Saturday, January 27, 2007

Over the Back Fence

I think if I had to choose another name for my blog, that's what it would be - "Over the Back Fence." Because that's part of what I love about blogging. It's chatting over the backyard fence with the neighbor lady (that'd by you, dear reader). It's a place where we share our smallest of victories, and remind one another that we're not alone in our journey. In my mind, that's what a neighborhood should be.

I have this vision of neat little bungalows with tidy backyards, divided by a white picket fence that exists solely for the purpose of keeping my dog from digging in your yard. It's not a six foot privacy fence, just a three foot little thing that still allows for plenty of friendly hellos and interesting conversation. It'd make hanging the laundry so much easier, to be able to chat with you while I'm doing it. If we're having a barbecue, you'd know you were invited. If we had kids, our kids would play together. When we have time, we enjoy a cup of coffee together in my kitchen. If you were ill, I'd be sure to pop over with some homemade chicken noodle soup. The mailman knows to leave my packages with you if I'm out of town, and thank you for checking our mail, by the way. My dog likes to annoy your cat at times, but then your cat kind of asks for it, by walking along the fence rail, just out of Fido's reach. Our husbands are always borrowing each others tools but hey, we're okay with that - right?

Okay, I know I'm being a bit idealistic here, but growing up in the country, where homes are up to a quarter mile apart, I always envisioned that cozy little neighborhood. I think it's a longing for connection that is a part of all of us. Instead of wiping my hands on my apron and rushing out to the backyard in hopes of sharing a bit of my day, it's just as nice to sit down and chat with you a bit. I appreciate all your great homemaking tips, and enjoy hearing about your kids. I love talking about books with you, and sharing little silly things, like how happy I am that I cleaned out two closets today. I love knowing what's cooking at your house, and I love when you share what God's doing in your life.

So that's a big part of what blogging is for me - sometimes a friendly conversation over the back fence, sometimes a heart-to-heart over a cup of tea. It's a neighborhood I'm glad to be part of. Thanks for being there!

12 comments:

Barb said...

I really love this Dianne. This is exactly what blogging is like. I grew up in neighborhoods exactly like what you've described. It just isn't that way any more. I don't even know half the people in my neighborhood. I see them come and go but it's like they're actually afraid I'll make an overture of friendliness.

I baked a cake for a new neighbor once, to welcome her to the neighborhood, and when I took it to her she just gave me a blank stare. I wonder if she even ate it.

So yes, this is the very best thing about blogging. It's friendly, encouraging, educational and uplifting. You captured the very essence of it in this post.

Deidre said...

Amen, Dianne!! This is what blogging is to me as well.

I have so enjoyed reading your posts everyday. They have truly been a blessing to me.

Kathryn said...

I am very blessed to live in a neighbourhood that is still like that. But I feel that way about blogging too. Well put Dianne.

Susanne said...

What a lovely comparison. I grew up where the neighbors all knew each other and would have coffee at each others houses and the fences were shorter. This analogy is so nice!

My friend lives with a 6 foot fence but is good friends with the neighbor so she had her husband cut a 2 foot section of it down to about 41/2 feet so her and the neighbor could still chat.

And this is what blogging is to me also.

Cyndi said...

Well, this is a great way to think of it! Thank you! I have never thought of it this way, and to be honest sometimes I'm not sure what to blog because sometimes it's all so... mundane. But, it's those "smallest of victories" that I love reading on other's blogs, and those aren't mundane at all.

Great post!

Tonja said...

This describes the relationship Our family had with the family next door, as I was growing up. My mom and "Aunt"Katherine would always visit at the clothesline between our yards, and neither of them ever cooked something special without taking some out for the other. My sister and I, as well as their daughter, knew without a doubt that our behavior was being watched by 4 sets of eyes...and there was always a comparison of stories. Oh, sweet memories. Thanks for 'taking me back.'

Sissy B. said...

Ditto that! I believe you captured the heart of the bogging community in this post. i can't quite remember how I got here but I am glad I followed the link...wherever it was ;)

Katrina said...

This is such a nice post, and it reflects much of what I feel about the blogging community as well. Thanks for sharing this.

Kelly said...

What a great analogy! You captured so vividly what I think blogging means to many of us.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

What a wonderfully well-written post Dianne, I just loved it. Loved it. Want to read it over and over again and savor it, kind of post. I feel like this too, and it really is what blogging should be like. In an ideal world, but really, as bloggers, we control who our neighbors are and how we treat them, so really, it is like this!

I love the name too, Over the Back Fence. It's all so homey, and I'm all about cozy and homey :)

gail said...

I loved this too Dianne! I feel like it is a neighborhood and I'm so enjoying it. I think you captured it very well.

Dana said...

I agree. I frequently feel sort of like I'm an island in the middle of a sea of people, though. We're always home and everyone else is always away. I fear I know more neighborhood dogs than I do people.

But there is always someone to catch up with over the internet...