Love these ladies in my neighborhood!  Shirley from Manhattan, Jodi from Connecticut, and Danielle from Iowa.

Love these ladies in my neighborhood! Shirley from Manhattan, Jodi from Connecticut, and Danielle from Iowa.

One year.

365 days in our New Jersey town home.

12 months of downsizing and minimizing our lives.

52 weeks of weeding through 21 years of furniture, books, boxes, clothes, and toys to find a comfortable living arrangement in our 1300 square foot house.

When we sold our house and moved to New Jersey, honestly I had very low expectations.  I didn’t expect to put down any roots or make any friends.  I didn’t even want to try to make friends.  In fact, in July of last year when we had lived here for two months I still hadn’t made any connections and quite frankly didn’t want to.

Then something changed.  I started looking through my kitchen window at my cul de sac and wondering about the lives of those around me.  The ones I was sharing walls with.  Then I made the conscious effort to put a smile on my face and go out and meet them.

And guess what?  I liked them and they liked me.  We started hanging out in the driveways chasing kids and yelling “CAR!!” every time a car pulled into the lot.  We invited them into our homes and us into theirs.  We threw a holiday party and had over 30 people in our tight space and had two families over for Christmas Eve.  All the kids have become great friends and I’ve found a group of ladies I can’t live without.

My low expectations were unwarranted.  Living here has been amazing and everything that I thought I would hate, I haven’t.

New Jersey has a bad reputation, but so do other states.  I’ve found that by putting a smile on my face and genuinely caring for those around me can go a long way.

Gary and I are “change junkies” so who knows how long we nomads will live at this pad.  But wherever we go next, my expectations will be higher and our packing truck will be lighter.  And God will give me the resources and the smiles to love it.

 

 

 

Advertisements