The snow seemed the perfect time to do it. I had struggled to find a time on our calendar to gather our neighbors. I was concerned that others would be busy on weekends during the Christmas season. I just couldn’t get to putting together a cookie party Then the snow came.
I had used the Orange County GIS system to find the names of each homeowner in our subdivision. I used Google to find phone numbers for each family. Unfortunately landlines are usually listed, and most people don’t use their landlines. But…I did reach one young family a couple of miles up Nicks Road from us. Actually we had met them once this past summer when their two dogs had come to visit us. She knew almost everyone in the subdivision because their dogs had visited everyone else, too. The young mom very generously shared phone numbers for several families. And their family was able to come for an impromptu cookie party on Monday afternoon.
I called the phone numbers the young mom had given me and spoke to a lady whose family had moved in this past summer. They too were able to come. Dwight called the phone number for a young man who had just started renting a home only about a mile up the road from us. Dwight left a message with an invitation to our cookie party. Those were the only folks I was able to reach on this go round.
When Monday afternoon came, I had put out some Christmas mugs, some Christmas paper plates from last year, made some coffee, heated water for tea, and put out some cookies. We were ready. Everyone who came brought cookies, also. We had more than enough. We started our first gathering with two families and a brave young man who was just launching a business from his home. There were 7-year-old twin boys and a 16-month old sister, their parents, and a couple who had just moved south and are adjusting to a new culture. It was nice to have such a small gathering because we could spend time getting acquainted. Everyone lingered for a couple of hours and then headed home with promises of getting together and invitations to stop by when we walk our dog.
I’m really glad we did it. It was a very simple gathering. Our snow-prompted cookie party opened the door to opportunities for new relationships and future gatherings. I’m moving my turquoise table out to a location near the road so that there can be more impromptu meetings as bikers, walkers, and runners pass our house.