For myself, it means you know your neighborhoods, you can recognize cars going in and out and wave hello. You can open your kitchen window, talk to the little children playing in the next door backyard. And most important, they will rescue and help with your pets when they escape, which we only know too well.
We all have pets in our neighborhood, and over the years several times, ours have escaped and theirs have gotten lost.
One time as we frantically searched for someone’s dog, it was in our garage — she had snuck in while the door was open. If they howl when we are gone, we are usually excused. But if they go out in the yard in the middle of the night and bang toys against the fence and make a lot of noise, you will hear about it the next day.
We live in a cul-de-sac, so it is even more tight quarters –we all know the young children running around the streets and help if anything seems out of place.
We have a Block Watch captain and have been known to have to patrol the nights when undesirables have nothing else to do but ransack the cars. One time as my husband and I were patrolling until 5 a.m., we went inside to grab a couple hours sleep before work, and by the time we left at 7 a.m., a car had been stolen in front of our home.
Because of the short amount of time, it was close by and recovered… luckily.
When I was growing up in Saskatchewan, I still to this day remember the neighbours names and visiting with them in their house. We lived on an older street, with large overhanging trees and boulevards — it feels exactly like our subdivision now.
Even though our area is only 20-years-old, we have large shade trees and it doesn’t just feel like a rows of new crowded homes, even though there are a tons of cars.
Nowadays, everyone has more than one car, motor homes, trailers and sometimes renters in suites. Our garages are all also full, which means no room for the cars. So it always looks busy and like people are around.
One time in the middle of our wonderful neighborhood, we had a pot- growing house. The neighbors contributed towards the police making an arrest as they were suspicious of the smells, the whirlybirds on the top of the roof and just unusual activity.
When the police came for the arrest, they put a sandwich board out on the driveway of the house, saying drug bust in progress. I thought that was the funniest thing I had ever seen at 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon as kids were walking home from school. They sold the house, cleaned it up and the next people just carried on like nothing had happened.
It is the most beautiful area to go for a walk. One street away is the Agricultural Land freeze area, farms with roosters crowing in the morning and at night coyotes howling. We have a beautiful view of Mount Baker as the sun rises every day.
We have parks close by and schoolyards, with children playing soccer and baseball, A skateboard park and Community Centre within four blocks. The neighbourhoods are designed differently these days and to walk through to the schools there are walkways through the houses properties, so you can see everyone’s beautiful yards and gardens, and say hello to everyone.
Our subdivision belonged to my husband’s grandparents when they came to Canada from Russia in the 30’s.
They had acres of farmland with cows, ponds and fields with hay and garlic planted to harvest. It has changed with the development of all the new homes. But the original homestead, house, barn and root house still haven’t been developed and can remind the family of the days when they were young.
Grandma is 94 and lives in a newer modern home close by to her family. She has five families and homes with her children and grandchildren that live in a two-block area.
But anytime she goes for a drive, she can see the farm, her old house and beautiful barn. Even the movie companies have filmed episodes of the Haunting House on the farm. Rural suburbia is what it feels like, lined by farms and blueberry fields.
I specifically drive down the back roads anytime I go anywhere. I feel like I am in farming country after I leave home, horse country and the blueberry capital of the area for sure. We are close to the GVRD Aldergrove Park, off leash dog area and trails to walk and run, both equestrian and human.
We’re also just a five-minute drive to the U.S. border crossing, or 10 minutes and you are on your way to the City.
I know my adult children always feel comfortable coming home to a place they grew up and can feel familiar with the families and friends in our neighbourhood.
When I pull up to our street after a long work day and see the kids outside playing or our neighbours outside washing their cars, I know I am truly home-sweet-home.
We just had to share this one!
And now it’s your turn to share — does your neighbourhood feel like home?