So, for those who don’t know, I live in Arkansas. A small southern state, right above/beside Texas, on the map!
Most people here are very friendly! We have our worse and better towns just like anywhere else, but for the most part, people are friendly and/or mind their own business.
My hubby and I were both raised in a low-income rougher side of town. We saved up, purchased 5 acres of land in a small little town and moved out there 4 years ago! We were ready to get away from our pasts, the run-down city and all of the rising crime that was happening where we grew up.
When we first moved out to our new home, we were excited! We were ready for the change in scenery and people. We were ready for what some people would call the “country” life. We were surprised at how different it was from our old place. This was a town where people waved when you passed them on the street. Everyone knew each other by name at the little local store. People were willing to talk to and offer help to a total stranger. Kids roamed the neighborhood on their little bikes, with no fear of being harmed or taken by a stranger. Everyone knew everyone! We were excited to become a part of this community!
The land we purchased was the last plot on a dead end road. We quickly figured out that all of the neighbors were not very happy about this. The rest of the land on this road was all owned by one big family! There are 5 homes, besides ours, on all of this land and all of these homes are owned by different family members of this family. Apparently the family had been trying to purchase the last plot for 2 years. What they didn’t know was that the last plot was owned by my husband’s grandfather. He didn’t live on the land, but had been saving it for 32 years, so that one day he could pass it down to his grandchildren. So, he wouldn’t sell it to the family that was trying to purchase it!
Let’s just say, in the nicest way possible, we were NOT welcomed with open arms. We have been here for 4 years and they still don’t wave hello to us when we wave to them! This may seem silly to some, but to me it is mean! Since we moved here, I have dreamed of our children one day riding their bikes around the neighborhood. Stopping by the neighbors to pet their dogs and to say hello. I have imagined being friends with the neighbors and sitting on her porch watching our kids play together. I’ve pictured my family and theirs, getting together on a hot summer night to have a cookout and watch our kids play in the pool, while us adults sit sharing stories and laughing together. I’ve imagined all of that because that’s the kind of neighborhood I thought this was!
I think back to our old neighborhood. It was a dangerous side of town, but it was a community! Children couldn’t leave home alone, but neighbors watched over each other and each other’s children! It wasn’t a place where you should be out alone at night, but it was a place where your neighbors cared enough to not let you be alone out at night! It was a place where you felt like your neighbors were family and you were in it together!
I don’t plan on moving, but I was just thinking. It’s funny to me that people who are familiar with my old neighborhood only talk about how bad and negative it is and how great my new town is, yet the feeling of community is missing here.
Thanks For Reading!
-Wife & Mother & Friend