Ever feel like you have a second family? One that you are not related to by blood, but one that you have chosen, either by similar interests, geographic location, or just by the sheer fact that they know too much? You know the ones. That family, clan, tribe, crowd, whatever you might call them: those folks with whom you celebrate birthdays, whose backyards you hang out in, whose kids you watch, who you share occasional meals with, who you have an endless “can I borrow….” or “you can borrow….” list with-your people. Yes, they could absolutely be called neighbors. But there’s a distinct bond, especially here.
Well, I have that. And I am damn proud and happy to call them my people. And I found them when I moved to Wheat Ridge in 2014.
2014 was a big year for us. Marriage, bought a house, renovated a kitchen, moved, big wedding party later in the year, honeymooned, lost a father and father in law in winter. And just through our short time here, we have met people who have changed our lives for the better right in our own back yard. Literally. From the neighbor who brought over canned tomatoes from her own garden on our big moving day, to the neighbor who fixed our snowblower in the very heart of winter (while we were both sick), to the neighbors who invited us over for dinner during the complete renovation of their house (that they are doing every single bit themselves).
What extraordinary people we live amongst! I have been struck-over and over again-by the sheer collective awesomeness of the people I live so close to.
This isn’t to say that I don’t have very dear, close friends. Or a wonderful, loving, fantastic family. I have lots of both. And I have had good neighbors before. But there is something quite special about being so welcomed into a new community, and becoming so connected to the people who live there, all in under a year. Open arms, open hearts, plentiful smiles, endless support. I have experienced the greatness of character that surrounds me and I am inspired.
I am inspired to do more. To welcome the next newcomer with a bottle of wine and an offer to help; to see what tools might make a job easier, bring them over, and help finish the job; to watch out for pets and kids; to just keep going while the snowblower is running; to have more impromptu gatherings in my yard; and above all to stop, wave and say hi. I have realized that this cycle of good must continue. I owe it to my clan. They brought me in, were kind and giving, and now I must do the same.
So as we begin this promising spring season, I ask you the same thing: what has your neighborhood given you that you must continue to give? What continued goodness can you be a part of? What’s the next level for you?
We are part of something so very special here. We owe it to ourselves, and to everyone who makes Wheat Ridge what it is, to keep the goodness going.
Jenny moved to Colorado in 2011. She loves music, beer and absolutely anything having to do with bikes. Also... she may or may not have a slight obsession with Star Wars. Jenny has lived in Wheat Ridge for 1 year with her lovely wife Megan and two dogs, Emma and Eddie.