In the end we had 25 people show up for a low-key cookout. Nine of them were from our church, mostly people we met since we've been home and with whom we've been meeting biweekly for a book discussion. Of the rest, 13 were neighbors, 3 were college friends, and 3 were coworkers. We were thrilled to see them all.
The neighbors, really, were the most exciting part and the inspiration for the party to begin with (not to say that I don't love the other folks!). I've written before about our wildly fun next door neighbors, whose friends have recently moved in across the street. In addition to that crowd, we had a couple who just moved here in the fall from Atlanta and a Mexican family with 4 kids. Of course we were delighted to see the Mexican family at the party and get a chance to practice our Spanish (which is better than their English). The ecclectic and interesting group was everything I hoped for and a lot more.
As it turned out, we sort of had two parties-- one at 7, which included the majority of the people and the food. As those folks were leaving, the next door neighbor crowd showed up. It was a gift to have them at that point, when we could sit down and chat more about their lives and interests. They gave us a copy of their CD, which turned out to be the best white-boy rap I've heard (no, seriously, it was pretty good). They hung around until Tim kicked them out at 12. Sweet.
I've probably said more than enough by now, but in general, it was a super encouraging evening for us. We're so eager to dive in relationally right here where we live, and I think we're off to a good start.
*While I'm thinking about the neighbors, here's some neighborhood news to give you a picture of our street:
- The Mexican family tried to raise rabbits to eat. They have about 6 domestic rabbits (black and white) that hop around the neighborhood, mostly in their own front yard. Unfortunately they say they can't seem to catch them. So long dinner, hello dog food. Honestly, watching these guys hop around is the highlight of my day.
- Our next door neighbors invited another friend to live with them, but since they don't have a third bedroom, he calls the tool shed home. Way to be resourceful.
- While walking around inviting people, we discovered that one of our neighbors is a dog groomer with two full-sized poodles. Can't wait to see if we can get a deal!! She has her screened in porch all set up as her dog salon.
- Because most of our street is either rental properties or newly built fancy dancy homes, most of the residents are new. That makes it easier to make friends in one sense. I think we've been here the longest of everyone except one older couple with an angel statue in their front yard.