Business and travel. I love it.  I love the experiences.

But that’s where I want to keep new places… as experiences…

While I like to travel, I’ll likely always my current house “home.”

I love meeting new people, but I like the reliability of my inner circle.

I love the beach, but not the dirtiness that usually surrounds beach cities.

I like a lot of things, but I also like consistency.

I moved a lot when I was younger.  It became normal and I was excited to see what new friends I would meet.  However, when my wife was pregnant with our first kid and we were considering a new home, I didn’t want my family to have to move a lot.  So we bought a house we could grow into.

After we put in the offer we drove by the house very stalker-like.  We were excited.  Every other night we’d do a slow drive by just hoping it would be ours.  That our offer would be accepted.  And then when the offer was accepted the drive by’s continued just hoping closing would go through without any hurdles.

And then it happened.  It was ours.  We moved in three days before Christmas… and the family Christmas party was at our house.

Looking back, it was awesome being forced to unpack at super speed.  We were fully moved in and unpacked in just two or three days.  What a relief.  And the Christmas party was awesome.

We bought a 4,270 square foot, six bedroom, four bathroom home.  Sounds excessive, I know.  But read on.

By the time we found this house – our current home – It was just me, my wife, and our 11-month-old.  He’s now seven.  And here’s how the house unfolded.

  • bedroom 1 = master
  • bedroom 2 = son’s room
  • bedroom 3 = office
  • bedroom 4 = junk room (Hey, we just moved in.  Have to cram the disorganized stuff somewhere, right?)
  • bedroom 5 = guest room
  • bedroom 6 = guest room

Over the years we’ve done exactly as we planned and have grown into the house.  We have two rowdy boys and a beautiful daughter.  And we fill out perfectly now.

  • bedroom 1 = master
  • bedroom 2 = boys’ room
  • bedroom 3 = office
  • bedroom 4 = daughter’s room
  • bedroom 5 = “learning room” / craft room
  • bedroom 6 = guest room

Buying our current home is among the best decisions I’ve ever made.

They say in business that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

The same goes for your neighborhood.  You will enjoy your neighborhood as much as you enjoy the people that occupy it.  With the Fourth of July behind us, and every holiday that I’ve experienced in this neighborhood since, each occasion confirms my appreciation for my neighbors.

Why do I love my neighborhood?

I’ll admit that me and my family are lucky.  We live in a nice house in a beautiful neighborhood.  Every yard is well taken care of.  But it’s more than the vanity metrics.  It’s the people.

I’ve written briefly before about the dedication of the youth in the neighborhood and their dedication towards patriotism on holidays, despite inclement weather.

What I haven’t talked much about is the adults.  Because, well, we’re adults and we do adult things and talking about other adults usually isn’t one of them.

With yesterday’s 4th of July, I wanted to share a few of the little things that make my neighborhood so great.

On the corner, one family spent time making homemade ice cream.  Then they opened it up to the whole neighborhood to dig in.

Another family around the bend opened up their slip-n-slide and inflatable splash pads.

Even just a few weeks ago, on the last day of school, parents set up 10′ x 10′ shade canopies with coolers full of popsicles to give to the elementary kids for free.

Back to the 4th, the best part, the fireworks.  Man… the fireworks.

You can have your crowds at the city park.  There is no reason to leave my house for the 4th.

It’s a constant show of aerials that will match the city show, except it’s multiplied by several families doing a city-worthy show at once.

 

One family in particular spends what must be thousands of dollars on fireworks.  Here’s a pic I found that they posted a few years ago.

fireworks

What’s more impressive than the piles of fireworks is the aftermath.  Just rows of three-foot piles of expended fireworks lining the curbs.  You can’t help but audibly say “whoa!” as you drive by and see what could have only been total awesomeness if you didn’t already see it yourself.

It’s like this for every holiday.  Each holiday brings something along the lines of neighbors passing out hot chocolate, grills rolling out to provide hot food all night on colder holidays like Halloween, and flags in the yard for every major holiday.

And holidays aren’t necessary.  Once per season/quarter, the neighborhood does walkabouts.  A house is designated on each street to centralize the gatherings for better communication.  When someone is new to the neighborhood, the get together for their street is at their house.  It’s a great way for everyone to meet everyone.  And it happened to me six years ago.

As you have to like who you work with in business, you have to enjoy who you neighbor with.

For those that tell people that don’t like their job to go find a new one, I’d say the same about your neighborhood.  Great neighborhoods do exist.  And they do impact your happiness.

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