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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): The Gathering in the Driveway

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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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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Gathering in the Driveway

I just talked with a friend of mine who moved into a suburban civilian community in the US.  It reminds me of how long I have been out of the country.  It also reminds me of what I did, when I moved into my last US suburb....as I sat and listened to her talking about her non-friendly neighbors.  This is what I told her to do and what worked for us.

Since we had nice weather when we moved....thanks to those summer rotation cycles...within weeks of unpacking my boxes....I made up a little flyer and got my little secret squirrel plan up and running.

The flyer was really simple.

I picked a Sunday afternoon and invited everyone to my driveway.  I told them to bring their chairs and a dish to share.  I told them a grill would be on-hand, and that I would provide the flatware, plates, napkins and jugs of lemonade and water.

Since I put the flyers out a week before, in everyone's screendoor, I kept my fingers crossed and waited.  I didn't put a phone number on the flyer...just an address.

Sunday morning came...we started dragging out our tables, and some chairs, set up a canopy for some shade, got the tunes going, poured us some drinks....and waited.  We didn't wait long....one by one, the neighbors came....a few stopped as they were driving back from wherever they had been (after seeing people sitting around) and said they'd be right back.  Pretty soon we had about 60 people laughing and eating in our driveway and kids running around on the front lawn.  We even had people who had been neighbors for years, and this was the first social event, other than HOA-business, that they attended together.

It was such a success, that we did it all summer long and continued it into the next summer.  I sure miss them and these lawn parties....later, especially for Halloween, we graduated to movies being projected onto the garage door and a few backyard events.  I honestly think it takes one spark to get something started, and a low-stress party such as this...in the front, where everyone can see, is the best way to get things going.  It was great!

I'm hoping my friend will give it a try.  Is there anything you do in your neighborhood to bring neighbors together?


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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've lived in my house on base for 8 years. We are the oldest (by age, and how long we've been here) now. Everyone else are young airman. We've seen so many people come and go from these houses. When we first moved here all the neighbors were really close, and we were the youngest ones. Everyone weekend during the summer we would do a get together. Occasionally now someone will have a fire pit, but not everyone is invited.

I think this year I will do exactly what you did. There are lots of new neighbors that had moved in over the winter, so we haven't met them yet. (Minot people hibernate till the summer lol) This will be our last summer here, so hopefully its a good one! Thanks for the idea!

Lacey

March 10, 2011 at 4:43 PM  
Anonymous susanna said...

Funny you mention this - for us it was 'driveway' dinners!

on Friday or Saturday evenings.

March 10, 2011 at 6:58 PM  
Blogger Dr. Army Wife said...

This is fantastic!

March 10, 2011 at 10:25 PM  
Anonymous This is Belgium said...

nice to see another blogger from Belgium !

March 13, 2011 at 7:58 PM  

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