) and it came to about 30%. It can be discouraging, but I learned that it's nothing we should take personally. Your Friday Happy Hour sounds like great fun!

Stacey said...

I just LOVE this idea of doing something with the neighboorhood ladies!!!
I will have to try to implement this! We already have a regular evening cocktail with our one nextdoor elderly neighboor, but I love the sound of this!

Rhoda said...

Sandy, I'm so happy your ladies salad lunch went well & that they all showed up! You must have done it right for that to happen so congrats. I admire your doing this & you're my hero

RHoda

ellen b said...

Now that's hospitality and there was no hint of reluctance...Beautiful example of "Loving you neighbor" Thanks for your example and great idea for hastle free meal and great questions to ask! blessings...

GiBee said...

What a beautiful table setting! Just lovely, and totally up my alley!

Our neighbors usually get together "regularly" for informal cookouts on each other's driveway just about year round. It gets cold in the winter time, but occassionally, we get a freakish warm day, and out come the fire pits, lawn chairs and grills!

Your luncheon idea would be a great one for a ladies luncheon at church!!!

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

I'm all for socializing with neighbors. We reached out to two younger couple across the street from us and we now do dinner monthly at alternating homes. One thing we always comment on is the convenience...if we forget something we can just run across the street and get it. I'm planning a social for neighborhood ladies later this summer. Thanks for being a great example of this lost art.

Sharon said...

Hey Sandy,
I heard Dr. Laura give a pitch for your husband's book this afternoon on her show. She was so complimentary and positive about it. I have enjoyed reading your blog for a while. I live in Southern California.

Barb said...

Hey! See Dr Laura's Reading Corner at her website (www.drlaura.com). She's giving away 50 copies of Jellyfish!

Anna said...

I love this idea. Each year a neighbor and I have an Easter Egg Hunt for the same purpose. It's spurred on other activities like girls night out, etc. This is so important! I love your blog

Mommy Dearest said...

I really found your site at a good time. My 7-year-old daughter (who doesn't have all those inhibitions about entertaining - which I have - that you mention in your sidebar) delivered hand-written invitations to some of our neighbors inviting them to a picnic at our house this Friday.

We are having some financial struggles, and my first concern was feeding everyone. My next concern was "doing it right" (or rather not doing it right). I'm just going to hope things fall into place as the week progresses. I had a bunch of bananas that were starting to turn, and I made two loaves of banana bread today, which I froze for Friday. I'm praying things go well and I can just relax and enjoy.

I posted a few months ago about having a dinner party. We had a great time and it was a success. I'm not sure why I have to force myself to do these things; I always enjoy it.

Nadine said...

How special to gather together like that. Women have so much they can share with each other.

Congratulations of Shannon for winning.

Becky said...

I love your salad social idea. Very cool. And I do think that this whole "loving your neighbor" thing is a lost art. But God was pretty clear on it wasn't He? You are an inspiration to me.

Jill said...

I love this idea and it has inspired me to reach out to those around me also. Thanks for the great idea.