Last week, my wife and I walked through the neighborhood watching adults and children lighting sparklers, igniting fire-crackers, and watching fountains of fire and light on the Fourth of July. The adults were talking, the children were screaming delightfully, and we - my wife and I - were happy residents in a subdivision we call home.
We’ve lived here over 10 years. That’s longer than we’ve lived anywhere together. As we turned the corner, a neighbor, Chrissy, was sitting in a folding chair at the edge of her road. She could look up the street or down the street to see the fireworks. We spoke with her for awhile, then moved on. We found our son up the road and around the corner. He was with two of his friends. One of his friend’s dad, Tim, was there, too. We talked as littler kids watched the fire and light. Tim, has been a friend for as long as our sons have been friends. Tim and I have coached our sons together in baseball, our sons have played football together. For about six years, our families have seen each other almost weekly for 8-10 months out of the year. Some weeks, that more than we see anyone from our church, work, or even our own family.
Walking back home, we reflect, as we often have, that we are grateful for our neighbors, most of the time. Darrel and his wife, Tim and Lisa, Cindy and Nicki, Dennis and Dory, Ray and Rosemary. They’ve been there and they care. I don’t know their politics, I only know a little about their faith. But we’ve known their kids and grand-kids, and they’ve known our kids.
While others find abstract concepts like “liberty”, “freedom,” and “Independence” something to celebrate, I think I’m happy to celebrate the opportunity to live with my family and people like Tim, Chrissy, and the rest. And to call this mundane place home.