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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Welcome a New Neighbor Tomorrow

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome a New Neighbor Tomorrow

I can still remember the day we sat in our new house, with no furniture, exhausted from cleaning, when the doorbell rang. There was my neighbor holding a large plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies! We made our introductions, exchanged some phone numbers. She offered to be of assistance whenever we needed anything and went on her way. I was literally changed by this event. It is now many years later...and I still look back fondly on that day...and won't ever forget it.

I was cleaning, up to my eyeballs in dirt and was just tired as all get out. My kids were getting on my nerves and my hubby was already at work. I kept more thing, one more thing. The kids were so hungry, but I didn't want to stop just yet...and they were little back then too. And then my neighbor appeared.

Through the years, we exchanged cookies on holidays, waved to each other in the driveway, called upon one another when we needed help. But for the most part, we didn't interact on a daily basis. During those long deployments and getting locked out of my house in a rainstorm, she was there for us. And to me, that was the clincher. Just knowing that someone is there for you...that they can help you in a your house while you are gone, that you feel comfortable enough calling them and asking for help. Isn't that what neighbors should be all about? I was so touched and affected by her service...because that's what it was more than a friendship, I vowed to do the same.

Start off the new year by welcoming your new neighbor. It doesn't take much. It'll make you feel good, and you'll be rewarded back, because that's how life usually works itself out.

Before you say...but I'm too busy...or, I don't know how to bake! Hey, even with the worst cook in the kitchen, this can be done. Here are some ideas of what you can bring over. And no need to put a lot of fancy thought in packaging! Get a nice disposable or plastic plate from the dollar store and get some colored cellophane wrap. I've even gotten the heavy duty cellophane basket wrap stuff (get it in bulk on eBay instead of your local craft store), and I've tied up everything from baskets of food items, toiletry items, stuffed name it....anything looks pretty tied up in this stuff with a nice ribbon and bow attached.

So, here are some ideas:

  • Buy some ready-made cookie dough, bake as per directed and arrange (slightly cooled) on on a nice plate covered with some colored cellophane.
  • A loaf of bread machine bread wrapped the same way. I sometimes put this in a basket with some teas and jams and a decorative spreader.
  • A basket of candies, gum and a bundle of local sightseeing attractions and stuff from your local Chamber of Commerce.
  • A large bag of popcorn nicely packaged with the names and phone numbers of local businesses you recommend attached on a card (such as your plumber, electrician, yard guy and such).
  • A nice potted plant, something they can put at their door or eventually plant in their yard.
  • If it's a hot summer and their stuff hasn't gotten here yet, how about a tub of cold drinks and water on ice.
Whatever you bring over, be sure to include a smile, a friendly handshake, an introduction to you and who is in your family, a bit about the neighborhood, any phone numbers and resources you'd like to share and just a big welcome.

What ideas do you have to share?



Blogger tootie said...

This is so thoughtful! Never underestimate the power of warm baked goods - or at least a warm welcome! - to make your neighbor's day :)

January 16, 2008 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife**** said...

Get more recipes for all your meals at the weekly "Carnival of Recipes" below:

January 17, 2008 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger MaryLu said...

You can't believe how that makes a person feel. To be welcomed, "can I run to the store for you?" "Here's some things you may have forgotten to pack..."
It just makes you feel good knowing that someone actually CARES that you have just moved in.
Don't hesitate to do it!!

January 18, 2008 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife**** said...

Thanks for that reminder Mary Lu. I typically try to run an errand for someone who is not feeling well, has their hands full or just had a baby...never thought of doing that for a new neighbor! Thanks!

January 19, 2008 at 1:59 AM  
Anonymous dyceedo said...

This is so true! When we first PCSd to Germany, I was stuck in our apartment for days with no phone, tv, radio, or CAR!!! As I was thinking "what have we got ourselves into?!", the doorbell rang, and there stood my neighbor Len. Len invited my toddler and I out to a German mega-grocery store and I was thrilled. I will never forget her thoughtfulness and I hope to always return that kindness to new neighbors from now on.

January 20, 2008 at 12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are some great ideas, especially the popcorn.

January 21, 2008 at 2:51 PM  

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