I am from " typical small-town USA" - which is funny since I live in Canada. But that's what my friends called it.
My life was text-book: Dad, Mom (at-home), sister, me, dog. Very Small town. Great church, great school, went to church and school with the same people. Piano lessons, swimming lessons, skating lessons, loads of community theatre. Great marks, go on to university. Etc, etc.
Isn't it funny the people who have been in your neighborhood. I used to say that my mom belonged to the mothers' spy club- you couldn't really do anything bad because all the moms were looking out for all the kids and eventually it would get back to your own mom. I hated it!! And now I pray there's a mothers' spy club in my town. But there's not - not every mom is at home and not everyone wants to get "involved".
Then there's the neighbourhood of your friends and how that has changed from childhood to teenage-hood to university and then to "grown-up". Sometimes I'm so surprised at who I'm still friends with and those that I'm not. And the friends you find after you've started your family and you have really different priorities than when you were single or newly married.
And then people in your neighbourhood who were there during the really tough, hard, hateful times. The people that wouldn't let you pull away no matter how hard you tried. The people who loved you more than usual to make up for the loss of someone else's love.
My best example of that is when I was first divorced and I was doing a great job at being "fine". My best friend kept saying "tell me if you need me, I'll be there..." "I'm fine, I'm fine", I would always say. Then one afternoon I was trying to weed my garden. I had some prairie grass that I was trying to remove as it was going up the dryer vent. I pulled and pulled and dug and everything but it would not budge. The more it was stuck, the more it became IMPERATIVE that this thing get out. As I collapsed in a complete puddle, I called my friend, "...the grass...it's stuck...won't come out...won't come out." I can see myself sprawled on the stairs, talking into the phone a crying mess and my 21/2 year old daughter patting my back trying to comfort me. My friend said "I'll be right there". She left her job in the middle of the day, grabbed her husband from his job, said "we gotta go" and came right over. I told the husband about the plant and how it would not move and that I didn't know what we were going to do to get it out. He leaned over, pulled it right out and said "this one?" I just stared and stared at him. It had just popped out. I was stunned. My friend and I knew it wasn't about the plant. We knew it was about me needing her and me needing a "legitimate"excuse to ask for help since "I really was fine afterall".
And now the people in my bloggy neighbourhood. These people, mostly women, mostly moms, who are so different, live all over and yet are part of my neighbourhood and they don't even know it. They are so funny, have such great stories. Yet they are some of the most "real" people that I have (never) met. Maybe that's what anonymity does - makes us real. Maybe for some but I think these people are really that "real". And I think God is really happy and proud of the people in my neighbourhood.